You give me fever
February 12, 2018 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Why is this the worst flu season in years? Inspired by many questions on the green about the flu this year. Should I get the flu shot? Is it a cold or the flu? How can I keep myself and others safe from spreading the flu? I'm worried about side effects, should I be?

and also...

The vaccine mismatch was not caused by a genetic shift in the circulating flu, as happens in some years, but by changes in the “seed virus” used in the vaccine; as it grew in eggs, it picked up mutations foreign to human flu.

The flu shot was only 10% effective in Australia, but will be more effective in the U.S. Why?

Far fewer Australians are immune because flu shots there are recommended only for health care workers and people at high risk — those who are pregnant, have diabetes, obesity, lung problems, compromised immunity or other factors. Health authorities in the United States recommend flu shots for everyone older than six months.


and

“One of the reasons CDC recommends vaccination is that it still may provide protection against other influenza viruses — against influenza B viruses, against the H1N1 virus.”

Also if you are in the US - help support crowd sourcing science with Flu Near You.
posted by Toddles (54 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
The side effects of the flu could be significantly worse than the shot:
Having the flu appears to increase the risk of having a heart attack, especially among those aged 65 and older, an Ontario study suggests.

"What we found is that you're six times more likely to have a heart attack during the week after being diagnosed with influenza, compared with a year before or a year after the infection," said Dr. Jeff Kwong, lead author of the study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. (CBC, Jan 24, 2018)
Original publication here (subscription to NEJM required).

My father passed away just about a year ago. He had a flu at the time, and likely died of heart failure. This kind of hit home for me.
posted by bonehead at 9:37 AM on February 12 [13 favorites]


A friend of mine in his fifties just died of a heart attack after having severe flu for a week. He didn't go the doctor because he didn't have health insurance.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:41 AM on February 12 [20 favorites]


Get the jab. Wash your filthy hands whether you think they need it or not. Try not to touch the holes in your face. Stay home when you're sick. Save someone's life.
posted by pracowity at 9:55 AM on February 12 [40 favorites]


Stay home when you're sick. Save someone's life.

This is good advice for people who can follow it. I wish that more articles that give this advice would address the other side of it, though: Many people can't stay home because they don't have sick leave. And even if you can handle the lost wages, which not everyone can, many people can even be legally fired for staying home when sick.

This isn't to pick on you. It's just that advice that holds individuals responsible - "stay home" - is so common and accepted, and the systemic issues like lack of labor protections get ignored. And so the connection between these two things gets lost.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 10:31 AM on February 12 [71 favorites]


By the way, you can get it twice. In the same month. Oh yes you can. *cough cough cough*
posted by mudpuppie at 10:37 AM on February 12 [11 favorites]


This is why paid sick leave is a political and public health issue. What happens when an ill person is forced to go to work and prepares your food? Teaches your children? Hands you a folder? Coughs in an elevator? There’s no rugged individualisming your way out of a contagious disease.
posted by The Whelk at 10:43 AM on February 12 [73 favorites]


Metafilter: wash your filthy hands

Metafilter: you can get it twice. In the same month.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:43 AM on February 12 [5 favorites]


Our daughter was coughing and warm last night so we decided that she wouldn't be going to school today. It was an easy decision for us to make because my wife is at home. But if both parents are working and their isn't any family support then a whole bunch of parents are going to send their kids to school, which will likely lead to more kids getting sick, and I wouldn't really blame the parents for it because what else are you going to do?

I guess a solution for this kind of thing could be some kind of day-clinic where you can drop off kids who would otherwise be in school and a nurse and some other adults would watch them for the day. To me that makes more sense than getting other kids sick at school or the loss in productivity in a parent having to stay home or trying to arrange a sitter for the day at the last minute.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:51 AM on February 12 [8 favorites]


While waiting to get my son’s tamiflu Rx filled (and again later for my own) I got a pang thinking about how lucky I was that going to the doctor was even an option for us.

The older I get, the more obvious single-payer seems.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:57 AM on February 12 [20 favorites]


Oh, mudpuppie, I hear you. I got it twice in a month (down for a couple days the first time, then most of a week the second time) and this afternoon my throat started to get sore again and I just hope this is not round three because I Am Through With This Bullshit Flu.
posted by sldownard at 11:04 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


My dad's (survived) heart attack last Christmas was caused by the flu.

