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Time to get those Flu Vaccines

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Time to get those Flu Vaccines
    Posted: Sep/18/2015 at 4:02pm

Flu Vaccine a Closer Match, Time to Get Vaccinated, CDC Says

Alicia Ault

September 17, 2015

Led by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden, MD, a host of healthcare organizations issued an annual plea today for influenza vaccination for everyone aged over 6 months, noting that this year's vaccine would be a closer match for the H3N2 strain still circulating from last year.

At a media briefing, Dr Frieden rolled up his sleeve and received a shot that was captured by dozens of video cameras and smartphones. He noted that just under half of all Americans eligible were vaccinated for influenza last year, and that rates were highest for children aged 6 to 23 months (75%) and 2 to 4 years (68%), and for adults aged over 65 years (67%). But vaccination rates are lagging among 18- to 64-year-olds, hovering below 40%.

"We need to get more young and middle-aged people vaccinated," said Dr Frieden. He said officials were hopeful, given "increasing opportunities for vaccination," including at pharmacies, urgent care centers, and workplaces.

Dr Frieden also discussed data just issued by the CDC on vaccination coverage during the 2014-2015 flu season for pregnant women and healthcare professionals. Only about half of pregnant women were vaccinated, similar to the 2013-2014 flu season ( MMWR. 2015;64:1000-1015). Overall, just over 77% of healthcare workers were vaccinated, similar to the 75% who received a shot in the previous flu season. But there are still significant gaps, especially among providers working in long-term-care settings, where only 64% were vaccinated in 2014-2015.

A Closer Match

The 2014-2015 vaccine was ineffective against the predominant A strain that was circulating, A/Switzerland/9715293/2013-like virus (H3N2). The H3N2 strains are associated with worse illness and higher mortality. Not surprisingly, the rate of flu-related hospitalizations among people aged 65 years or older was the highest recorded in the 10 years since the CDC began tracking that measure. The H3N2 strain also hit children hard. The agency reported 145 lab-confirmed pediatric influenza deaths, which is likely an underestimate, said the CDC.

Dr Frieden said that the 2015-2016 flu vaccine would more closely match that H3N2 strain, which, according to the latest surveillance data, continues to circulate. Manufacturers have prepared 171 million doses of influenza vaccine, of which 40 million have already been distributed, he said.

The CDC director urged Americans to get vaccinated this year, despite the low effectiveness of the 2014-2015 vaccine.

"Even in a year when the flu virus isn't well matched, it remains the single best thing you can do to protect you, your family, and your community against influenza," he said.

Progress in Health Workers

Though overall vaccination rates in healthcare workers were similar the last two flu seasons, they are up almost 14% from the 2010-2011 season, according to the CDC.

Coverage in 2014-2015 was highest among pharmacists, at 95%, followed by physicians and nurses, at 89%. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants had 87% coverage. The lowest rates were among assistants and aides, at 64%.

Healthcare workers who were required to be vaccinated by their employer had the highest rates (96%), and for those who were not required, rates got a boost when vaccination was offered on-site at no cost, especially if offered on more than one day (74%-84%). But vaccination rates slipped to 44% for settings where the vaccine was not required, promoted, or offered on site, said the CDC.

The agency is reaching out to ensure greater health worker coverage, especially in nursing homes and other long-term-care settings, Daniel Jernigan, MD, director of the CDC's Influenza Division, told Medscape Medical News.

"We really encourage those systems that run long term care facilities and the physicians that are over those systems to really encourage their staff to get vaccinated," he said.

Overall, though, the vaccination uptick among healthcare workers is worth noting, said William Schaffner, MD, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee.

"It's a growing success story," Dr Schaffner told Medscape Medical News.

Dr Schaffner said he expects more coverage especially as state and local regulatory agencies are increasingly focusing on immunization of healthcare workers.


