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Friday, November 20, 2009

Regular Flu Thoughts

6/7/12 -update. My practice does not recommend routine flu immunization to breastfed babies.

It's not just young families who ask a lot of questions about vaccination, but also a lot of older folks do to. The seniors fall into two categories: would camp out to be the first for a shot or the "no thanks" group.

I feel it's my responsibility to up date my practice with trends in vaccination and preventable disease and I am always open to talk about these topics in the office. I find that those that insist on vaccination probably need it and those that decline are well-informed. I feel like I am pretty in tune with this and can guide families to make the best decision for themselves.

I prefer to optimize my own health with my good nutrition which includes lots of fresh, seasonal, organic, fruits and vegetables. Exercise, good hand washing. I don't weaken my immunity with fast food, tobacco, or alcohol. I do my best to watch my labels closely for caffeine, sugar, and enriched flour. I am fortunate that many in my practice also take personal responsibility for their health.

 The last flu shot I received was 1994 in Georgia. I was the only one in my household that received the vaccination. Mid December, John and William got the flu. They were totally miserable. William's legs were so weak, he wanted to be carried around. Scott was still nursing (at 4) and had mild illness. I wasn't yet pregnant with David. I was unaffected. Prior to that year I worked in Urgent Care for 8 years, I decided year-by-year if I wanted the flu shot depending on circumstances. I probably got it 1/2 the years. I have never noticed a reaction from the shot. Since 1994, I've been in private practice, I have not had much of my patients come in with flu. I opt out because I never felt at risk. My kids haven't had a flu shot and I am not sure about my husband. We get one virus that hits my family about once-a-year. But if I get a cough... it lingers forever...

This year one of the Medicare Replacement HMO's supplied flu vaccination for their own patients to be administered by my practice. We ordered flu shots to offer other patients who requested them, but could not obtain them. We don't order enough to be a priority to distribute flu shots to. A vast majority of my practice doesn't want the flu shot, so it's not a big deal to me that we don't get them. Two seasons we had enough demand for ordering a few pediatric flu shots, but the interest has decreased and this year and last have not offered pediatric flu shots.


Fun Mama - Deanna said...

Thank you so much for addressing the swine flu and regular flu vaccinations. We usually do get the flu shot for my daughter because she's young. I have not had one since I was pregnant. We have so far opted not to get the swine flu shot for anyone in our family.
Have you seen the article on vaccinations in Wired Magazine? I believe it's the cover article in the latest issue. It is very pro-vaccination, and I thought you may want to comment on it.

Jenny said...

i have never had a flu vaccine and do not plan on ever getting one. i have only had the flu once and that was when i was a freshman in college and i didn't have a car to get to the doctor so i just slept it off and i haven't had it since.....i do not trust the government enough to be getting vaccines for any just don't know what is really being put in those things.........

Becky R said...

I have never had a flu shot, neither have my kids. By the grace of God we rarely get sick. I am not sure how I'd feel if we did get sick alot. thanks for your perspective

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