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Old September 22, 2017, 13:13   #19
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Foothills of the Blueridge Mountains
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Been seeing so many advertisements for flu shots have asked at doctors office and my pharmacy about getting my flu shot due to my endocrinology issues making me more prone to picking up cold and flu bugs. While CVS, Walgreen's and even Kroger have signs saying to stop on in and get your flu hot now, none of my doctors or pharmacy have even gotten their shots in yet. When asked they all say its too early and if order now have to get the variety with more thimerosal which is a preservative made with low levels of mercury. Have always tried to get vaccinations that did not have thimerosal so limit exposure to unnecessary mercury exposure. I know I played with way too much of the stuff when young and didn't realize it was not something to handle with bare hands.

It has been said for years that the best time to get the flu shot is between Halloween and Thanksgiving. With the widespread timing of flu season and the unknown duration of antibodies, it's hard to say whether a few weeks will make a difference. But, if you are older (80% - 90% of flu-related deaths occur in people older than 65) it's probably best to stick to the standard recommendation of November and have as many of those antibodies at the ready come February. But, if it the choice is getting the flu shot now or letting it drop down on your "things to do" list until it falls below "organize closet".... go out and take care of it.
Now that pharmacies are regularly distributing vaccines, their push to get people in for shots is not entirely in the interest of public health. Rather, they are betting on the customer picking up something else while in the store. And, with the CDC recommending, since 2010, that every person older than six months receive a flu vaccine, that is a lot of people coming through their doors. But, has their competition made the push for the flu vaccine too early?

That is a tough question to answer. There are two factors to consider that are moving targets - making it difficult to say, exactly, when is the best time to get the flu vaccine. The first is that flu "season" is not clearly defined. There is a lot of variation, from one year to another, in when cases occur - starting as early as October and lasting as late as May. However, when the data over the years are compared, the brunt of the flu season is, primarily, during February and March.

The second factor is how long the immunity from the vaccine lasts in our bodies. When a person is vaccinated, the immune system goes through many steps to produce antibodies specific to the flu, taking one to two weeks to develop full immunity. The amount of protection from the flu depends on the amount of antibodies circulating in the body. So, waiting to get the vaccine until flu season is in full swing is a bad idea. You want to have those antibodies ready and waiting before you get coughed on. However, not only does it take time to develop antibodies, but, they also don't last forever. Therefore, getting vaccinated too early runs the possible risk that there won't be enough antibodies left to protect you when you get coughed on.
Flu season is not here yet - but flu shot season is. Pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreen's are running massive ad campaigns letting us know that they have plenty of flu shots and now is the time to come in and get one. But, it seems as though every year, the push for flu shots gets earlier. With ads starting in September, will flu shots become one of those errands lumped in with school supply shopping and other back to school errands? Next year, will we be thinking about flu shots while sitting by the pool?

So I am going to wait and get my flu shot when the people have trusted for years say its time, not when a commercial, sign or in-store display say to run on back and see the pharmacist. On a side note have been collecting mercury all my life. anytime a thermometer or HVAC control is thrown away I save them, dig out of trash or construction debris and bleed them dry. Also keep a fair number of the bulbs from HVAC controls with mercury in them intact with as long of leads as possible as never know when a "mercury switch" might be handy to have around. At least thats what I have been told so figure what the heck, may need to fix my thermostat someday. Wonder how much mercury goes in the landfill every year?
A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3 G.W.T.
"If it is worth doing's worth doing it a few more times to get it right." Stimpsonjcat
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