H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by wprager on Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:13 pm

    Neely, what you may be failing to realize is that taking the vaccine has much more to do with protecting *others* than it does you. The elderly, young and those with accompanying other health issues are at risk. If you contract it then, say, go visit your grandmother or someone else at a long-term care facility, you may infect many others. The vaccine is going to be available in November. Right around the corner from that is the Christmas/New Year's holiday break. Lots of family visiting, some coming in to show off the new additions to the family. How tragic would it be if someone's cavalier attitude about this resulted in the hospitalization of their baby niece or nephew?

    Yeah, I know I'm being a little over the top (just a tad) but the reason for the vaccine has much more to do with containing the pandemic than it does with preventing normal, healthy people from contracting the virus.

    You are right, somewhat, that it's just a flu. However in past outbreaks it's been observed that the Swine flu is much more aggressive and dangerous than garden-variety flus. This one "seems" to be quite mild in comparison, but people (elderly, infants and all ages in-between) have died from it. A total of 80 people have died in Canada, 25 of them in Ontario.

    If you don't get vaccinated and get the flu, I have no doubt that you will feel sick for a few days then be back to normal. It's not going to do anything to you. I also hope, however, that if you do contract it, that you stay home.

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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by Guest on Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:17 pm

    wprager wrote:Neely, what you may be failing to realize is that taking the vaccine has much more to do with protecting *others* than it does you. The elderly, young and those with accompanying other health issues are at risk. If you contract it then, say, go visit your grandmother or someone else at a long-term care facility, you may infect many others. The vaccine is going to be available in November. Right around the corner from that is the Christmas/New Year's holiday break. Lots of family visiting, some coming in to show off the new additions to the family. How tragic would it be if someone's cavalier attitude about this resulted in the hospitalization of their baby niece or nephew?

    Yeah, I know I'm being a little over the top (just a tad) but the reason for the vaccine has much more to do with containing the pandemic than it does with preventing normal, healthy people from contracting the virus.

    You are right, somewhat, that it's just a flu. However in past outbreaks it's been observed that the Swine flu is much more aggressive and dangerous than garden-variety flus. This one "seems" to be quite mild in comparison, but people (elderly, infants and all ages in-between) have died from it. A total of 80 people have died in Canada, 25 of them in Ontario.

    If you don't get vaccinated and get the flu, I have no doubt that you will feel sick for a few days then be back to normal. It's not going to do anything to you. I also hope, however, that if you do contract it, that you stay home.

    I get the old and the young, more so the very young. Won't be crying about those.

    If you're on a computer you dont need the flu shot. You're either too young to use one or too old to know how to use.

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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by wprager on Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:26 pm

    I think I may finally get that bald spot my dad's been telling me I'll be getting ever since I was 19 -- from scratching my head over that last post.

    Let's break this down:

    I get the old and the young, more so the very young. Won't be crying about those.

    Did you really mean to say that? You won't be crying about infants who die from the flu?


    If you're on a computer you dont need the flu shot.

    OK, makes sense. I'm still with you.

    You're either too young to use one or too old to know how to use.

    Not getting this one. Are you saying that I'm either too young or too old to use it? I'm sure that's not what you meant.

    However if you meant the generic "you" (the "on" in French) then you are essentially saying that the very young or very old would not be using a computer. And if you are on the computer then you don't need the vaccine. But if you are very young or very old you are probably *not* on the computer.

    But if A (being on the computer) implies B (not needing the vaccine), then Not-A (not being on the computer) does not necessarily imply Not-B (needing the vaccine).

    So if you were trying to show how the young and the toothless require the vaccine -- while I agree, I don't see the necessary steps to prove it.

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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by Guest on Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:32 pm

    No, Im not gonna cry about the old and young getting flu shots, come on.

    If you're under 65, you dont need a flu shot unlss you have medical complications, even then Id question why you are putting a virus in your body.
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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by wprager on Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:34 pm

    N4L wrote:No, Im not gonna cry about the old and young getting flu shots, come on.

    If you're under 65, you dont need a flu shot unlss you have medical complications, even then Id question why you are putting a virus in your body.

    Sorry, I wasn't trying to be an a-hole. The post was, shall we say, ambiguous?


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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by LeCaptain on Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:04 pm

    Damn, right about htat bolded part. I never get the flu even when I'm surrounded by a dozen of people having it. Drink Orange juice, fellas.
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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by hemlock on Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:22 pm

    N4L wrote:No, Im not gonna cry about the old and young getting flu shots, come on.

    If you're under 65, you dont need a flu shot unlss you have medical complications, even then Id question why you are putting a virus in your body.

