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#1 of 19 Old 10-12-2012, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son's doctor has recommended a flu shot for him this year. He's ten, and never had one. He has had some possible episodes of recurrent myositis and she says flu is a common cause of that. Can anybody help me with this decision? Thanks!

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#2 of 19 Old 10-13-2012, 06:21 AM
 
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My quick take on it:

 

I googled myositis and it seems to be  auto-immune related.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/myositis.html

 

As vaccines are a trigger for autoimmune disorders, I would stay away from it.

 

I know the flu can also be a trigger for auto-immune disorders but consider the following:

 

Most people do not get the flu each year.  CDC says 5-20% get the flu each year, but I had heard lower numbers as well.  most people who think they have the flu, when tested, turn out to simply have a very bad cold.

 

The flu shot has to be done yearly.  You would be risking an auto-immune reaction (vaccines trigger auto-immune reactions) yearly over a disease your son is unlikely to get.  

 

The flu shot really ranges in usefullness.  It is essentially a "best guess" and sometimes the strain in the flu shot does not match what is going around.  Even when it does match, it is not a highly effective vaccine.  Its effectiveness changes from demographic to demographic.  It is not particularly effective in very young children, elderly and I think I read those who are sickly  (You might want to check it out).  I would expect decent effectiveness for a 10 year old boy.  Fwiw, I have read the flu shot is somewhere between 59-90 effective.  

 

I guess it comes down to yearly risking of the flu (there are ways to lower the chances of getting the flu) versus yearly risking of the flu shot.  What is more likely to give your son an episode of myositis?

 

You could ask Dr. Sears (sel/del) doctor over on the ask an expert forum what his thoughts are.  I would be tempted to get a second opinion from a non-vax friendly doc.

 

This thread may be of interest to you as well:

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1359089/research-article-self-organized-criticality-theory-of-autoimmunity.

 

edited to change wording:  disorder to related


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#3 of 19 Old 10-13-2012, 07:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

My quick take on it:

I googled myositis and it seems to be an auto-immune disorder.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/myositis.html

As vaccines are a trigger for autoimmune disorders, I would stay away from it.

I know the flu can also be a trigger for auto-immune disorders but consider the following:

Most people do not get the flu each year.  CDC says 5-20% get the flu each year, but I had heard lower numbers as well.  most people who think they have the flu, when tested, turn out to simply have a very bad cold.

The flu shot has to be done yearly.  You would be risking an auto-immune reaction (vaccines trigger auto-immune reactions) yearly over a disease your son is unlikely to get.  

The flu shot really ranges in usefullness.  It is essentially a "best guess" and sometimes the strain in the flu shot does not match what is going around.  Even when it does match, it is not a highly effective vaccine.  Its effectiveness changes from demographic to demographic.  It is not particularly effective in very young children, elderly and I think I read those who are sickly  (You might want to check it out).  I would expect decent effectiveness for a 10 year old boy.  Fwiw, I have read the flu shot is somewhere between 59-90 effective.  

I guess it comes down to yearly risking of the flu (there are ways to lower the chances of getting the flu) versus yearly risking of the flu shot.  What is more likely to give your son an episode of myositis?

You could ask Dr. Sears (sel/del) doctor over on the ask an expert forum what his thoughts are.  I would be tempted to get a second opinion from a non-vax friendly doc.

This thread may be of interest to you as well:
http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1359089/research-article-self-organized-criticality-theory-of-autoimmunity

Kathy-

I've got to admit, I'm kind of blown away by your response. Are you really giving the op medical advice based on Google, by saying "I would stay away from it (the flu vax)"?

If only the practice of medicine were as easy as a google search!

FYI- you can't say "myosotis is an autoimmune disease." Well, I guess you could say it, but you would be wrong. Viral myosotis is not autoimmune- it is caused by direct invasion of the muscle tissue by the virus and a resultant cytokines release. However, the differential diagnosis is huge. It includes metabolic myopathies, drug-induced myopathies, electrolyte abnormalities, thyroid disorders, malignancy, and muscular dystrophy, to name a few.

OP- if your child has had a complete workup for recurrent myosotis and it is confirmed that it is a benign acute childhood myosotis, then flu vaccination is recommended. If he has not had a complete workup, I would request further testing or a specialty referral.
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#4 of 19 Old 10-13-2012, 09:00 AM
 
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Why does the American Autoimmune Diseases Association have Myositis listed as an autoimmune disease? Are they making it up?

