Sunday, October 19, 2008

Who Needs the Flu Vaccine?

Based on global surveillance of influenza strains, all 3 strains in the 2008 to 2009 influenza vaccines are different from the 2007 to 2008 vaccine strains. Let's hope that we haven't missed any significant ones this year.

In general anyone who would like to avoid the flu syndrome should get the flu shot. Certain groups of people are especially recommended to receive the vaccine yearly according the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

  • Children aged 6 months to 18 years.
  • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months old.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People who are 50 years or older.
  • People of any age who have other underlying medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or malignancies.
  • Nursing home residents and anyone who cares for them.
  • Health care workers.

People who should not get the vaccine are the following:

  • Anyone who is severely allergic to eggs.
  • Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to a previous flu shot.
  • Anyone who has had a recent febrile illness (should wait until the fever resolves before getting the vaccine.
  • Anyone with a history of Guillan Barre within 6 weeks of having received the flu shot.
  • Children less than 6 months old.

Biggest misconceptions about the flu shot is that it can give you the flu. The vaccine in the form of the shot does not give you the flu. Rarely, it can give you mild aches and possibly a low grade fever for 1-2 days. The nasal spray form of the flu vaccine, however, can give you a mild case of the flu. There are no supplements such as vitamin C or D which have been shown to prevent the flu. Other than the flu vaccine, the most effective means of prevention and spread of the flu is washing your hands and staying home when you are sick.

So what did you learn? Which of the following statements is correct?

A. Flu shot is not necessary if you take plenty of vitamin D supplement

B. The flu shot can give you mild flu-like symptoms

C. The flu shot is recommended for all children 6 months and older.

D. Pregnant women should avoid the flu shot.

E. If you miss the shot and get the flu, you should still show up at your job and work your buns off.

The correct answer is C.

36 comments:

Janet Ewald, RN, BSN said...

Dr. Razavi's,
My name is Janet Ewald, RN, BSN and I am the manager of the Ask My RN website Askmyrn.com. This site is for the assistance to home caregivers to set their homes up safely for their loved ones. I found your article excellant and would like your permission to place it intact to my Ask My RN newsletter. I will give you full credit. I just don't want to copy and paste it without your permission. Please write me back at askmyrn@gmail.com. My newsletter comes out the first of each month, so that would put you in November's issue. Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.
Jan, RN

Poca Tinta said...

very interesting.

so I have in mind, a good blog

greetings

davood mohammadi said...

hi .. you are gold sign of iranian ...

Dowell Taggart Team said...

I read your blog frequently. I have found your medical information very useful. I'm going to e-mail your post to a couple friends who have some misconceptions about the flu shot.

Dr. Taraneh Razavi said...

Thank you very much. I'm glad the information has been helpful to you.

Dan said...

Dr. Razavi, don't you think that more people taking the flu vaccine just increases the speed at which the flu virus mutates?

It seems like the flu has been creating new variants based on how fast we are able to create vaccines. As a responsible human isn't our best option to opt-out of the flu shot and encourage a slower viral evolution?

PS. Feel free to thank me for not taking a flu shot and not contributing to the viral arms race.

yonas said...

farsi bekhon (persian )

salam baba kar dorost damet garm

guardian said...

Useful information about flu, madam razavi

Dave said...

Saw your blog from google gadgets. I saw your post on the flu and thought I'd throw this your way. Healthy people don't worry about the flu. If you think you need a flu shot, I suggest to patients that they work on their overall health, eating better, exercising, etc. The last 4 years the flu shot has been a statistical failure. For the healthy the flu is a slight inconvenience. If you get that sick you have more to worry about than the flu.

azali said...

It is nice information, thanks.

Olzen said...

"The most effective means of prevention and spread of the flu is washing your hands and staying home when you are sick." I am now undergoing flu. Already 3 days. I hate flu. Thanks for your info. Hope that I can stay at home when I am sick as I need to go out to do other important duty.

corey frisbee said...

I dont know which one I had but it was bad!!

Anonymous said...

i've had the flu for 2 plus days now, i'm a medical student in college and i have to go to class tomorrow, how much longer till i am free of this and contagion.