    Not all vaccines (including flu vaccines) use live virii. Those are called inactivated vaccine. Your blanket statement is inaccurate.

    Young children are at higher risk as well, so techinically, you ought to be saying something like 5-65 not under 65.

    As far as it being unsafe...that's debatable. If you look hard enough you can find a way to argument any point from any direction. Until I see a whole lot more information, I'm not going by this one doctor's opinion. Could he be right? Of course, but then again, he may not be.
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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by spader on Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:00 am

    I wouldn't give someone under 5 a flu vaccine. There's too much data piling up about the mercury content being responsible, or triggering, neurological disorders.

    The swine flu is just a flu. It kills about the same number of people as the regular flu. This whole thing is completely out of hand.
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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by Acrobat on Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:56 am

    spader wrote:I wouldn't give someone under 5 a flu vaccine. There's too much data piling up about the mercury content being responsible, or triggering, neurological disorders.

    The swine flu is just a flu. It kills about the same number of people as the regular flu. This whole thing is completely out of hand.

    That'd be reasonable if they still used thimerosal for a preservative/adjuvant. FDA standards now require that any vaccine given to children under the age of 6 (except the flu vaccine, admittedly) be essentially thimerosal-free. See: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/vaccines/QuestionsaboutVaccines/ucm070430.htm

    Also, the amount of mercury exposure from a vaccine is less than one would get from eating tuna a couple of times per week.

    To address the issue of vaccines causing autism - there have been many journal articles written about this. The summary of some of the information is found here: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/vaccines.htm

    To address the persons who claim that vaccines cause autism (Jenny McCarthy is one of the louder proponents of this fallacy), many respected scientists have simply made the same demand that all scientists ask: "Prove it scientifically". Thus far, there has been little more than poorly-formed or poorly-run studies, or worse, anecdotal evidence. Repeated independent studies have demonstrated no link, and in fact no trend to cause concern.

    I would direct you to this site as further evidence of the lack of association: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003140

    For a more entertaining, although still scientifically valid, view of the subject, see here: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/medicine/antivaccination_lunacy/ (Warning: those whose minds are closed to the perspectives of others may find this offensive)

    The next issue was that of the efficacy of the annual flu shot. The CDC, Health Canada, and other national health organizations all came to the same conclusion last year - that the vaccine was suboptimally effective for the 2008-2009 season. The reason is that there is a need for adequate lead time in order to produce the vaccine. The WHO will send researchers to the Far East (usually towards the chicken coops in China) to try to identify which strain(s) are most likely to be the ones to cause the seasonal increase in flu, but it's a bit of a crap-shoot. Most times, they get it right, but sometimes they miss. Missing isn't usually so bad, since there is a degree of cross-reactivity, however last season it was insufficient to produce "herd immunity", thus more got the flu than usual.

    On that topic (yes, I will go on, because I think this is a ridiculous argument), the whole reason that vaccines are given for the flu is the "herd immunity" concept. To be honest, the WHO, CDC, and whomever else is involved don't give a rat's a$$ about a single person dying from this year's flu strain. It only becomes useful when the cost to the population at large from getting the disease is sufficient to justify the cost of administering the vaccine. The only vaccine in recent memory that was a mandatory one was smallpox, and that was because the risk/benefit ratio was so tilted to one side that there was sufficient justification for infringing on personal rights.

    In the case of the flu vaccine, the balance isn't so clear (especially if you are a healthy 20 year old). However, when one considers the long-term cost to society from the loss of the most vulnerable, the justification for giving the vaccine is more clear. Again, pharmaco-economic analysis places little value on the chronically-ill retiree, since they are now a cost to society anyhow. It is the very young that are valued highly (in a relative sense). The youth have a large potential contribution to society, thus the cost of not giving the vaccine is sufficiently high to justify it. And here is where one of the big problems come up - there is a known morbidity/mortality risk to any medical intervention. People will remember the negative events, but will not appreciate the number of successful events that surround them. This is human nature; we are programmed this way (take a look at either "The Black Swan" or "Fooled by Randomness", both by Nicholas Nassim Taleb). Like any medical intervention, it isn't the effect on any one individual that is considered important, it is the aggregate impact on outcomes.