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#5 of 19 Old 10-13-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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Kathy-
I've got to admit, I'm kind of blown away by your response. Are you really giving the op medical advice based on Google, by saying "I would stay away from it (the flu vax)"?
If only the practice of medicine were as easy as a google search!

The OP should not blindly trust any medical advice given anonymously on the internet. This is internet rule #1. Because its on the internet its an opinion, not medical advice. Kathy said where she got her information from (so the OP knows she is not an expert on the disorder/possible complications) and urged the OP to do research on her own- including talking to Dr. Sears. Seems perfectly suited for a community message board for me. No need for snark

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#6 of 19 Old 10-13-2012, 09:17 AM
 
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It's Ok that you are blown away.

 

I reread my response, I did not tell her what to do  - I simply laid out what I would do and my concerns/things to consider.  I also suggested seeking a second opinion from a more sel/delayed doctor .  I am assuming the OP is a big girl and is going to research the matter much further, and is simply collecting opinion at this moment.  Hence why she asked.  I also hope someone can come along and give her more info on the flumist/flu shot thing.

 

I changed the word "disorder" to "related."

 

A few sites seemed to link myostits to auto-immune issues - are they wrong?

 

If ( something for her to figure out) her sons myositis is linked to autoimmune issues, I would expect she would want to know that some people believe vaccines can trigger an autoimmune response.  I certainly would.


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#7 of 19 Old 10-13-2012, 09:21 AM
 
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I'm not saying it can't be an autoimmune, I'm saying that it is not always, or even usually, autoimmune. And to tell the OP that it is an autoimmune disease and he should not get the flu shot for that reason is irresponsible.

It's like saying that pericarditis is an autoimmune disease. It can be, but not always.
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#8 of 19 Old 10-13-2012, 09:28 AM
 
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I'm not saying it can't be an autoimmune, I'm saying that it is not always, or even usually, autoimmune. And to tell the OP that it is an autoimmune disease and he should not get the flu shot for that reason is irresponsible.
It's like saying that pericarditis is an autoimmune disease. It can be, but not always.

How is it irresponsible? Do you believe the OP will blindly follow one person's advice on the internet? Most people can think and reason on their own. 


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#9 of 19 Old 10-13-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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Op, sorry this is getting so OT greensad.gif

 

I don't really have any advice for you, I don't like the idea of the flu shot, but I also don't know anything about the disorder. I hope someone who has BTDT comes along and responds!


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#10 of 19 Old 10-13-2012, 09:31 AM
 
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How is it irresponsible? Do you believe the OP will blindly follow one person's advice on the internet? Most people can think and reason on their own. 
Who knows? I know nothing about the OP.


I've been on MDC since 2008. I've seen some pretty spectactularly bad advice get given out and acted on.

Some of that advice has led to infant death.

So yeah. I think it's irresponsible.
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#11 of 19 Old 10-13-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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And routine vaccines have led to infant death as well.
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#12 of 19 Old 10-13-2012, 10:58 AM
 
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And routine vaccines have led to infant death as well.


From advice given on MDC?
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#13 of 19 Old 10-13-2012, 06:31 PM
 
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From advice given on MDC?

This is a silly question. You already know the answer. Lets get back to the OP......

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#14 of 19 Old 10-14-2012, 12:33 AM
 
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To the OP I would be thing about the worst case scenario if he gets flu and it leads to myosotis (which I know nothing about). Its hard to calculate the odds of him catching flu of course.

My assessment of the research is that serious complications from flu shots are extremely rare, so the most likely outcome of getting ths shot will be that it's fine. Has your son ever had problems with vaccines before? That could be the best indicator of increased likelihood of a problem this time.

Also, as others point out the flu shot has variable efficacy (from year to year). And at this point it's impossible to know how much it will help prevent you son getting flu in this flu season. But it's the best preventative you have right now.

A Cohcrane collaboration review suggested flumist had the best efficacy for children (in a review of research from previous seasons). I've heard some experts are declining shots in favor of flumist for their children for this reason.

Anyway those are my thoughts on your question.

I hope your doctor allows you to have a extended conversation about your concerns with him/her. Best of luck in the decision.

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#15 of 19 Old 10-14-2012, 05:53 AM
 
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My assessment of the research is that serious complications from flu shots are extremely rare, so the most likely outcome of getting ths shot will be that it's fine.

