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#1 of 32 Old 10-09-2010, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I usually don't go for flu vaccines, I haven't had one since I was a kid. But since I am going to a very large university which I figure is kind of akin to a CDC petri dish, and because a few years ago I got terribly sick from the flu and ended up hospitalized, I thought I would go ahead and get one this year.

I am soooo regretting it right now... I got the shot Thursday, late afternoon, and the first thing I noticed was that my arm where I got the injection was terribly sore, like, I can't reach above my head to get a glass out of the cupboard. That night I had a terrible time sleeping and couldn't lay on that arm at all, since I usually alternate sides all night this kept waking me up. Friday all my muscles were aching terribly all day, couldn't get comfortable in any position, my usual back pain, which had been doing a lot better, was excruciating. Last night I spent tossing and turning and feeling slightly feverish. I woke up feeling a lot better, but after being up and about for a couple of hours my muscles feel weak and kind of shaky and I just generally feel crappy.

Anybody else had a bad reaction from the inactivated flu vaccine?

Mama to 3 awesome girls: DD1 born 2001, DD2 born 2002, DD3 born March 2011

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#2 of 32 Old 10-09-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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Did you get the thimerosol-free dose?

I know many ppl who have gotten sick after the flu vax. I don't have any personal experience as I haven't/wouldn't get it.

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#3 of 32 Old 10-09-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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I just got the flu vaccine last week. My arm was a little sore, I guess. I felt tired the next day, but I don't know if it was related as I was feeling tired for a couple days before the shot. (Something I felt was due to a growth spurt on the baby's part.)

My husband and I had scary bouts with the flu a couple years ago. I've never gotten the vaccine before, but I feel good about getting it while I'm pregnant and my immune system is depressed. I'm also substitute teaching right now, so I'll be exposed to lots of different "petri dishes" instead of just the one I usually am when teaching in my own classroom.

Have your symptoms cleared up? My doctor told me that I might feel bad for a day or two, but that it should end after that. I hope you feel better!
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#4 of 32 Old 10-09-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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Just for information for anyone thinking about getting it, the package insert on the flu shot says it has NOT been tested on pregnant women.

Sorry you are having a reaction

Alicia, wife to an loving and faithful DH, and mama to three fantastic though nutty children (cs, then an HBAC, then a VBAC!!).
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#5 of 32 Old 10-09-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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The only time I've ever gotten it was when I was pregnant with DD in '03. I'll never get it again, it was so useless. I had a horrible bout of flu in Dec. of that year.

I don't know that it's dangerous to the baby (but they change it every year so they'd never know to tell you), but I certainly don't think it keeps you from getting the flu.

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#6 of 32 Old 10-09-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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My arm always hurts after. I haven't had mine yet - both my kids were fall babies, so I got it after they were born.

I'm not looking forward to it this year, but I'll probably get it in the next couple weeks.
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#7 of 32 Old 10-10-2010, 01:33 AM
 
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I got one on Monday although I usually don't (mostly because I generally never get to the dr). I travel for work though and am in airports more than I like. No reaction at for me...not even a sore arm. I received the fully-killed, thimerosol-free shot.

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#8 of 32 Old 10-10-2010, 09:36 AM
 
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I got my first flu shot ever last year (sort of spur of the moment, I was at the ped with DS and got it there) and had a really bad reaction (actually, both of us did). Beyond the soreness & achiness, I was having tremors in my hands for 3-4 days. When I called the ask about it, they told me to call back if it hadn't gone away in a week. Ugh.

So, yeah, no more flu shots for us.

I hope you feel better soon.

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#9 of 32 Old 10-10-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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I got one last week, and my arm was sore at the injection site. That's really normal for most injections, though.

You can't get the flu from an inactivated vaccine, but there are lots of other illnesses that feel like the flu or that are called the flu. You could have something like that.

There have been studies of the flu vaccine on pregnant women, but they were done in 1973 and 1981, so that's quite a long time ago. Here's an article that mentions them: http://www.pamf.org/flu/preg.html

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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#10 of 32 Old 10-10-2010, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know I didn't get the flu from the vaccine, nor do I feel like I am actually "sick" with something. I looked up the side effects from the inactivated vaccine and it's exactly what I got: soreness at the injection point, aches, and fever.

DH talked to his sister yesterday, she told him that she got the flu shot when she was pregnant, and that she felt awful, too. Terrible aches, to the point she was unable to get up.