    To those who state that the swine flu is just another flu, again, I'd direct you to the literature (for summaries: http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/qa.htm and http://blog.fortiusone.com/2009/05/05/data-set-of-the-day-swine-flu-vs-the-regular-flu/). I agree that it is another form of Influenza A virus (not to be confused with a common cold), however this version is the combination of viruses that normally infect pigs with the usual human and avian virus. As stated, it doesn't appear to have been as fatal yet, however it is following the same path that the Influenza outbreak of the early 20th century did. The major difference that concerns the experts is the fact that it affects the young disproportionately - this is likely an effect of residual immunity in the elderly towards the virus which was induced by the last similar outbreak. For the record, there were hundreds of cases of this infection in Ottawa documented, and only those sick enough to warrant admission to CHEO were actually tested. The issue here is that the fatalities are occurring in patients that are not usually considered at high risk for mortality from other forms of influenza A.

    The vaccine has not been tested adequately, I agree. The various manufacturers have all devised fairly elaborate systems to allow rapid production of vaccine for other years; this will be produced in the same way, but with a different DNA at its core (the exception is one biotech company, who may have come out with a newer, faster, and more "pure" production method, but I digress...) The risk of adverse events has thus far not been any different from other flu vaccines. It is the degree of immunity produced that is being called into question.

    Finally, to those who say that they "never" get the flu, remember this: the manifestations of the flu are not from the virus itself, but from the body's immune reaction in fighting the virus (i.e. interferons, etc). Some have suggested that those with the most severe symptoms (not complications) are simply mounting a more vigorous immune response.

    [/end rant]
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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by Acrobat on Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:57 am

    Yeah, this whole argument just ticks me off.

    Watch a kid go through a transplant, then die because his uncle didn't get his flu shot, then it really hits home.
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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by Cap'n Clutch on Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:04 am

    wprager wrote:Neely, what you may be failing to realize is that taking the vaccine has much more to do with protecting *others* than it does you. The elderly, young and those with accompanying other health issues are at risk. If you contract it then, say, go visit your grandmother or someone else at a long-term care facility, you may infect many others. The vaccine is going to be available in November. Right around the corner from that is the Christmas/New Year's holiday break. Lots of family visiting, some coming in to show off the new additions to the family. How tragic would it be if someone's cavalier attitude about this resulted in the hospitalization of their baby niece or nephew?

    Yeah, I know I'm being a little over the top (just a tad) but the reason for the vaccine has much more to do with containing the pandemic than it does with preventing normal, healthy people from contracting the virus.

    You are right, somewhat, that it's just a flu. However in past outbreaks it's been observed that the Swine flu is much more aggressive and dangerous than garden-variety flus. This one "seems" to be quite mild in comparison, but people (elderly, infants and all ages in-between) have died from it. A total of 80 people have died in Canada, 25 of them in Ontario.

    If you don't get vaccinated and get the flu, I have no doubt that you will feel sick for a few days then be back to normal. It's not going to do anything to you. I also hope, however, that if you do contract it, that you stay home.

    Plus 10000!!! Thank you Prages. It's not about healthy people thinking they don't need it or are worried about severe side effects that make them feel as sick as if they had the flu. It's about preventing the spread.


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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by Cap'n Clutch on Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:13 am

    Acrobat wrote:
    spader wrote:I wouldn't give someone under 5 a flu vaccine. There's too much data piling up about the mercury content being responsible, or triggering, neurological disorders.

    The swine flu is just a flu. It kills about the same number of people as the regular flu. This whole thing is completely out of hand.

    That'd be reasonable if they still used thimerosal for a preservative/adjuvant. FDA standards now require that any vaccine given to children under the age of 6 (except the flu vaccine, admittedly) be essentially thimerosal-free. See: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/vaccines/QuestionsaboutVaccines/ucm070430.htm

    Also, the amount of mercury exposure from a vaccine is less than one would get from eating tuna a couple of times per week.

    To address the issue of vaccines causing autism - there have been many journal articles written about this. The summary of some of the information is found here: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/vaccines.htm

    To address the persons who claim that vaccines cause autism (Jenny McCarthy is one of the louder proponents of this fallacy), many respected scientists have simply made the same demand that all scientists ask: "Prove it scientifically". Thus far, there has been little more than poorly-formed or poorly-run studies, or worse, anecdotal evidence. Repeated independent studies have demonstrated no link, and in fact no trend to cause concern.

    I would direct you to this site as further evidence of the lack of association: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003140

    For a more entertaining, although still scientifically valid, view of the subject, see here: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/medicine/antivaccination_lunacy/ (Warning: those whose minds are closed to the perspectives of others may find this offensive)

    The next issue was that of the efficacy of the annual flu shot. The CDC, Health Canada, and other national health organizations all came to the same conclusion last year - that the vaccine was suboptimally effective for the 2008-2009 season. The reason is that there is a need for adequate lead time in order to produce the vaccine. The WHO will send researchers to the Far East (usually towards the chicken coops in China) to try to identify which strain(s) are most likely to be the ones to cause the seasonal increase in flu, but it's a bit of a crap-shoot. Most times, they get it right, but sometimes they miss. Missing isn't usually so bad, since there is a degree of cross-reactivity, however last season it was insufficient to produce "herd immunity", thus more got the flu than usual.

