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Old 05.12.2012, 12:23
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Flu vaccination before traveling?

Does it make sense to get a flu shot here before traveling to the USA at Christmas?

My dear mother thinks I will get sick without one. I don't normally get flu shots here and I was wondering if I get jabbed for a virus strain here, would it be ineffective at preventing strains in the US from infecting me?

Do you think it's worth it to bother finding a doctor/place to do it for a not-obscene amount of money?

Thanks!
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Old 05.12.2012, 12:24
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

are you over 50 or pregnant? If yes, do it.

if not, don't do it and tell a white lie to your mom if she asks
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Old 05.12.2012, 12:25
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

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are you over 50 or pregnant? If yes, do it.

if not, don't do it and tell a white lie to your mom if she asks
No and no. Perfectly healthy right now as well.
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Old 05.12.2012, 12:27
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

Then why inject yourself with a virus before going on vacation? That is IMO not the smartest thing to do. After vacation, to get more time off work... that is a syringe with a different needle.
JC
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:00
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

It's the same flu shot everywhere. If you don't have a chronic disease, are 50, pregnant, or don't work around sick people or small kids, you're probably fine. Just know that airplanes are like flying petri dishes, so rest, drink lots of water and try not to sit next to coughers. And wash your hands. A lot.

I am over 50 with a chronic disease, and I used to work in a hospital in the US, so I get them. And I've never had the flu. But I didn't start getting them before my mid 40's.
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:07
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

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Then why inject yourself with a virus before going on vacation? ...
Does that mean, that you always get sick because of vaccinations?

I take the "flu shot" every year and nothing ever happend.
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:10
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

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Then why inject yourself with a virus before going on vacation? That is IMO not the smartest thing to do. After vacation, to get more time off work... that is a syringe with a different needle.
JC
What the hell are you on about? The flu vaccine contains antigens derived from an inactivated flu virus, not the actual virus itself.

A flu jab is a personal choice, and most people who contract the flu will not become seriously ill. However, herd immunity is never a bad thing. The vaccine will be the same worldwide in the Northern hemisphere, but may differ in the Southern hemsphere as they have a different flu season.
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:10
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

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Does that mean, that you always get sick because of vaccinations?

I take the "flu shot" every year and nothing ever happend.
No, not at all. Personally I don't take the needle, and don't get sick. Earlier I thought... good idea, get the vaccination and stay healthy... Damn if I didn't get a flu, every time!

I am saying, if the OP doesn't normally get the vaccination, then don't do it now and risk spending vacation time laid up.
JC
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:12
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

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are you over 50 or pregnant? If yes, do it.

if not, don't do it and tell a white lie to your mom if she asks
A bit off topic but my understanding is vaccinations are not given to pregnant women.
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:16
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

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A bit off topic but my understanding is vaccinations are not given to pregnant women.
I'm sure my pregnant wife was given the shot in front of me by her OB-GYN (who apologised that I could not get the shot there and then) and given some additional tablets in case she got swine flu.....
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:21
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

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I'm sure my pregnant wife was given the shot in front of me by her OB-GYN (who apologised that I could not get the shot there and then) and given some additional tablets in case she got swine flu.....
Interesting, my doctor asked me to be away from small kids as they can carry chickenpox and Other flu viruses, and she said they can't give me vaccines for the same during pregnancy.
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:22
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

I travel a lot and tend to get one every year now - there is nothing to lose and flu is proper horrible.

I am told that the flu jabs DO vary from country to country, not hemisphere to hemisphere, as local strains are variable
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:23
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

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Interesting, my doctor asked me to be away from small kids as they can carry chickenpox and Other flu viruses, and she said they can't give me vaccines for the same during pregnancy.
maybe the wife was done as she was pregnant over the "big" swine flu winter. I also assume that other vaccinations would not be done.

it's also good advice to stay away from kids and keep kids away from other kids. At all times!!!
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:24
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

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I am told that the flu jabs DO vary from country to country, not hemisphere to hemisphere, as local strains are variable
Incorrect.
Each year the WHO meets and decides which strains will be included in the upcoming yearly flu vaccination. That info is passed onto the vaccine manufacturers, who must formulate their vaccine accordingly.