I know it's still better than getting the flu, but I am REALLY going to be pissed if I still get the flu after this... when I was a kid I got the flu shot every year (I had pretty bad asthma) and still always got the flu, but I had a lousy immune system back then. Still not great, but way better than it was.

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#11 of 32 Old 10-10-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by katroshka View Post
I looked up the side effects from the inactivated vaccine and it's exactly what I got: soreness at the injection point, aches, and fever.

DH talked to his sister yesterday, she told him that she got the flu shot when she was pregnant, and that she felt awful, too. Terrible aches, to the point she was unable to get up.

I know it's still better than getting the flu,
I'm sorry, but.... how exactly is that better than getting the flu? I guess I just don't understand the logic of injecting yourself with chemicals that have no place being in the human body AND feeling like crap after you do it... all to avoid feeling like crap from the flu.

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#12 of 32 Old 10-10-2010, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Changingseasons: Well, as I mentioned before, I have been hospitalized from the flu before, and very nearly died. I was doing everything I could to take care of myself, and am a health conscious person in general, but one year I got the flu so badly that I couldn't hold anything down, even water, tea, or gatorade, for 2 days. I got terribly dehydrated, and couldn't get up or walk at all. When I went to the hospital I needed 4.5 liters of IV fluid, and discovered I had contracted pneumonia. My blood pressure was low to the point that I could barely maintain consciousness. The doctors told me that if I had stayed home another couple of hours I could have died. It took several weeks to fully recover, and when all was said and done I had a $3000 hospital bill, which (as I was extremely poor at the time) took me almost 2 years to pay off.

Even considering more typical bouts of the flu, spending 5+ days being violently ill sure is a hell of a lot worse than being achy for 2.5 days, and a mild fever for a few hours.

Getting the flu while pregnant can be very serious, and I have known a couple of healthy, pregnant women hospitalized for it. Obviously getting seriously dehydrated can endanger your baby.

So yeah, getting the vaccine this time really sucked, and I will definitely think twice about getting it again, but the flu can be very dangerous and getting the vaccine is something each person needs to decide for themselves whether they want to do, and it is not a trivial thing.

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#13 of 32 Old 10-10-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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I'm sorry, but.... how exactly is that better than getting the flu? I guess I just don't understand the logic of injecting yourself with chemicals that have no place being in the human body AND feeling like crap after you do it... all to avoid feeling like crap from the flu.
What katroshka said, plus babies born during flu pandemics (like 1918-1919) have larger health risks later in life--a 20% higher rate of heart attacks than people who were born in the year before and after, for instance. They are also shorter than other cohorts of people. Linky: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/SwineFl...ory?id=8722310 Correlation is not causation, I know, but I have been giving this information a lot of thought.

While mother and baby might be "just fine" immediately after recovering from a bout of the flu, there are consequences years down the road. There is a Canadian study being done right now to see if vaccination of mothers against the flu prevents those health consequences.

That's all besides the risks that come from a depressed immune system in pregnancy. The number of pregnant women who die of the flu is small, but they do have a tendency to become sicker than non-pregnant women.

We all do what we think is prudent to protect ourselves and our children. For some, that includes a flu shot (and it's a choice I made, too).

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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#14 of 32 Old 10-10-2010, 10:39 PM
 
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Getting the flu while pregnant can be very serious, and I have known a couple of healthy, pregnant women hospitalized for it. Obviously getting seriously dehydrated can endanger your baby.
So can injecting yourself with formaldehyde. You just won't see the immediate effects from that, where you might from dehydration.

I understand in your case why it made you feel better to get it, I do. I just think that the risks of being THAT sick from the flu are SOOOOO rare, that for me personally, it's not worth the risk of putting those toxins into my body and my growing baby.

During my last pregnancy, I was down twice for a week+ with sinus infections, and I took antibiotics both times. Even those had consequences for my DD, as it altered my natural gut balance and immune system, so she started her life with a less than ideal immune system. Just imagine how much HARDER your immune system has to work to clear all those toxic chemicals out of your body while pregnant if you get a vaccine.

And I think that the comment about babies getting the flu having more problems later in life is pretty ridiculous... just my opinion. I think those problems probably had a lot more to do with lack of proper nutrition, formula feeding increasing in popularity, etc. Probably had a lot to do with why everyone was catching the flu as well.


And I want to be clear that I'm not judging or trying to make anyone feel guilty for the choices that they've already made... this is meant more for pregnant mamas reading this thread and trying to make the decision for themselves, that it's really important to look at the risks on BOTH sides.