    On that topic (yes, I will go on, because I think this is a ridiculous argument), the whole reason that vaccines are given for the flu is the "herd immunity" concept. To be honest, the WHO, CDC, and whomever else is involved don't give a rat's a$$ about a single person dying from this year's flu strain. It only becomes useful when the cost to the population at large from getting the disease is sufficient to justify the cost of administering the vaccine. The only vaccine in recent memory that was a mandatory one was smallpox, and that was because the risk/benefit ratio was so tilted to one side that there was sufficient justification for infringing on personal rights.

    In the case of the flu vaccine, the balance isn't so clear (especially if you are a healthy 20 year old). However, when one considers the long-term cost to society from the loss of the most vulnerable, the justification for giving the vaccine is more clear. Again, pharmaco-economic analysis places little value on the chronically-ill retiree, since they are now a cost to society anyhow. It is the very young that are valued highly (in a relative sense). The youth have a large potential contribution to society, thus the cost of not giving the vaccine is sufficiently high to justify it. And here is where one of the big problems come up - there is a known morbidity/mortality risk to any medical intervention. People will remember the negative events, but will not appreciate the number of successful events that surround them. This is human nature; we are programmed this way (take a look at either "The Black Swan" or "Fooled by Randomness", both by Nicholas Nassim Taleb). Like any medical intervention, it isn't the effect on any one individual that is considered important, it is the aggregate impact on outcomes.

    To those who state that the swine flu is just another flu, again, I'd direct you to the literature (for summaries: http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/qa.htm and http://blog.fortiusone.com/2009/05/05/data-set-of-the-day-swine-flu-vs-the-regular-flu/). I agree that it is another form of Influenza A virus (not to be confused with a common cold), however this version is the combination of viruses that normally infect pigs with the usual human and avian virus. As stated, it doesn't appear to have been as fatal yet, however it is following the same path that the Influenza outbreak of the early 20th century did. The major difference that concerns the experts is the fact that it affects the young disproportionately - this is likely an effect of residual immunity in the elderly towards the virus which was induced by the last similar outbreak. For the record, there were hundreds of cases of this infection in Ottawa documented, and only those sick enough to warrant admission to CHEO were actually tested. The issue here is that the fatalities are occurring in patients that are not usually considered at high risk for mortality from other forms of influenza A.

    The vaccine has not been tested adequately, I agree. The various manufacturers have all devised fairly elaborate systems to allow rapid production of vaccine for other years; this will be produced in the same way, but with a different DNA at its core (the exception is one biotech company, who may have come out with a newer, faster, and more "pure" production method, but I digress...) The risk of adverse events has thus far not been any different from other flu vaccines. It is the degree of immunity produced that is being called into question.

    Finally, to those who say that they "never" get the flu, remember this: the manifestations of the flu are not from the virus itself, but from the body's immune reaction in fighting the virus (i.e. interferons, etc). Some have suggested that those with the most severe symptoms (not complications) are simply mounting a more vigorous immune response.

    [/end rant]

    BEST. H1N1/Swine Flue. POST. EVER!! Plus 10,000 X 10 to the power of 8


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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by wprager on Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:24 am

    Acrobat, excellent points all around. I just hope everyone took the time to read it through and follow the links given. I've got a question for you below (bolded part).

    There is a very common misconception that getting a flu vaccine is like a mild dose of the virus. As already stated, the virus is inactive. Now, I'm not a virologist and I don't exactly know what that means other than the virus will not rapidly reproduce. Getting the inactive virus into the body will kick the immune system into producing antibodies specifically targeted against that particular virus (in the case of flu vaccine it actually includes several (three?) viruses to target the most likely ones for that particular flu season).

    I think that when the body produces the anti-bodies the person will see some mild flu symptoms. Not because of what the virus does, but because of the body's response. That probably has a lot to do with the general public's misconception. They get the vaccine, they end up with flu symptoms and they associate the vaccine with a mild case of the flu. That is not really the case.

    Back to the inactive virus. Acrobat, maybe you can explain it a little better to us (you seem to know what you're talking about). I had the shingles a while back. From what I understand, if you have chicken pox as a child, the virus is never eradicated from your system. It remains dorman/latent, typically in the nerve cells in your spinal cord. If your immune system is compromised (stress, illness) the virus may reactivate which leads to shingles.