But I also have a family history in which my mom had a severe neurological reaction to a flu vaccine shot that put her in a wheelchair for several months and left her with chronic fatigue syndrome and/or Epstein-Barr, and a long list of neuro issues that are effectively untreatable.

I am not antivax at all, but I also almost never get sick, I wash my hands and I stay home or away from the public if I do get sick. I don't think I've caught the actual flu in like 4-5 years. Lately all I get is a once a year seasonal allergy triggered cold that maybe lasts 24-48 hours.

Like, two weeks ago I spent an entire week in a household with two sick kids and one sick adult and I didn't catch it.

I'm conflicted. I want to do the right thing for herd immunity but I also am really wary about having a bad reaction like my mom did. Whatever happened to her in that flu shot reaction really messed her up and she wasn't ever 100% again after that.
posted by loquacious at 11:05 AM on February 12 [7 favorites]


From the first link, the NYT:
Even in a mild year, flu kills about 12,000 Americans, the C.D.C. estimates. In a bad year, it kills up to 56,000.
Hunh.

The older I get, the more obvious single-payer seems.

Not to get political, but it is useful indeed. In Canada, every pharmacy has signs up urging customers to get the (free) flu shot. They jab you and you sit quietly for twenty minutes so they can make sure you are not in the tiny slice of the population that has a reaction (it would no be good to have an anaphylactic reaction when driving home).

Great thread title, btw.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:06 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


I haven't had a cold or flu in years but omg I got this stupid thing and still can't believe how miserable it is. Even though the worst of it was about a week, it really knocked me out for a full month and I'm only now just feeling somewhat back to normal, after feeling like I was coming down with something the first week of January. It started out as a cold and just when I thought I was getting better, it got way worse.

Thankfully I started a new job that sincerely believes in taking (paid!) sick days, so I essentially stayed home for the worst week so I wouldn't get other people sick, but I still had to work while congested because I can't stay home for an entire month, although I did my best to maintain good hygiene (clorox anything I touched, wash hands frequently, cough into tissues/sleeve, have hand sanitizer accessible for anyone who would come in contact with me) and so far, no one else has been sick with this awful thing. *knock on wood*

I'm mostly thankful that if I had to get sick, it was now, because just a month prior I was at a job where "if you're not dying in the hospital, you can work" was the rule just because there was no one to cover and things had to get done each day. Those jobs exist, unfortunately, and it makes me sad that I took it for granted that I would have to suffer through as best as I could when I was sick instead of being given the "luxury" of rest so that an entire team wouldn't be taken out with the same bug, or worrying if I could afford to take more than a couple of days off, anyway. The system definitely needs changing.
posted by paisley sheep at 11:12 AM on February 12 [7 favorites]


Stay home when you're sick. Save someone's life.

We get sick days but they're in the same bucket as vacation days so if you've already used up your accrual and then get sick, you either come to work sick or have to take unpaid leave. The punchline to this: I work for a hospital system.
posted by octothorpe at 11:17 AM on February 12 [34 favorites]


I guess a solution for this kind of thing could be some kind of day-clinic where you can drop off kids who would otherwise be in school and a nurse and some other adults would watch them for the day.

My local hospital has that! I don't know how much it costs or if insurance covers it, but I always see kids in those rooms whenever I happen to be there.

I got the vaccine early this year, because my new insurance paid for me to get it from my doctor instead of from one of the clinics at my workplace. And I haven't had flu for the first year in many years. But I have had a lot of colds and other minor winter ailments. Bleh.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:29 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


my health insurance badgers me with regular mailings and emailings every autumn about getting a flu shot and i'm like buddy i've been asking my doctor about it since july easily. the last time i had the flu it almost killed me, i couldn't get out of bed for anything other than peeing for like 10 days plus another 2-3 weeks of total exhaustion. also i was smelly which was the real ordeal.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:51 AM on February 12 [5 favorites]


This is good advice for people who can follow it. I wish that more articles that give this advice would address the other side of it, though: Many people can't stay home because they don't have sick leave.