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My journey with chronic pain began over 30 years ago, while as a young nurse working spinal rehab, I injured my back lifting a patient. I am now fused from L2-S1. I have multiple thoracic and cervical issues. I'm a retired RN/PA and I know and understand the frustrations on both ends of the treatment spectrum of dealing with CP. It's been my goal since 2008, when we started this site, to reach out and help as many people in pain as possible. We will continue the fight as long as we can. Please, if you can help us continue to help you and others, donate. Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quaver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2015 at 5:40am
I've already had my flu jab! I assume the vaccine in the UK is the same as that in the US? Stevie, do you know?
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Severe chronic pain in lower back. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, Scoliosis, DDD. Hypermobility in ankles caused most problems. Bilateral trochanteric bursitis Osteoarthritis in spine, wrists and hands. Golfer's Elbow. L4-L5 L5-S1 spinal fusion plus cage support and titanium spacers April 2008. Nov 2010, accident in shower caused compression fracture of L2. Missed by A&E. Functional lumbar spine stenosis from herniated disc at L3/L4 July 2015 XLIF discectomy plus XL-TDR very successful! Miraculous improvement in mobility! Hashimoto's syndrome, Depression, High Blood pressure, Fibromyalgia, Raynaud's Syndrome.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Merlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2015 at 6:21am
I always get a fluvax - and for older people esp with a history of severe asthma - I get the whole visit and the fluvax free. I don't get asthma often now - but I had a few bad spells this year
 
Not everyone can get vaccination because for one reason they are allergic to eggs or other health reasons. And for those people I am for vaccine for everyone who can
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quaver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2015 at 7:41am
The flu virus is apparently different in different countries! So I assume that if I decided to get in my old rowing boat (with the ancient stinking herring, if anyone remembers all that!! ) and come to visit my friends across the Pond, then I would be still be at risk from your flu virus! So maybe I should stay in Blighty until next summer!

But in all seriousness, why risk not getting the flu vaccination?!
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CPS SUPPORT BRITISH & UK RESIDENT
Severe chronic pain in lower back. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, Scoliosis, DDD. Hypermobility in ankles caused most problems. Bilateral trochanteric bursitis Osteoarthritis in spine, wrists and hands. Golfer's Elbow. L4-L5 L5-S1 spinal fusion plus cage support and titanium spacers April 2008. Nov 2010, accident in shower caused compression fracture of L2. Missed by A&E. Functional lumbar spine stenosis from herniated disc at L3/L4 July 2015 XLIF discectomy plus XL-TDR very successful! Miraculous improvement in mobility! Hashimoto's syndrome, Depression, High Blood pressure, Fibromyalgia, Raynaud's Syndrome.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Merlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2015 at 12:27pm
Hi Quaver
 
The flu might be different in the countries in the Northern Hemisphere - I don't know - but in Australia the scientists make our vaccine based on what has been virulent in the Northern Hemisphere.
 
The fluvax this year was designed to cover 4 strains - it was so big we all had to have it in a muscle and not just under the skin
 
I have little patience with people who don't have the shot and then go to work - somehow proud of being able to soldier on and yet spreading the virus as far as possible. There are people who are allergic to eggs - I am allergic to the gas than eggs make - sulphur dioxide - but for everyone who has the vaccination there are many others who are protected  
 
I want people who catch the flu because they didn't have the nerve to have it to please stay at home out of the community -
 
I am putting my soap box and my hobby horse away for nowWine
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rocken Roni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2015 at 1:10pm
Our Flue shot starts in October something or another.
I hope everyone gets one.


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1st injured Feb, 1997. Was told it was "Soft Tissue" and sent back to work - no X-rays
Late 1997 attended 1st Rehab Program to strengthen back. Mid 98 PCP took me off work. Tried going back to work over the next couple years, mostly off work due to pain.
June 2000, met with OS for first time. Did MRI , damage was L5-S1 totally blown out. Surgery done Jan, 2001.
Another Rehab program late 2001, attempted to go back to work early 2002. Slipped on water, fell flat on back screw fusion broke.
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Oct 2003 - 2nd Surgery, due to broken screw, had to operate from the front.
No improvement. Attended 4th Rehab program in 2004, at time It was decided NO work.
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June 2008 Surgeon finally admitted I had Failed Back Surgery.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hangingon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2015 at 2:51pm
getting mine weds I was told to wait a few days after finished my viral meds for shingles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2015 at 3:21pm
I got mine in August.  The CDC is stating that it's better to get vaccinated earlier rather than later. 

Also, for people over the age of 65, there is a "double dose" vaccine.  I opted to get it and did have the very first reaction ever------all normal side effects.  Body aches, feverish and a very sore and red arm for a couple of days.  No big deal----far better than getting influenza.

I think that most of us have enough pain to deal with already, and the last thing we need is the horrendous body aches that accompany getting a bad case of the flu.

Please donate to help Chronicpainsite.com continue to help others.

