The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?  (Read 22453 times)

Offline rosalind dna

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2019
    • View Profile
I have been wondering whether or not to accept another flu jab this year, because I had my first Flu jab last year.

But I had the most bad colds (6) that I have ever had in my life before although I take Vitamin C with it.
Now that works to enact my own immune system's anti-bodies.

Is this year's flu virus jab taken from 2007's (for example)?
If this so then how much use is that jab.
« Last Edit: 04/10/2008 15:32:27 by chris »


 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #1 on: 27/09/2008 00:56:57 »
I have had the flu jab every year for the last 15 years and it has always done me good !

It doesn't protect against colds and it still does not guarantee that you won't catch the flu..I think they have a clever way of predicting/knowing which variant will strike mostly during the oncoming season and then create the jab based on that.....so..it only protects against the flu version that they have calculated will be prevalent.

I'd have it Rosalind, but it is of course up to you in the end.

Ours is free....so why not ?
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #2 on: 27/09/2008 01:00:59 »
I agree I had it last year as I was so sick all the time and my immune system is and was down so I am getting it again..because I cannot afford to get the flue and it did help.. I had a cold but Did not get deathly ill like I usually do and it did not last as long and i did not get secondary infections!
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #3 on: 27/09/2008 01:01:08 »
Are you saying Rosalind that ewe think the flu jab gave ewe those colds ?
 

Offline rosalind dna

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2019
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #4 on: 27/09/2008 11:12:14 »
Are you saying Rosalind that ewe think the flu jab gave ewe those colds ?

Hi Neil and Karen
Yes that is just what I am saying that the flu jab creates the
cold virus in our bodies or so I have been told.

Also that is why I am extra-cautious because I have to think
of any possible reaction with my normal Anti-Epilepsy medicines which I don't want obviously.

I have had a slight cold already this autumn and got rid of it with the help of Vitamin C tablets, one a day only.

Thanks both for your advice x

 

Offline Counterpoints

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 592
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #5 on: 27/09/2008 19:48:11 »
Rosalind,

A flu shot usually contains a weakened, ineffective version of the virus it is to protect you against.  Once your immune system detects this virus, it produces antibodies against it.  This is how the shot works.  Did you know you can never get the same flu more than once?

However, this weakened version of the virus can still give you some flu-like symptoms -- they're just not nearly as bad as what the regular virus will give you. These symptoms -- which are rarely noticeable -- should pass within weeks.  I do not see any reason a flu shot would cause you to have cold symptoms for very long.  If you did experience many colds after receiving a shot, I think this is an unrelated coincidence.




« Last Edit: 27/09/2008 19:50:35 by Counterpoints »
 

Offline rosalind dna

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2019
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #6 on: 27/09/2008 21:41:48 »
Rosalind,

A flu shot usually contains a weakened, ineffective version of the virus it is to protect you against.  Once your immune system detects this virus, it produces antibodies against it.  This is how the shot works.  Did you know you can never get the same flu more than once?

Quote
The reason that the flu jab/shot contains last years flu virus is because that's the one that the researchers/doctors use to form the present years vaccine.
Which is not exactly possible for a virus as it changes every year.

Yes because the influenza virus for 2008 is new so different from previous ones.

However, this weakened version of the virus can still give you some flu-like symptoms -- they're just not nearly as bad as what the regular virus will give you. These symptoms -- which are rarely noticeable -- should pass within weeks.  I do not see any reason a flu shot would cause you to have cold symptoms for very long.  If you did experience many colds after receiving a shot, I think this is an unrelated coincidence.

Quote
Also last year was the first time in about 20 years since I had had a bout of flu.
I have had bad colds in the early winter and that makes my immune system stop me getting others at least that has happened apart from last year (2007) when i had that jabs.






 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8668
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #7 on: 28/09/2008 14:02:49 »
The 2 diseases are different. They are caused by different virusses.
While a reaction to the 'flu virus might seem like a cold, it isn't one; it's a mild dose of 'flu.
It's possible (though unlikely) that the 'flu shot meant you immune system was busy  dealing with it and didn't do as good a job of warding off a cold but that could only have lasted a week or so. The immune sysyem would have dealt with the 'flu jab by then.
The collection of colds must have been due to soemthing else- most probably coincidence.
A weakened form of the 'flu virus can no more cause a cold than a rabbit can breed with a cow.
 

Offline rosalind dna

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2019
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #8 on: 28/09/2008 14:16:09 »
The 2 diseases are different. They are caused by different virusses.
While a reaction to the 'flu virus might seem like a cold, it isn't one; it's a mild dose of 'flu.
It's possible (though unlikely) that the 'flu shot meant you immune system was busy  dealing with it and didn't do as good a job of warding off a cold but that could only have lasted a week or so. The immune sysyem would have dealt with the 'flu jab by then.
The collection of colds must have been due to soemthing else- most probably coincidence.
A weakened form of the 'flu virus can no more cause a cold than a rabbit can breed with a cow.

BC but as I have previously said that those 6 colds were the most that I'd ever had in my life and only after having had that jab.

Surely a flu is a stronger version of a cold? Anyway each year the doctors give the flu viruses a different name?
I normally have a strong immune system which using the Vitamin C helps and that is natural taken from fruit & vegetables.

But I do know that the bird flu H5N1 is supposed to be something like the Spanish flu which occured 90 years at the end of the WW1.

Can't the fact that a cold then becomes flu as it's done with me years ago.
 