Edit: I know as my previous job was to write and help in the design of the required influenza vaccine clinical study each year.
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:26
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

I am 6 months pg and had my flu jab a few weeks ago.

The chickenpox vaccine can not be given to pg women
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:28
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

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Incorrect.
Each year the WHO meets and decides which strains will be included in the upcoming yearly flu vaccination. That info is passed onto the vaccine manufacturers, who must formulate their vaccine accordingly.

Edit: I know as my previous job was to write and help in the design of the required influenza vaccine clinical study each year.
OK - interesting. The Swiss doctors told me that the Swiss vaccine probably wouldn't protect me in Russia
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:35
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

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OK - interesting. The Swiss doctors told me that the Swiss vaccine probably wouldn't protect me in Russia
Seriously? Then your Swiss doctor is talking out of his arse.

Having said that, the WHO recommends the 3 flu strains it sees as most likely to be the most prevalent during the flu season. However, this does not mean you won't contract flu from another strain not included in the vaccine. But this would be applicable as much in Switzerland as in Russia.
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Old 05.12.2012, 14:07
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

The amount of wrong information about a simple thing like a flu shot is really interesting (even among a statistically higher educated than average crowd) and makes you wonder why the anti-vaxxers haven't succeeded in fully banning vaccines. The CDC is supposedly recommending adults get a DTaP booster as whooping cough is raging back. I know as my husband and I spend 8 weeks coughing our asses off thinking it was just a cold, particularly since our daughter wasn't getting sick, only to find out it was whooping cough (though we didn't get a culture to prove it as that takes 2 weeks so the number of confirmed v. suspected cases is likely rather skewed). Whooping cough! I laughed when my neighbor suggested it as I said I had been vaccinated and who gets that anymore...After xmas, I'm going to see what I can do to join the ranks of those who wish to extinguish this anti-vaxxer stupidity once and for all. Even now there's some freak in Washington who is spewing this same sort of nonsense - http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astro..._nonsense.html

If I were traveling and hadn't had a shot yet, yes, I'd get one as the flu season started early this year and is projected to be rather widespread and nasty. Once you have the flu without the vaccine, you'll get religion and get the vaccine every year as I have. The flu is nasty, nasty business.
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Old 05.12.2012, 14:15
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

I know some people who have horrible reactions to the flu vax and don't get it. I get a little soreness in my arm, sometimes a little stuffiness, but it never lasts long. And I know people who've had the shot and still had the flu. But like Poptart, I have the flu vax religion.

In my early 40's I had two bouts of mycoplasma (walking pneumonia) after taking long flights. Sickest I've ever been. Worse than chemotherapy. I've not had it since I've started getting the flu vax, but correlation is not causation.

Still, if you're not in a risk group, it really is an individual choice. But airplanes suck as far as germs, and travelling around christmas with all the clueless people - a flu vax is the least of your worries.

If I'm not mistaken, though, you ought to get it 2 weeks before you travel. Maybe that doesn't hold anymore.

Huh, didn't know that about the DaTP. I think my last booster was more than 50 years ago. And I'm going to the US in mid January. Airports and germs.
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Old 05.12.2012, 14:19
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Re: Flu vaccination before traveling?

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I know some people who have horrible reactions to the flu vax and don't get it. I get a little soreness in my arm, sometimes a little stuffiness, but it never lasts long. And I know people who've had the shot and still had the flu. But like Poptart, I have the flu vax religion.

In my early 40's I had two bouts of mycoplasma (walking pneumonia) after taking long flights. Sickest I've ever been. Worse than chemotherapy. I've not had it since I've started getting the flu vax, but correlation is not causation.

Still, if you're not in a risk group, it really is an individual choice. But airplanes suck as far as germs, and travelling around christmas with all the clueless people - a flu vax is the least of your worries.

If I'm not mistaken, though, you ought to get it 2 weeks before you travel. Maybe that doesn't hold anymore.
Reactions to a vaccine are normal; your body is responding to the antigen by stimulating the immune system, resulting in fever, soreness etc.
Flu vaccine won't protect against mycoplasma, but might prevent flu and a subsequent secondary mycoplasma infection.
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