It sucks for people at colleges and universities, too. There are signs all over my campus urging people to stay home if they're sick, but this is a high-pressure environment, and the risk of falling behind absolutely terrifies people. People know that one slip could derail their semester.

It's not as bad in some departments where you can be excused from class and get copies of notes (although you're expected to get them from another student, which is a problem if you don't know anyone in the class), but there are some setting where you are at a serious disadvantage if you miss anything. I routinely see people on campus who absolutely should not be there, and on the one hand I'm mad that they chose to come anyway, but on the other hand I recognize why they felt like they had no choice.

And believe me, this perception is absolutely reinforced by professors. Last semester I wound up in urgent care during finals week (after I'd taken my exams). There was someone in one of the other beds, and I overheard her saying to the doctor that she'd been very sick that morning, but her professor had refused to excuse her from the exam. She left anyway and went to urgent care, but yikes.

A common expectation, by both students and professors alike, is that you will never be sick and never need any kind of a break. "My class moves at a fast pace, so I recommend you don't miss anything or get someone's notes if you're sick" is something I've heard quite a few times.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:55 AM on February 12 [3 favorites]


I'm lucky enough to have paid sick leave now, but when I didn't and had to show up sick or take a pay cut, I used to wear a face mask.

Wearing a mask in such situations is pretty much the best option, since it allows you to at least try to keep contagious illnesses from spreading, and has the excellent side benefit of visibly shaming your employers.
posted by asperity at 12:02 PM on February 12 [32 favorites]


And believe me, this perception is absolutely reinforced by professors. Last semester I wound up in urgent care during finals week (after I'd taken my exams). There was someone in one of the other beds, and I overheard her saying to the doctor that she'd been very sick that morning, but her professor had refused to excuse her from the exam. She left anyway and went to urgent care, but yikes.

A common expectation, by both students and professors alike, is that you will never be sick and never need any kind of a break. "My class moves at a fast pace, so I recommend you don't miss anything or get someone's notes if you're sick" is something I've heard quite a few times.


This also affects graduate teaching assistants, too. If I'm teaching, I might be able to take a sick day from my research--or I might not be, because the boundaries surrounding my research work time and my free time are illusory and transparent, which is another gripe. But I cannot break from my teaching without cancelling class and depriving my students of time they need, which as a TA may mean leaving my class well behind all the classes in the sequence. I may be able to get an informal cover if I can recruit a friend, but that kind of thing takes time to coordinate--there's no "TA subs" program or anything of the sort.

How the hell do I take a sick day when my presence or absence derails the progression of up to fifty students at once? Especially when I have no control over the pace of the course?
posted by sciatrix at 12:20 PM on February 12 [11 favorites]


> Our daughter was coughing and warm last night so we decided that she wouldn't be going to school today. It was an easy decision for us to make because my wife is at home

My daughter missed a week of school with the flu. Same easy decision for us -- I'm a housewife and so the biggest issue was what to do when cabin fever set in (answer: make lots of cookies). I'm maybe the only full-time parent in my daughter's class, and it's a high poverty school, so I take one for the team and keep her home when she's kinda sick in case she spread something to someone who doesn't have as lush of a setup as we have.

Her school was still celebrating kids with "perfect attendance" as recently as two years ago. I wrote several e-mails to the school complaining about this, and they've changed their policy somewhat. I understand truancy is an issue, but praising kids for coming to school every day is also an issue considering how often children get sick.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:22 PM on February 12 [6 favorites]


My aunt came down with the flu last week. She didn't get the flu shot because it was "only 10% effective this year." My aunt is a high-level medical professional with a PhD in a healthcare-related field who works at a university and sees patients several days a week, and she didn't get the flu shot because she read bad statistics. Why do I know more about the flu shot than my medical professional aunt?

Yes, she's also a Trump supporter. Why do you ask?
posted by dirigibleman at 12:23 PM on February 12 [19 favorites]


How the hell do I take a sick day when my presence or absence derails the progression of up to fifty students at once? Especially when I have no control over the pace of the course?

Oh yeah, I was definitely thinking about grad students too, but I hadn't thought about just how bad it was for graduate students with teaching responsibilities. I've had one or two grad student sections canceled before, but I've also seen pretty much every one of my grad student instructors with a really nasty cold. I don't know what the workload is like at your school, but I know grad students at mine usually have two classes of ~25 each, so probably a similar burden. Teaching on top of research on top of their own coursework, plus no sick leave. Jesus.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:37 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


This is why paid sick leave is a political and public health issue.

