I think I'm leaning towards getting the shot. I have a doctor apt. today and I'll talk to him about it again, but I think I'll get it some time in October.
post #61 of 64
9/19/08 at 10:54am
Not sure how much you know about virology, but this may be helpful:
When the body contracts a virus (live or dead), the immune system creates antibodies to fight off the virus. This is exactly what vaccines are meant to do, and dead viruses cause weaker reactions in most people. What is happening with your husband is probably that he has a hyper immune response to the virus in the vaccine. Now, when doctors run blood/saliva tests, what is being tested for is not presence of the virus, but presence of the antibodies the immune system created to fight the virus. So while it may certainly look like he has a case of the flu (and his immune system certainly thinks so), it's statistically improbable that he's infected with anything more than dead virus.
There's also that remote possibility that he could have contracted the flu before the vaccine became effective, but since you say that it's happened 10 straight years, it's more likely that his immune system is just over-reacting.
A very large number of viruses and bacterial infections come with fevers in tow, so it would be erroneous to claim that a fever equates to the flu, it's simply too universal of a symptom.
To boil it all down, dead-virus vaccine reactions are a lot like allergies: the body simply over-reacts and it's not uncommon.
I also want to point out the flu vaccine does not protect against all strains of the flu. Its certainly is possible to get the flu and still be vaccinated. Even in years where the strains are well matched the effective rate is about 80%. The more frail you are the less likely it will be effective too.
Also flumist is not approved for use in pg women. So if you are looking for preservative free you have to get the single dose vials.