Serious complications from the flu are extremely rare, so the most likely outcome of NOT getting the shot will be that it's fine.

http://www.nvic.org/NVIC-Vaccine-News/October-2012/Influenza-Deaths--The-Hype-vs--The-Evidence.aspx

Even healthy adults may have serious, life threatening reactions to the flu shot: http://www.kentlaw.iit.edu/news/2012/settlement-flu-vaccine-lawsuit

http://www.kh-law.net/blog/2012/04/flu-vaccine-injury-claim/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=flu-vaccine-injury-claim

http://vaccineliberationarmy.com/flu-shot-caused-serious-injury-ms-mura-age-21-wins-compensation-may-2012/

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A Cohcrane collaboration review suggested flumist had the best efficacy for children (in a review of research from previous seasons).

Their conclusion was actually this:
"The results of this review seem to discourage the utilisation of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine public health measure. As healthy adults have a low risk of complications due to respiratory disease, the use of the vaccine may be only advised as an individual protection measure against symptoms in specific cases."

Here is a good discussion of their review: http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2012-10-05/no-value-in-any-influenza-vaccine-cochrane-collaboration-study/
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#16 of 19 Old 10-14-2012, 08:41 AM
 
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OP, this is a tough call that only you can make.  While I cannot find any independent research specific to influenza vaccination and myositis, the Cochrane Collaboration has yet to find such a practice effective for a wide variety of both low-risk and high-risk populations, including the elderly, healthy adults, healthy children under 2, and children with such risk factors as asthma.  I recommend going to cochrane.org and entering "influenza vaccination" into the search bar. 

 

Here are a couple of fascinating investigative reports on influenza vaccination in general and how there is not enough science supporting their alleged effectiveness:

 

http://focusonline.ca/?q=node%2F447

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/11/does-the-vaccine-matter/307723/

 

I can also understand the temptation to just go for it and pray that the vaccine offers some protection for your child.  If you take this route, as a PP said, the FluMist is proven to be more effective.

 

Good luck with your decision!


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#17 of 19 Old 10-14-2012, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, first off, thanks to everyone who has offered some help. I haven't been able to find any research that I trusted, so I thought coming here might be helpful. My son has had some strange leg issues, see this http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1361504/does-anybody-have-experience-with-this-please-help-high-ck . He is being followed by a neuromuscular dr now, and she is the one who has recommended the flu shot ( and I wonder if that then means we all should get it, if he does). I found this article, after LOTS of searching , and sent it to her. http://www.cmaj.ca/content/181/10/711.full  She is thinking that is possibly what's going on, and based on that has recommended the flu shot ( but believes it is most likely a heat-related muscle enzyme problem- having only seen the recurrent viral myositis happen twice in patients), but it is EXACTLY what has happened with him. So, I'm now looking into the flu shot- still not sure that he should have it.

  Since I have never taken or had him take any type of flu shot, I am just looking for some info here about it. I understand every kid and situation is different and am vigilant about finding out everything I can for my son. I appreciate everyone trying to help, and that means helping me and also helping each other/ making sure that we are all here with good intentions- that's how I took it anyway. I can also see though that if a person isn't carefully considering info shared here, or anyplace else , that could be potentially troubling. Thank you!

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#18 of 19 Old 10-14-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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I'm so glad to hear that you are being followed by a neuromuscular specialist. Good luck making your decision.
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#19 of 19 Old 10-15-2012, 02:16 AM
 
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Their conclusion was actually this:
"The results of this review seem to discourage the utilisation of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine public health measure. As healthy adults have a low risk of complications due to respiratory disease, the use of the vaccine may be only advised as an individual protection measure against symptoms in specific cases."
Here is a good discussion of their review: http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2012-10-05/no-value-in-any-influenza-vaccine-cochrane-collaboration-study/

 

That's not the one I meant actually. That's about adults. They have another about the use of flu vaccinations in healthy children (so this may not apply to the OP child anyway since they have a pre-exisiting condition - I'm not a medical professional so I don't want to comment on that). But the one about healthy children is here:

 

http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD004879/vaccines-for-preventing-influenza-in-healthy-children

 

And they conclude that, in children under 2 the vaccinations worked no better than placebos, and also:

 

 

Quote:
in children aged from two years, nasal spray vaccines made from weakened influenza viruses were better at preventing illness caused by the influenza virus than injected vaccines made from the killed virus.

 

Which was why I brought it up - since the OP asked about flumist vs flu shot in the title. :) 


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