Absolutely. If you have to be a single-issue voter, always vote for people who are for guaranteed public healthcare and always vote against people who think health care should be a free-market thing, because you and your family will depend on some form of care. Any politician who is strong on public healthcare is probably going to be strong on other things you should vote for. Any politician who is against public healthcare is a shit.
posted by pracowity at 12:49 PM on February 12 [11 favorites]


I just learned that a friend's mother died of complications from flu. She was in her 80s at least, one of the vulnerable populations. Dense population makes it hard to control diseases that are so contagious, but get your flu shot, wash your hands, sneeze/ cough into your elbow.

I had what seemed to be flu at the end of the year. Fast onset, fever, aching, absolutely flattened, and it took ages to recover. I'm in my 60s and the flu i snow very real. Yet another joyful part of geezerdom.
posted by theora55 at 1:08 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


> By the way, you can get it twice. In the same month.

You can get it twice at the same time: Teacher on life support after contracting both strains of flu (and MRSA, and double pneumonia).
posted by sourcequench at 1:22 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Last semester I wound up in urgent care during finals week (after I'd taken my exams). There was someone in one of the other beds, and I overheard her saying to the doctor that she'd been very sick that morning, but her professor had refused to excuse her from the exam.

Not too long ago I read a comment on some article where someone told this story (paraphrased): She had a professor didn't allow any excused absences or any extensions on papers. On the day that the final paper was due, one of his students was in a car crash. She showed up bloody, battered, and with a possibly broken ankle - but with her paper in hand. As soon as she turned it in she went to the ER.

The lesson that this professor took from this wasn't "Wow, I made a student make the choice between failing class or getting treated for a serious injury and that's not right." It was, apparently, "If she could make it, so can everyone else. NO EXCUSES EVER!!!" The cherry on top was that the person writing this comment agreed and didn't see how absolutely bonkers that was.

"No excused absences" should be against university policies everywhere.

I'm a grad student instructor and took one day off this semester because I was sick (not the flu, luckily). It certainly fucked things up the next week, because there's no real easy way to get a substitute to cover the same material - not unless you're teaching the same class as someone else who can cover for you. But at least a pay cut isn't an issue.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:33 PM on February 12 [30 favorites]


My condolences to those mefites who lost loved ones to flu and flu-related issues this year. This is tragic.

In other news, I may just slap the next person who says “Oh, I never get a flu shot cuz I don’t get the flu.”
posted by greermahoney at 2:41 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


Deja flu. Haven't been this sick in years, and after a short bout thought I was fine, but it came roaring back and won't leave, same as half the people I know. At least I can take a bit of time off and medical plan payed for my antibiotics.
posted by blue shadows at 2:46 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


I worked for a boss once who didn't "believe in" the flu. I still boggle about this.

Meanwhile, we all got ours back in September. I was about to suggest we all get a second shot, but apparently that's somewhere between useless and mildly detrimental, so never mind on that then.
posted by XtinaS at 2:55 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


I'm mostly thankful that if I had to get sick, it was now, because just a month prior I was at a job where "if you're not dying in the hospital, you can work" was the rule just because there was no one to cover and things had to get done each day. Those jobs exist, unfortunately, and it makes me sad that I took it for granted that I would have to suffer through as best as I could when I was sick instead of being given the "luxury" of rest

I was in that position when I got the bastard flu last month. My boss kept instructing me to take time off but simultaneously not extending any deadlines. And there are only two of us on the team, and WE BOTH HAD THE FUCKING FLU, so ... you just keep on working. Happily I work from home, doing computery things, so I was in no danger of infecting anyone or collapsing on a machine or anything. But I shudder to think of the quality of my work...
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 3:06 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


Had the flu shot, got the flu, will still get flu shot next year. Both my grandfather and great-grandfather died of complications from influenza contracted during the Spanish and Hong Kong flu pandemics of 1918 and 1968.
posted by xyzzy at 3:45 PM on February 12 [7 favorites]


If you have access to the flu shot, get the damn shot. Read about how and why it works, from reputable sources, and then get the damn shot.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:54 PM on February 12 [7 favorites]


The lesson that this professor took from this wasn't "Wow, I made a student make the choice between failing class or getting treated for a serious injury and that's not right." It was, apparently, "If she could make it, so can everyone else. NO EXCUSES EVER!!!" The cherry on top was that the person writing this comment agreed and didn't see how absolutely bonkers that was.

