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Will your family get a flu shot?
September 25, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Why?  Why not?

Flu Season Is Here: How to Protect Your Family From a Dangerously Bad Bug

by Ericka Sóuter

fluFall brings many things. That crisp, autumn breeze we were so desperate for during the steamy summer months. Those amazing yellow, red, and golden hues of changing leaves. But fall also means flu season, which can be deadly for some. Most doctors say the best way to avoid getting sick is a flu shot, but many people are still on the fence about the vaccination.

So The Stir sat down with Dr. Amisha Malhorta, a specialist in Pediatric Allergy, Infectious Disease, and Immunology at Rutgers' Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, to ask her about the best way to protect your family this season.

Who needs a flu shot? The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated. Still, records show only 1/2 of adults get vaccinated for the flu. That number is even smaller for children.

More from The StirHow to Tell the Difference Between a Cold and the Flu

A flu shot isn't the only vaccination option, right? There are two options. There is the usual shot you get in the arm that contains a dead flu virus. But there's also FluMist Quadrivalent, a nasal spray made with a weakened flu virus. Best part is, it's a needle-free option so your kid won't flip out about getting a shot.

Is one vaccination more effective? Efficacy of the FluMist Quadrivalent has been shown to be more effective than the shot in children.

Can't you get the flu from a flu vaccination? No. You don't get sick from it. During the winter, we have a lot of viruses circulating, not just influenza. If you get sick afterwards, it's probably just a bad cold and not the flu.

Does getting the vaccination guarantee my family won't get sick this season? There is no way to predict what will circulate. There are many strains of the flu and the shot and FluMist can protect you against four strains. But the CDC creates a vaccination of what we think is most likely to be out there. But even if there is a mismatch year when the vaccine doesn't match the strain, the vaccination could still give you some cross protection.

What's the worst thing that could happen if I get the flu? Every year, the CDC estimates 200,000 people get hospitalized with complications from the flu. When children get the flu, they often don't eat or drink, they get dehydrated, and they have low white blood cell count. When your white blood cells are low, you are more susceptible to other viruses or respiratory infections. Among the most serious complications are pneumonia or even death.

What's the best thing to do if I get the flu? Stay home so you don't spread it. Some doctor's offices have quick tests for the flu and there are anti-virals you can take, but they have to be given within the first day and most people don't realize they have the flu that early on.

When can we stop worrying about catching the flu? Flu season can last all the way until spring.

Does your family get the flu shot? Why or why not?

Replies

  • AMRios
    by AMRios
    September 25, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    My husband will because he is required by the Navy but the rest of my family will not... 

  • AnnieGoolaheey
    September 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    My husband will because he has to, the rest of us won't.

  • Wicked.Jester
    September 25, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    My children with asthma and their father absolutely will.  A bad bout of the flu will land them in the hospital for days or weeks.

  • angelachristine
    September 25, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    yes. i'm immunosuppressed so my dr tells me to always get it. the rest of the family will get it too.

  • aliciajw1985
    September 25, 2013 at 11:42 AM
    Yes I will and always have. My son has will as well. My husband probably will not (needle fear). But my hubby did get the flu last year my son and I did not due to the fact we were vaccinated.
  • notjstasocermom
    September 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    nope

  • kels1023
    September 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM
    Nope. I won't be injecting my family with unnecessary toxins. If people actually did research on the chemicals inside of some of these vaccines they probably wouldn't be doing it either.
  • NDADanceMom
    September 25, 2013 at 11:52 AM


    Quoting kels1023:

    Nope. I won't be injecting my family with unnecessary toxins. If people actually did research on the chemicals inside of some of these vaccines they probably wouldn't be doing it either.

    Or maybe those of us that do arent as stupid as you think. Its about weighing risks.  2 of my kids have auto immune disorder.  when they get a serious illness like the flu their immune system goes crazy and kills healthy organs.  

    I have researched what to do, you arent supermom because you dont have the same risks other families do.  My whole family has always received the flu shot and will always do so because it is the safest option for our family.  Maybe for your family it isnt.  You could simply say, "based on my research and my family's needs we do not get the flu shot." 

  • kels1023
    September 25, 2013 at 11:57 AM
    That clearly wasn't directed towards you, it was directed towards people who blindly pump their bodies full of chemicals because its the normal thing to do.


    Unless I post something with your name on it you look pretty ridiculous getting offended by it.


    Quoting NDADanceMom:


    Quoting kels1023:

    Nope. I won't be injecting my family with unnecessary toxins. If people actually did research on the chemicals inside of some of these vaccines they probably wouldn't be doing it either.

    Or maybe those of us that do arent as stupid as you think. Its about weighing risks.  2 of my kids have auto immune disorder.  when they get a serious illness like the flu their immune system goes crazy and kills healthy organs.  

    I have researched what to do, you arent supermom because you dont have the same risks other families do.  My whole family has always received the flu shot and will always do so because it is the safest option for our family.  Maybe for your family it isnt.  You could simply say, "based on my research and my family's needs we do not get the flu shot." 

  • NDADanceMom
    September 25, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    you should be more clear.  You said "people" I am a person.  Your post included me.  It wasnt that clear about who it was directed at.  "people with healthy kids"  "people like me" "the people I know" "people in general"  

    Is it so ridiculous I group myself with "people"??

    Quoting kels1023:

    That clearly wasn't directed towards you, it was directed towards people who blindly pump their bodies full of chemicals because its the normal thing to do.


    Unless I post something with your name on it you look pretty ridiculous getting offended by it.


    Quoting NDADanceMom:


    Quoting kels1023:

    Nope. I won't be injecting my family with unnecessary toxins. If people actually did research on the chemicals inside of some of these vaccines they probably wouldn't be doing it either.

    Or maybe those of us that do arent as stupid as you think. Its about weighing risks.  2 of my kids have auto immune disorder.  when they get a serious illness like the flu their immune system goes crazy and kills healthy organs.  

    I have researched what to do, you arent supermom because you dont have the same risks other families do.  My whole family has always received the flu shot and will always do so because it is the safest option for our family.  Maybe for your family it isnt.  You could simply say, "based on my research and my family's needs we do not get the flu shot." 


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