My journey with chronic pain began over 30 years ago, while as a young nurse working spinal rehab, I injured my back lifting a patient. I am now fused from L2-S1. I have multiple thoracic and cervical issues. I'm a retired RN/PA and I know and understand the frustrations on both ends of the treatment spectrum of dealing with CP. It's been my goal since 2008, when we started this site, to reach out and help as many people in pain as possible. We will continue the fight as long as we can. Please, if you can help us continue to help you and others, donate. Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Merlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2015 at 6:25pm

The flu is rotten for every one - even a young person can be struck down and need to be hospitalised because they live alone.

 
And I am an older person who lives alone - and at risk for pneumonia - I been vaccinated against that as well - and for people in my age bracket it's free too
 
We used to say that we would get vaccinated after ANZAC Day - 25th April - but this is just a date to remind people - depending on the circumstances I get it a little earlier - this year because of the extra flu strain added - the supply was delayed.
 
Flu is not just a bad cold - it's a life threatening condition
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/21/2015 at 11:46pm
I'll get mine soon.  I have probably only missed a year or 2 decades of flu seasons.
Ankylosing spondylitis & osteoporosis -> compression fractures -> facet & ligamentum flavum hypertrophy-> stenosis -> spinal cord & nerve root compression -> cervical myelopathy & radiculopathy -> bruise & deformation of my spinal cord -> incomplete spinal cord injury -> postlaminectomy syndrome of cervical region. Cervical laminectomy & fusion decompressed my cord but I now have severe chronic pain. Pain meds = Oxycontin, Percocet, Lyrica, Soma, Cymbalta, Voltaren Gel, & Ketamine pain cream. 11 surgeries including 5 orthopedic & 1 neurosurgery.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bluegill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/22/2015 at 8:54am
How long does the potency last?  It seems that every year I catch a bad cold about March or so.  If I wait longer to get the flu shot (i.e. late October instead of mid Sept) will it last longer into the spring?
In head-on car crash in 2006. Smashed kneecaps, broken hip, head injury,and other fractures. Daily knee pain (just a 2 or 3 or 4 on a scale from 1-10, so I feel like a wimp). Can't jog, walk long distances or stand for a long period of time. Surgery to remove bone growth on pelvis (2017). Ongoing hip pain, possibly trochanteric bursitis.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/22/2015 at 12:27pm
Blue,

I asked the same question and from what I've been able to find out, the CDC claims that the potency will last throughout flu season, and as they aren't sure exactly when the season will start (and the shot takes 3 weeks to become "active"), they are recommending early vaccination.

Please donate to help Chronicpainsite.com continue to help others.

My journey with chronic pain began over 30 years ago, while as a young nurse working spinal rehab, I injured my back lifting a patient. I am now fused from L2-S1. I have multiple thoracic and cervical issues. I'm a retired RN/PA and I know and understand the frustrations on both ends of the treatment spectrum of dealing with CP. It's been my goal since 2008, when we started this site, to reach out and help as many people in pain as possible. We will continue the fight as long as we can. Please, if you can help us continue to help you and others, donate. Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hangingon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/22/2015 at 3:52pm
Just got my flu shot ,was hoping to get the stronger one do to my immunity issues but couldn't insurance only pays for it if your 65 and older.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Merlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/22/2015 at 8:14pm
Blue - although a bad cold can feel like the end - and sometimes be worse than a mild dose of flu - there are too many strains of cold virus to immunise people -
 
And as a bus driver you will be exposed to the sneezing population - and the cold's children get are particularly virulent - when my children were at primary school I seemed to get one bad cold after another - different strains of the same disease
 
Elizabeth - I didn't know you could get stronger flu shots - I know there are more strains of flu covered in one injection - is that what you meant?
 
It's cruel that when you have immunity issues you can't have your stronger flu shots if they cover more strains - I have been getting them free for about 20 years because I can get asthma - not so much now but in the past - really bad - sometimes I was in hospital with it
 
So I find it really understand that this is the case when you have so many health issues - I just don't understand the insurance issues in America and I know they are different with every Insurance Company
 
I am not sure if this is exactly right about how long the vaccinations last - but I "think" that regular vaccinations can help a person hold immunity for a little longer - from one season to the next - I hope this is the case - esp for  bus drivers and school teachers and mothers who are exposed constantly to the bacteria and viruses that children pass around like sweets
 
Really - for all my friends in the Northern Hemisphere - I hope you have a mild flu season this yearpraying
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hangingon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/23/2015 at 2:26am
I think its stronger Merlin they are calling it a double dose shot. Look back at what Stevie said. And the pharmacist said double too

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Merlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/23/2015 at 3:34am
Oh sorry - I misread that - a double dose shot - I had not heard of that before and thought it was having two shots - one early in the season and one later.
 
