Are you getting a flu shot?

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Expand view Topic review: Are you getting a flu shot?

Re: Are you getting a flu shot?

Post by alexis » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:51 am

Well, if ANY inflammatory response could trigger PE, then so could catching the flu. Which we know is dangerous in other ways.

Re: Are you getting a flu shot?

Post by caryn » Fri Oct 07, 2011 06:05 am

Here's a reference from an intro to immunology text (I so love that these are available online!):

Once infectious agents have penetrated tissues, another innate defense mechanism comes into play, namely acute inflammation.

I'd confirm with someone who knows more immunology than me, but this is just a fact about how the world works. I'm frankly becoming a bit horrified that anyone would spend perfectly good research dollars confirming things from page one of the intro textbook so I may have to pull the full text of your study and read it charitably.

Re: Are you getting a flu shot?

Post by caryn » Fri Oct 07, 2011 05:42 am

Of *course* there's a mild inflammatory response to the flu shot - another term for that is "immunity"! The innate response to foreign proteins is by definition inflammatory. The acquired response to the foreign proteins that protects against flu cannot develop without introducing the foreign proteins in non-contagious form and this is always going to trigger an innate response as well.

Let me know if that's too jargony and I will translate. :)

Re: Are you getting a flu shot?

Post by blythe » Wed Oct 05, 2011 03:13 pm

The inflammatory response elicited by vaccination is substantially milder and more transient than seen in infectious illness, arguing for the clinical value of vaccination. However, further research is needed to confirm that the mild inflammatory response elicited by vaccination is benign in pregnancy.

I've been told that the first rule of medicine is "do no harm" so I can see why they want to make sure that the inflammatory response they're seeing isn't a problem. That being said, from my read of the abstract, they also aren't showing that it *is* a problem, just speculating that theoretically, *maybe*, it could be. I'm pretty sure they would need to run a completely different study to see if the flu shot and the inflammatory response from it was correlated with preeclampsia.

My bias is that I'd focus more on the first sentence I quoted - the inflammatory response they saw from the flu shot was a lot milder than what happens when women actually get the flu.

Re: Are you getting a flu shot?

Post by jean » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:25 am

So the day after I had my shot, my ring didn't fit...maybe because of inflammatory response? Is this a big study or a little one? Is the inflammatory response immediate and does it "calm down" after an extended amount of time (making risk for pre-e immediate rather than long term), or according to this study, does having the shot make you more at risk for it anytime in the future? (Sorry, I have a really hard time understanding all of these studies without having someone to explain them to me-maybe it's pregnancy brain)

Re: Are you getting a flu shot?

Post by alexis » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:19 am

Hrm. Well, it's a real journal and a real study. OTOH, that site is really, really biased. I'd want an immunologist to read the full text and give me their take on how meaningful it is.

As for Hep B: A lot of people are symptomless carriers. It's a problem in Asian-Americans (Hep B is endemic in some Asian countries, particularly China). The SF Health Department has run campaigns encouraging Hep B vaccination in the Asian community because of familial transmission.

I had a flu shot at 36 weeks. Baby won't be able to get one (flu shots may not even be effective in under-2s, I've seen conflicting advice). Baby may get some protection from me this way. I have a preschooler, so she just brings every germ home.

Re: Are you getting a flu shot?

Post by jean » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:08 am

Is this a bunch of hooey, or is it legitimate? I already got my shot.. ... e-journal/

Re: Are you getting a flu shot?

Post by uncskristy » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:47 am

I finished an OB appt where I was given one. My OB recommended going ahead and getting it so I could pass along some of the immunity I get from the shot to Blaine. The shot is not given to babies under six months of age so he will not have the opportunity to get one this flu season.

Re: Are you getting a flu shot?

Post by caryn » Tue Sep 27, 2011 07:06 am

Jasmine, you certainly have a right to your opinion. My post doesn't share medical advice, and I'm not a health care provider. It shares a link to a report of a study you can take to your HCP for discussion, and my opinion about what I think. You're welcome to share studies, or anecdotes, as you wish.

In this case, our Medical Board says not getting the flu shot and getting the flu can carry a risk of death of 1:25 and if getting the shot (eta: baseline risk is 1:100,000) the big careful studies say the possibility of GB carries a risk of temporary paralysis of 11:90 million. The moderators on the boards do point out such risk values, but I did not say that people should value one above the other and I, as my .sig says, am not a doc.

Re: Are you getting a flu shot?

Post by riehlism » Tue Sep 27, 2011 00:12 am

caryn wrote:I think Guillain-Barre is pretty much ruled out at this point: ... llain-Barr

Any speculation drawing an ongoing link between flu vaccination and the risk of a rare, paralyzing neuromuscular disorder has been dashed by a huge study. An analysis of side effects recorded among nearly 90 million people in China who were vaccinated during the 2009–2010 flu season found that only 11 people subsequently were diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rate no greater than what normally appears in the population. The study appears online February 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Honestly, this makes me quite irate! As much as you moderators watch us so that we don't write comments about giving possible medical advice, the very comment "I think Guillain-Barre is pretty much ruled out at this point" does just that. If you make me bite my tongue, moderators better start doing the same. This remark goes beyond just commenting. So I'm going to alter what I said in a deleted post. I personally know 3 people this year alone who got Guillain-Barre from a flu shot. So to say we can rule it out is in accurate. Rare? Yes. Suggesting it be thrown out the window as a worry. False and irresponsible.

I personally have no opinion if people choose to have the flu shot or not. Personally, I wouldn't But I believe I still have a right to share my opinion, a valid opinion without being told that it shouldn't be a worry.