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#15 of 32 Old 10-10-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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For those of you worried about the flu, do you all make sure to take a good quality appropriately dosed vitamin D supplement? I think the adult dosage is now 5000 iu's or maybe more during the flu season. That is suppose to significantly reduce your chances or the severity of the flu. I haven't had a flu shot in about 10 years and have only had the flu once in those 10 years which I think was H1N1. I was in bed sick for a couple of days with a cough and really fatigued for the rest of the week. I had my vitamin D levels tested and they were really low. So I am guessing that is why I got it. I wasn't paying enough attention at the time to make sure to get enough D.
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#16 of 32 Old 10-11-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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I hope you feel better soon. The one time in my life I got influenza (diagnosed with tests and everything), I spent Christmas in the hospital with a very high fever and dehydration. That was also shortly after the only time in my life I ever let someone talk me into getting a flu shot. I don't think that's a coincidence, no matter what the vaccine vendors say. I also don't understand how spending a week with mysterious "flu-like symptoms" after getting the shot is somehow preferable to possibly--but not definitely or even likely--getting the flu.

I'm sorry you're feeling so crummy after receiving that vaccine. For what it's worth, I know LOTS of people who've gotten sick after flu shots. Get plenty of rest and dose up on Vitamin D3 and sodium ascorbate (a buffered, highly absorbable form of Vitamin C) as you recover.

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#17 of 32 Old 10-11-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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Changingseasons: Well, as I mentioned before, I have been hospitalized from the flu before, and very nearly died. I was doing everything I could to take care of myself, and am a health conscious person in general, but one year I got the flu so badly that I couldn't hold anything down, even water, tea, or gatorade, for 2 days. I got terribly dehydrated, and couldn't get up or walk at all. When I went to the hospital I needed 4.5 liters of IV fluid, and discovered I had contracted pneumonia. My blood pressure was low to the point that I could barely maintain consciousness. The doctors told me that if I had stayed home another couple of hours I could have died. It took several weeks to fully recover, and when all was said and done I had a $3000 hospital bill, which (as I was extremely poor at the time) took me almost 2 years to pay off.
First of all, that sounds like a HORRIBLE experience and I'm so glad that you fully recovered.

My question is are you sure you had the flu the first time? As in, a flu culture came back positive? I ask because many things get called the flu that aren't. People commonly refer to a major stomach upset (vomiting etc) as the Stomach Flu. I'm not being patronizing, I've just noticed that many times doctors name an illness without actually culturing for it. For example, Hib -- if you get meningitis, doctors will tell you it's because you didn't vax, without actually finding out which serotype caused the illness. Since there are so many strains of HI, it's likely the cause was not the serotype the vax contains.

But I digress...despite the issues with the additives, preservatives, efficacy, etc... one major problem I have with the flu vax is that it is created from the strains that are most common the year to its release. So for example, this year's vax is created from strains gathered this past January. The strains aren't necessarily gathered locally; they are gathered from multiple countries.

Generally there are 3 strains in the vax. (I'm not sure if there are 3 or 4 this year, since the current flu vax includes Swine Flu.) Last year, none of the strains in the vax were circulating by the time it was released. Of course this wasn't publicized. So essentially, getting the flu vax last year would not have protected you.

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#18 of 32 Old 10-11-2010, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Changingseasons- yes, I had influenza, they tested me for it in the hospital.

I don't see why it would be ridiculous that there could be health implications later in life from a mother being infected with flu while pregnant... German measles causes deafness and a host of other problems, chickenpox can cause brain damage, physical deformities and other problems. There's absolutely no reason that influenza couldn't cause heart damage, or epigenetic changes that result in shortened lifespan.

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#19 of 32 Old 10-12-2010, 01:06 AM
 
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I always find it odd that we are supposed to have a lowered immune system while pregnant. Is there data on that? Because I have always been at my healthiest when pregnant. Not sure why. I usually get at least a minor cold every 2-3 months. But I didn't get a single cold while pregnant. It's not because I am taking extra vitamins or supplements because I never took prenatal just folic acid.

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#20 of 32 Old 10-12-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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(I'm not sure if there are 3 or 4 this year, since the current flu vax includes Swine Flu.)
The targets are A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2), and B/Brisbane 60/2008 for the U.S. seasonal flu vaccine this year, so three.
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#21 of 32 Old 10-12-2010, 02:12 AM
 
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That's because the newest studies suggest the culprit may not be infections such as the flu per se, but pregnant mothers' immune reactions to such infections. Current guidelines recommend that pregnant women get a flu shot -- and the point of the flu vaccine is to set off an immune reaction. If the risk for schizophrenia is increased as a result of maternal antibodies, might protecting mom and baby from the flu raise the risk the child could get schizophrenia years down the road?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...112301327.html

Bolding mine.

