Would you get the flu shot when you find out your pregnant?posted 2 years ago in Pregnancy
- 2 years ago
- Wedding: April 2017
nifer317 : My sister is a pediatrician and my husband is an ER doc and I talked to them a lot about the flu shot yesterday as some of the responses on this thread facinated me.
In general, the flu shots only last one year because the influenza viruses do a really good job at mutating and because the shot itself only contains 3 or 4 of what researchers observe as the most virulent strains. The viruses itself are categorized into 4 types, A, B, C and D. The A types tend to cause the most illness and be the most deadly and there are 144 different strains itself of the A virus.
This year’s flu vaccine either contains 3 or 4 strains. The trivalent one covers H1N1, H3N2 and one influenza B strain. The quadvalent one covers the same 2 A viruses and 2 B viruses.
The article below does a good job of explalning why this’s year’s vaccine isn’t as effective. In a nutshell, the H3N2 virus mutated while the vaccine was being developed. The article also explains that it’s not that the vaccine is only 10% effective overall, it’s just not as effective againt H3N2, and unfortunately that’s what’s being seen the most this year so far.
According to my sister, even though you have to get the flu shot every year because of the mutations, you still have some immunity from previous versions. Back in 2009 is when the new H1N1 virus came out and that’s when we saw the influenza pandemic because it was something that had never been seen before. Researchers have focused a lot on that particular strain the last few years so even though we do still see deaths from H1N1, the amount is nowhere near the amount seen back in 2009-2010. I had H1N1 a few years ago. It was the sickest I ever remember being. I was lucky enough to not be hospitalized; probably because even though the vaccine wasn’t a great match that year, but because I had some immunity from all the previous seasons I had been vaccinated.
There actually is a live virus flu vaccine available (the nasal spray FluMist) but the CDC has deemed it not effective against the flu this year. Our bodies do a lot better job putting up an immune response with live virus vaccines vs dead/attenuated vaccines. It is unsure why the FluMist is not effective as some of the most effective vaccines of all time (smallpox and polio) were live vaccines. You have a small chance of getting the virus with a live vaccine; there is no chance at all of catching any kind of virus with a dead vaccine. It is physicologically impossible.
I mean, you all are adults and can do your own research, but some of the responses really drive me crazy. If you decide not to get the flu shot (or any vaccines for that matter) and you don’t get the flu, it’s because you’re protected by herd immunity. What if you had a child that couldn’t be immunized? My sister has pediatric cancer patients and patients with immune issues that cannot be vaccinated. They are counting on the rest of us to protect them from these deadly viruses.
Sorry, I’ll shut up now and get off my soapbox.
- 2 years ago
- Wedding: March 2010
sunnierdaysahead2 : thank you so much for this information! I’m happy I asked now. It’s comforting to know that the vaccine can perhaps spread over a few seasons. Makes it a smarter decision to get the shot, imho. 🙂
You’re a gem and I appreciate you on your soap box. You have voiced a very tactful, well written and intelligent response. Don’t apologize!
- 2 years ago
- Wedding: December 2013
Just got mine yesterday – I was very brave and did not cry at all despite my debilitating fear of needles!
It’s administered free to high-risk groups here, one of which is pregnant women. My husband is a hospital doctor so he gets it at work. We have a toddler, who’s in a creche, and, you know, children are like small Petri dishes. I didn’t have it last time out, and should have. Flu risks in pregnancy are higher than usual and the potential for serious side effects is high. Besides that you’re more likely to get it given the natural immunosuppression of early pregnancy especially, and quite apart from all that, if you’re lucky enough to have a strong immune system that’s great, but not everyone is. Herd immunity is really important, especially for kids. So yeah, my position is you should get it if you can.
- 2 years ago
- Wedding: October 2017
Westwood : absolutely this!!! The vaccine is DEAD…it is impossible to catch the flu from a DEAD virus. If you got sick it’s a coincidence and nothing to do with the jab…you would have got sick anyway. Get the jab…it’s really important…especially when pregnant. X