It's the same sentiment behind how people talk about serious illness and disability, too. "Oh look, she didn't let herself be defeated!" or "so brave of him to keep doing [thing] in spite of all the pain he must have been in, and you never even heard him complain!" It implies that if you do stop, if you do rest because you're in pain or whatever, it's a problem of will. You're just not sufficiently passionate about your interests if you can justify putting them on hold while you're ill or in pain. Or worse yet, you're just privileged and self-indulgent if you want or need to take a day off from some responsibility.

I've struggled with that a lot over the years, because it never feels justified to stay home and rest unless I'm literally unable to move. Splitting headache that makes it hard to think? Um, OK, so-and-so had a headache last week and they still showed up. Back pain? Everybody gets sore sometimes. Etc etc. I think I only stay home if I have the flu because I'd feel guilty about getting other people sick, but then what do you do if you've got a cold for a month straight? I once got mono, and my boss (at a retail job) was deeply frustrated with me for taking a week off, even though I went to work the day before my diagnosis, and I'd had such a high fever that my vision was blurred, and the manager on duty let me spend my whole shift sleeping in the break room. But of course, coming to work with a highly contagious disease is less of a problem than, god forbid, staying home (and not even getting paid).

The work culture in this country sucks, is what I'm saying.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 4:31 PM on February 12 [15 favorites]


What I've wondered and not found direct info is a given years shot the same world wide? Or are there differing formulas for different regions/continents?
posted by sammyo at 4:34 PM on February 12


Sammyo - does this answer your question?
posted by Toddles at 4:46 PM on February 12


Thanks Toddles! So it sounds like a change in continents would make it reasonable to get inoculated in both locations, even if there is some overlap in the localized vaccine, say for someone that winters in both hemispheres.
posted by sammyo at 5:00 PM on February 12


Oh gosh or maybe not.
posted by sammyo at 5:11 PM on February 12


I got my flu shot on Friday (late, I know) and am feeling mildly gross today. Worth it, though. I hate needles, but I love herd immunity.
posted by nonasuch at 5:13 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


It's the same sentiment behind how people talk about serious illness and disability, too. "Oh look, she didn't let herself be defeated!" or "so brave of him to keep doing [thing] in spite of all the pain he must have been in, and you never even heard him complain!" It implies that if you do stop, if you do rest because you're in pain or whatever, it's a problem of will.

Same deal with maternity leave. Return to work early and you’re a hero.
posted by liet at 5:30 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Far fewer Australians are immune because flu shots there are recommended only for health care workers and people at high risk THere's a difference between "recommends" and "actual immunization levels achieved". In Australia, many employers, including all levels of government, provide free flu vaccines for their employees. Even if you pay for it yourself, it costs between $9 and $15.

I didn't get a flu shot last (Australian) winter, even though my employer offers them for free, because I was too busy to set aside 15 minutes. And guess what, I got the so-called Australian flu. I was off work for a month, with four complications on top due to a depleted immune system and constant fevers. It took another month before I was "better" enough to go back to work, and another month after that to get my full lung capacity back. I still have a damaged nerve in my neck as a side effect of one of the complications.

So for heavens' sake, get the flu shot. Please.
posted by girlgenius at 5:39 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


A friend's otherwise healthy 11-year-old niece passed away from complications last week. We're all still in a state of disbelief.
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:05 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


As someone who is generally pretty healthy, but last year skipped the shot and then got both the flu AND pneumonia which both landed me in the hospital and lingered forever, causing me to have to skip 2 weeks of work over a month (not including working from home as well), count me as someone who is a flu shot evangelist. They now offer a pneumonia vaccine to anyone who has gotten it, is a smoker, is over 55 or has any history of asthma. Get the pneumonia shot as well!!!
posted by larthegreat at 6:44 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