I am not saying that the flu vaccine causes schizophrenia in the fetus later in its life.

I do think it is interesting that it's the immune response that is being studied. And the effect of an immune response on the development of the fetus.

Something that the vaccine or the wild virus elicits.

It is my understanding that pregnant women can be at a higher risk for complication from the flu. But not all pregnant women get the flu, and hence not all pregnant women's immune systems are provoked by wild influenza. Getting a flu vaccine pretty much ensures an immune response.

This is just to say that we don't know very much about the immune system and the interplay between the mothers immune system and the development of the fetus.

OP, I hope you are feeling better. It sounds like you had a horrid experience with the flu.

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#22 of 32 Old 10-12-2010, 04:28 AM
 
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For any pregnant women reading, Pregnant and flu shots is from the archives and goes into more details on why some MDC users have chosen to get the shot and why others have chosen not to.

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#23 of 32 Old 10-12-2010, 10:14 AM
 
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I had the thimerosal-free version last week. The nurse warned me the arm was likely to be sore, but I felt fine otherwise and the soreness only lasted a day or two. It was, however, the most sore I've ever been from a flu shot.
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#24 of 32 Old 10-12-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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The targets are A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2), and B/Brisbane 60/2008 for the U.S. seasonal flu vaccine this year, so three.
Thanks, that's good to know. Does anyone know if any of those are still in circulation?

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#25 of 32 Old 10-13-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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I totally understand getting the shot. I have a few times and then regretted it though, and considering I am even having trouble taking dd in for her vaccines, I wouldn't do it now. But I do know that get the flu shot does not prevent you from getting those strains, just reduces the severity, and colds are sooo common and there are soo many strains that I think that it is almost pointless to get it. I do know a couple of people who have had reactions right after the flu shot. One time I was there and a friend was really sick the night she got it, she even threw up once I think.

However, this is a very hard thing to decide and I think whatever anyone thinks is best, is best for us. Good luck! I hope you feel better already.

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#26 of 32 Old 11-17-2010, 07:39 AM
 
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I had sore arm for a bit after flu shot this year, but I also lift weights and I think that was what did me in for the soreness since I neglected to take the day off. no other issues other than that brief discomfort. hope you are feeling better soon! have you tried compresses? I can't think of anything to help with the sleep situation...maybe elevating your head/upper body so that you are not lying on that section of your arm when you roll over? I did this for a shoulder injury once and it worked out pretty well.


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#27 of 32 Old 11-17-2010, 07:43 AM
 
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Quote:
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The targets are A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2), and B/Brisbane 60/2008 for the U.S. seasonal flu vaccine this year, so three.
Thanks, that's good to know. Does anyone know if any of those are still in circulation?


Yes, that is why they chose them. this document has all the reasoning but I can't find a free copy, you can only read it with access:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20004635

 

though maybe the WHO site has more information.

 

ETA: looks like you can also get info on those strains on wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_A_virus_subtype_H3N2#2010-2011_flu_season


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#28 of 32 Old 11-17-2010, 08:46 AM
 
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The low response to flu shots could be due to the myths surrounding them as some people believe that they are infective, have severe side effects or contains harmful chemicals. The fact that cold and flu have similar symptoms also confuses some people as they usually mistake a severe attack of flu as a mild cold. This ignorance can lead to aggravation of symptoms and in some cases may also lead to death.More information here http://www.mynetpharma.com/flu-shot-myths-and-reality.html



Yeah, you're right Floyd.  There are no harmful chemicals in flu shots.  eyesroll.gif  


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#29 of 32 Old 11-17-2010, 10:04 AM
 
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well, formeldahyde, for example since you used that one, is naturally found and utilized in the human body. It is found also in many fruits and vegetables. the amount of formeldahyde in the flu vaccine, for example, is 50x less than what is found in an average pear. It is much much less than is found at all times in human blood. We actually need it, believe it or not.

 

Dose makes the toxin. Even water can be "toxic" or "harmful."


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#30 of 32 Old 11-17-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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You're absolutely right about dose making things toxic.  Things like mercury and aluminum are found in nature as well, but we certainly don't want to shoot a large quantity of them directly into our veins.  But I'm pretty positive that there are synthetic chemicals in the vaccines too- things that AREN'T found in nature.


Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
geek.gif I blog about our life with food allergies and eosinophilic disorders.
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