We can all do without the flu - I remember when my dd was only about 3 months old when my 2.5 yo son caught the flu at day care and gave it to my parents, my husband and me and that was tough - I thought the baby might catch it - but when the doctor visited the house he said she was too young to catch it - well she didn't
 
The rotten thing is way it cuts us down - people can wake up feeling well and be feeling like death warmed up by mid-afternoon.
 
I really believe in vaccination
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bluegill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/25/2015 at 7:57pm
I should have listened to Stevie, but no, I thought I'd wait a few weeks longer.

Next year I'll listen to Stevie.

I've just caught a whopper of a cold.  Mine seem to get worse every year.  Deep chest cold.

Poor me, poor me....   Maybe this could have been avoided if I'd followed Stevie's advice.  When I get a flu shot I catch fewer colds for a few months and their intensity is less.
In head-on car crash in 2006. Smashed kneecaps, broken hip, head injury,and other fractures. Daily knee pain (just a 2 or 3 or 4 on a scale from 1-10, so I feel like a wimp). Can't jog, walk long distances or stand for a long period of time. Surgery to remove bone growth on pelvis (2017). Ongoing hip pain, possibly trochanteric bursitis.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Merlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/26/2015 at 1:39am
I am so sorry Blue - a bad cold is so exhausting and you have it in your chest - not good
 
It's interesting that you get fewer colds when you have a flu shot - perhaps that's because your immunity is stronger because you are not battling off what might have been the flu
 
I am a nose-breather - there are people who are mouth-breathers - if my nose gets so stuffed up and running like crazy I get exhausted trying to breath through my nose - it's unconscious - I can open my mouth deliberately to breathe but I seem to be intent on getting a tiny bit of air up my nose and I wish this did not happen - it happens when I have hay fever too
 
Blue - I think people are more vulnerable when they are working out in the unvaccinated public too - I often wonder how doctors cope when sick people actually sit in front of them breathing out droplet infections and flu viruses hang around in the air after the person moves on - leaving the bugs there for the next person as well as the doctor
 
I hope you feel better soon mate - that is a bad way to suffer
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hangingon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/26/2015 at 6:59am
Sorry you aren't feeling Well. I think anyone who works around children get sick more. When I was a sub teacher it seems like I got everything that was around.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Merlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/26/2015 at 9:45am
Elizabeth - I suppose children are working up an immunity - they have the worst strains of everything and pass it around like head lice
 
Not good
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bluegill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/26/2015 at 11:08am
Yes, when I taught in public school I caught a cold about every 6 weeks.  Now, normally it's about 3-4 times a year for me
In head-on car crash in 2006. Smashed kneecaps, broken hip, head injury,and other fractures. Daily knee pain (just a 2 or 3 or 4 on a scale from 1-10, so I feel like a wimp). Can't jog, walk long distances or stand for a long period of time. Surgery to remove bone growth on pelvis (2017). Ongoing hip pain, possibly trochanteric bursitis.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Merlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/26/2015 at 3:53pm
Blue - has it increased since you started driving a bus 
I notice in America that school buses are big and yellow - here we don't have school buses like that - in the metropolitan area kids travel to school on regular public transport - so I am wondering if you have school children riding on your bus as well as adults
I know we have school buses for sporting events etc - but they are regular buses that cover the peak hour/s and in the country secondary school children ride to school in buses - are you driving in a suburban or rural area
 
Also - you just had that great day at the football - I hope you are well enough to enjoy the next one - that sounded like such great fun
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hangingon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/27/2015 at 3:29am
Nope school buses have just children on them here. Sometimes one other adult as monitor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bluegill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/27/2015 at 3:38am
Elizabeth, what are you doing up so late?

This is only my second cold in 7 months of driving, so that's pretty good.  I just managed to sleep for 3 hours before the chest congestion woke me up.

In a separate thread I'll ask for cold remedies.
In head-on car crash in 2006. Smashed kneecaps, broken hip, head injury,and other fractures. Daily knee pain (just a 2 or 3 or 4 on a scale from 1-10, so I feel like a wimp). Can't jog, walk long distances or stand for a long period of time. Surgery to remove bone growth on pelvis (2017). Ongoing hip pain, possibly trochanteric bursitis.
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