    The above is just a very quick, crude description. You have to experience it first hand to fully appreciate. But the reason for bringing it up at all is this: is the dormant or latent virus in the case of shingles similar to what is done to the flu virus to produce the vaccine? If so, then it's entirely possible to "get the flu" from the vaccine. I suspect that inactive and latent are two different states, but I'd love to know for sure.


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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by Cap'n Clutch on Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:34 am

    wprager wrote:Acrobat, excellent points all around. I just hope everyone took the time to read it through and follow the links given. I've got a question for you below (bolded part).

    There is a very common misconception that getting a flu vaccine is like a mild dose of the virus. As already stated, the virus is inactive. Now, I'm not a virologist and I don't exactly know what that means other than the virus will not rapidly reproduce. Getting the inactive virus into the body will kick the immune system into producing antibodies specifically targeted against that particular virus (in the case of flu vaccine it actually includes several (three?) viruses to target the most likely ones for that particular flu season).

    I think that when the body produces the anti-bodies the person will see some mild flu symptoms. Not because of what the virus does, but because of the body's response. That probably has a lot to do with the general public's misconception. They get the vaccine, they end up with flu symptoms and they associate the vaccine with a mild case of the flu. That is not really the case.

    Back to the inactive virus. Acrobat, maybe you can explain it a little better to us (you seem to know what you're talking about). I had the shingles a while back. From what I understand, if you have chicken pox as a child, the virus is never eradicated from your system. It remains dorman/latent, typically in the nerve cells in your spinal cord. If your immune system is compromised (stress, illness) the virus may reactivate which leads to shingles.

    The above is just a very quick, crude description. You have to experience it first hand to fully appreciate. But the reason for bringing it up at all is this: is the dormant or latent virus in the case of shingles similar to what is done to the flu virus to produce the vaccine? If so, then it's entirely possible to "get the flu" from the vaccine. I suspect that inactive and latent are two different states, but I'd love to know for sure.

    Yet another reason for my daughter to get the chicken pox vaccine. So now I have shingles to look forward to? Thanks Prages. Razz


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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by wprager on Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:47 am

    Shingles usually happens when you're over 65. In my case I was under a lot of stress as my wife was pregnant with twins, with a history of premies. It was very stressful until we got to 28 weeks.

    But that's another question for someone: if you get the chicken pox vaccine when you are young, can you still develop shingles when you're older? Or is there a distinction between inactive and dormant or latent?


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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by Phoenix30 on Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:53 pm

    SensFan71 wrote:
    Cap'n Clutch wrote:
    SensFan71 wrote:
    Cap'n Clutch wrote:Rather than being reactionary towards a report and a video clip from a station not much better than a video version of your everyday supermarket tabloid, I'll choose to make an informed decision from more reliable sources.

    I have heard it from a guy at work, his wife works in Public Health, and she doesn't even want to get the H1N1 vaccine or any other flu vaccine, that speaks volumes to me. I have only gotten the flu shot once, and I was sick the whole winter, as opposed to all the other winters when I haven't, I never got sick at all. Maybe that is not the case for everyone, but it is for me.

    First of all that's anecdotal which means nothing to me. Second, I work for the Department of Health but I have zero credibility when it comes to recommendations regarding health issues such as this. Your work colleague's wife could be an Admin Assistant in Public Health for all I know.

    I should have included her role, she is a public health nurse in Moncton, NB, so if some nurses are pushing it (which I assume is their job), yet others aren't going to get it themselves, I would follow along with the public health nurse that isn't going to get it.

    No disrespect intented but after the constant contradictions I have gotten from public nurses when my son was born i dont believe a word they say. They should all were plaid colour uni's because you never know what your going to get.
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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by Cap'n Clutch on Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:55 pm

    Apparently Health Canada disagrees with the assertion the topic title makes regarding the H1N1 Flu vaccine.

    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/nr-cp/_2009/2009_171-eng.php


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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

    Post by Phoenix30 on Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:10 pm

    In my past work experience I was exposed to the Norwalk virus on a regular basis and got it twice. In both cases I didnt get the flu shot. Life was hell when I was sick. Every other time I had the flu shot. I still got sick but it was not like the same when I didnt get the shot. If you ever had the Norwalk you know it makes your life hell for 24 hours. Much worse than just the flu. If this H1N1 shot minimizes my the effects I would seriously consider getting it. Everything I have read about the H1N1 it sounds very similar to the Noro Virus.

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    Re: H1N1 Vaccine not Safe

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