Dr. Taraneh Razavi said...

In general you are contagious as long as you have a fever.

juan said...

This post is very useful and informative especially about the flu shot..All the misconception will be clear...

Medical Jobs said...

Wow! Thank you! Honestly, I love the internet for having writers like yourself that sit down and take time to educate, and mentor us into preparing us through the right way to succeed in life. Whether you think that this helps or not, I just want you to know that it most definitely makes a huge impact and a difference for someone like myself. I'm taking my time to write this because I don't want you to go feeling un-noticed! You have most definitely been recognized and you should know that this has surely helped me along my way! Thank you once again, really..
Have a great day!

matt said...

Thanks for useful information here.I'm currently doing some research on pig flu..May Dr give some articles about it.

ali said...

hi MrsRazavi's or Dr. Razavi's
My name is ali.I com from iran(yazd).I cant speak english very vel.can you speak persian?

concerned nutritionist said...

Great post! I guess some of the reasons why people are hesitant about getting a flu shot are the misconceptions about it. For instance, the belief that Vit C and D can prevent it totally even though there is no concrete evidence to support it.
Thanks for sharing this. It cleared a lot of things up!

Bang Del said...

This information is very helpful Dr. Razavi. Very feasible for me as a reference. Thanks .. Oops .. Btw, your blog is very good and clean. I really like it:)

Sameer said...

Very very useful medical information. Thanks:-)

Elisa said...

Thank you for the interesting article! It was very helpful.

cari duit said...

Hi doc,
Great info. I found this blog very informative. I learned a lot of new things here!

Tek Nos said...

Well for me it just gets better with time. No need for vaccine. But for those who have it consistent then this sure is some very valuable info. Thx doc.

Web Designer said...

Thanks Dr. You are doing a good job. There is a lot of mixed information about Flu which confuses a common man. Thanks for giving short and straight information.

inday said...

Great information. Thank you so much Dr. Razavi... It's nice to know someone really knowledgeable on things like this is giving us relevant information for free. :) thanks a lot!

canvas pictures said...

Ironically, my local doctors surgery advised me to go to Accident and Emergency if my flu symptoms persisted! All because it was 4.30pm on a Friday afternoon when I made the phone call and I got the distinct impression the doctor in question had 'better things to do'......

Ray said...

Good explanation Dr Razavi on this Flu Vaccine especially as this is also related to the current pendemic inluenza A H1N1 where most gov hospital do not administered the vacsin easily to people unless they are so sick.

Uyin said...

One of my friend's son had an allergic to eggs. He even cannot touch the eggs. How should they do.

cassandra said...

Hi,
I am the editor with fluwikie.com. I really liked your site and

I am interested in building a relationship with your site. We want to

spread public awareness. I hope you can help me out. Your site is a

very useful resource.

Please email me back with your URL in subject line to take a step

ahead and to avoid spam.

Thank you,
Cassandra
editor.fluwikie@gmail.com

Annie said...

Hi,

My name is Annie Smith and I am the assistant editor of Medicalschool.org. I am contacting you today in hopes of developing a relationship with your website; we have seen your site and think your content is great. Medicalschool.org is a purely informational site dedicated to the general Public and Medical Professionals.

I hope you show some interest in building relationship, please contact me at annie.medicalschool.org@gmail.com.

sharif said...

دکتر سلام

hesam said...

Hi Dr.Razavi
I read your post few months ago and advised it to some of my friends and patients. thanks for your post

ايراني said...

hi doc,
سلام دکتر رضوي . خدا قوت

Margaret Kowalski said...

Finally, a blog that isn't trying to sell me something. In my opinion, when there’s not much influenze vaccine to go around, people that are in high-risk groups require it more than people not in these groups. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may sometimes suggest that people in these groups get it first when provisions for flu shots are inadequate. Pick up the telephone and contact your medical expert or neighborhood public health unit concerning vaccine accessibility in the region surrounding your home or workplace.

Amy Sanders said...

Thank you very much for the clear and easy to understand advice on who needs the flu vaccine. With all the hype, it's hard to know what is best to do when it comes to taking the flu vaccine.