I never used to get flu shots—and then last year I got the flu and felt like I’d been hit by a truck. Never again—I’m a convert. I just don’t want to leave myself open to feeling that bad again. If I do somehow get it anyway this year, at least I’ll know I tried to prevent it.
posted by bookmammal at 7:20 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Oh snickerdoodle, that's terrible. That dear child and her family :-(

My employer organises free flu shots each year. I used to be all meh, flu shot, whatever but I find it really makes a difference and I'm on public transport every day.
posted by kitten magic at 8:13 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


snickerdoodle, I'm so sorry. :(
posted by slidell at 9:17 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Afaik, this years' flu shot (northern hemisphere) containing three strains (H1N1, H3N2 and B-Victoria) isn't very effective, the quadrivalent shot (containing B-Yamagata) is, though.

Anyhow, it's never too late to get the shot. Even if you get infected the next day, you still gave your immune system a day's start...
posted by ojemine at 2:39 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I'm up in Canada. I tend not to get the flu, but do get the flu shot, for the sake of herd immunity and not wanting to get sick.

I don't notice it most days but I have a very mild ache in my left deltoid where I got the shot.

Apparently some people do get persistent pain, weakness, and reduced range of motion:
Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)

https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2016/02/08/did-this-years-flu-shot-cause-persistent-arm-pain/

https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2015/09/14/why-does-my-shoulder-still-hurt-so-much-after-a-flu-shot/
Next flu season I'm getting the intranasal vaccine.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:42 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I have no idea whether it's just because I'm just generally more healthy these days (I do bike all year now, and I assume that helps), but I haven't had the flu since I started getting the shot.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:31 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


My husband got the 3-strain shot, I got the 4-strain flu shot.

We both got the flu twice, starting in December, although my bouts with it were significantly less awful. He ended up with walking pneumonia.

He's been physically at-work one day so far this year and has been teleworking or out sick otherwise. He's super lucky to (a) have good health care, (b) have sick leave, (c) have understanding supervisors/coworkers, and (d) have me work from home so I've been able to take care of him.

We get our flu shots every year because we're otherwise healthy 30-somethings but oh jeez. We completely understand how people could (and do!) die from this. My condolences to everyone affected.
posted by bookdragoness at 8:01 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I got the flu last week, even though I was vaccinated. I got on tamiflu right away so the worst of it only lasted about four days. I was able to take sick time and work from home. I still have bronchitis thanks to decades of smoking (I quit three years ago, but the damage is done.) I heard a story about a woman who died because she couldn't afford the $100+ price of the tamiflu. I feel guilty because my copay was $3. America needs universal healthcare because that's just stupid.
posted by double block and bleed at 1:29 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I got my flu shot back in October. I had a dentist appointment that morning, and it wrapped up earlier than I thought it would (hooray for just needing a filling instead of a root canal), so I decided to be a Responsible Citizen and use my extra time to get my flu shot taken care of.

Anyway, I went up to the clinic that my doctor's practice has set up for immunizations, and told the nurse I was there for a flu shot. She pulled up my chart, glanced at my shot record, and told me that it looked like I was in need of a Hep A shot and also, when was my last tetanus shot?

So the moral of the story: The flu shot is the least painful of those three, so if you're worried about the flu shot, just go get the rest of your immunizations done at the same time, and trust me, you won't feel bad about the jab from the flu shot at all.
posted by PearlRose at 7:10 AM on February 14 [5 favorites]


Tetanus is the worst. Not all that bad in the grand scheme of things, but it always makes me feel like I've been punched in the arm for the next few days. Better than actual tetanus, though, that's for sure.

Happy Valentine's Day?
posted by asperity at 8:08 AM on February 14


Even if you get infected the next day, you still gave your immune system a day's start...

FWIW I pretty much always get the flu shot, and I still get the flu probably once every 3 years. But the one year I skipped (I was working 3 jobs, and was basically pulling 16 hour days every day) I had the flu for a literal month and it turned into pneumonia somewhere along the way.

Whereas all of the years with a shot, I have been down and out for a week and then reasonably fine.

So like yeah, even when it doesn't technically work, it still...kinda works. Go git you some.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:11 PM on February 14


My sister had some minor outpatient surgery earlier today, and even the receptionists at the clinic were masked up.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:09 PM on February 15


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