Offline Counterpoints

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 592
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #9 on: 28/09/2008 18:32:53 »
The 2 diseases are different. They are caused by different virusses.
While a reaction to the 'flu virus might seem like a cold, it isn't one; it's a mild dose of 'flu.
It's possible (though unlikely) that the 'flu shot meant you immune system was busy  dealing with it and didn't do as good a job of warding off a cold but that could only have lasted a week or so. The immune sysyem would have dealt with the 'flu jab by then.
The collection of colds must have been due to soemthing else- most probably coincidence.
A weakened form of the 'flu virus can no more cause a cold than a rabbit can breed with a cow.

BC but as I have previously said that those 6 colds were the most that I'd ever had in my life and only after having had that jab.

Surely a flu is a stronger version of a cold? Anyway each year the doctors give the flu viruses a different name?
I normally have a strong immune system which using the Vitamin C helps and that is natural taken from fruit & vegetables.

But I do know that the bird flu H5N1 is supposed to be something like the Spanish flu which occured 90 years at the end of the WW1.

Can't the fact that a cold then becomes flu as it's done with me years ago.

I agree with Bored chemist.  How far apart were these 6 colds?  It seems very coincidental.  You are associating these colds with the flu shot, but surely there were more differences between that year and others?

A cold will not become a flu.  They are considered different viruses, as far as I know.  However, a cold could perhaps weaken your immune system, making yourself more susceptible to flu or subsequent cold infections.

 

Offline Counterpoints

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 592
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #10 on: 28/09/2008 18:34:06 »
P.S. There is an error in your quotes in your response to my post.
If this is you "Also last year was the first time in about 20 years since I had had a bout of flu.
I have had bad colds in the early winter and that makes my immune system stop me getting others at least that has happened apart from last year (2007) when i had that jabs", perhaps you don't need a flu shot?
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8668
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #11 on: 28/09/2008 20:54:44 »
"Surely a flu is a stronger version of a cold? "
No.
Like I said they are different diseases caused by different viruses. 'flu is caused by Orthomyxoviridae; clods by one of a selectioin of other viruses, typically rhinovirus. You really can't turn one into the other.
 

Offline rosalind dna

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2019
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #12 on: 28/09/2008 21:39:17 »
Counterpoints, The 6 colds last year where not only strong ones but within (roughly) a few weeks of each other. It didn't matter how much fruit, fruit juices and veg I ate.

But if a cold does weaken my immune system at the time then during the times that I don't have a cold make it work as stronger?
Sorry but there is no error in my post about getting the flu because the last time that I got a bout of the flu was the same year that my Mum died in 1988, not something that I'll easily forget.

BC Oh but how come that when someone has had a cold then gets a bad bout of flu can get very ill. Not me
How can this happen?


 

Offline rosalind dna

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2019
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #13 on: 29/09/2008 11:52:24 »
When I saw my GP today, I asked her about the possible differences in each year's influenza viruses and she admitted to me as I've been saying that this year's flu jab is taken from
last year's one.

Also that this year's influenza virus will have a different RNA chromosome shape than 2007's one.

So I am still thinking about accepting that jab anyway needles scare me. I have to look away.
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8668
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #14 on: 29/09/2008 19:25:05 »
"how come that when someone has had a cold then gets a bad bout of flu can get very ill."
Simple, Flu is a nasty disease. A bit of bad luck and feeling a bit run down after a cold might easilly explain how they happeded to catch 'flu just as they got over a cold.
 

Offline rosalind dna

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2019
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #15 on: 29/09/2008 21:52:29 »
"how come that when someone has had a cold then gets a bad bout of flu can get very ill."
Simple, Flu is a nasty disease. A bit of bad luck and feeling a bit run down after a cold might easilly explain how they happeded to catch 'flu just as they got over a cold.

BC When I get the flu, then all I can do is sleep but when I get a cold, I usually carry on as
"normal" as possible. I do try to keep as warm as I feel ok with.

I know that colds & flu kills, After all annually we get Statistics about this.

But then how come they are both viruses that make us ache, give us sore throats etc?
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8668
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #16 on: 30/09/2008 20:03:08 »
Since the virusses both attack the throat, nose and lungs they produce similar local symptoms  (part of these are due to the immune response; the runny nose for example).
A lot of the aches and pains are due to the body's reaction to the virus. Since these spring from your immune system they are the same whatever the infection.

One of the body's antivirals is interferon.
Have a look at the side effects listed here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interferon#Adverse_effects

 

Offline rosalind dna

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2019
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #17 on: 01/10/2008 11:02:03 »
Since the virusses both attack the throat, nose and lungs they produce similar local symptoms  (part of these are due to the immune response; the runny nose for example).
A lot of the aches and pains are due to the body's reaction to the virus. Since these spring from your immune system they are the same whatever the infection.

One of the body's antivirals is interferon.
Have a look at the side effects listed here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interferon#Adverse_effects



BC  in fact Interferon is normally used for cancer or heart conditions also it would conflict with my normal medicines as
it contains codeine and anyway anti-biotics for these 2 viruses
are useless.

Also as a doctor told me recently and wrote down this:
"The flu virus changes SLIGHTLY from year to year.

So I am still considering about the flu jab/shot and I will definitely check with my GP next time I see her.

 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8668
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #18 on: 01/10/2008 19:44:53 »
Interferon isn't an antibiotic (it affects the body- not the microorganism that's causing the infection).
It doesn't contain codeine.
 

Offline rosalind dna

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2019
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #19 on: 02/10/2008 10:51:41 »
BC I have not had cause to take any anti-biotics since 1991 so
that my own immune system is strong without them. Anyway
I'd never take Anti-biotics for a virus eg cold flu.

But I am not criticising you although my GP has told me that
along with Interferon, Codeine, Ibuprofen I can't take them as they conflict with my AeDs. So if I get a headache it's
Paracetamol for Rosalind.

So does a cold or flu affect the body and sometimes it's better to let our own body's defences work rather than taking more medicines.
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8668
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #20 on: 02/10/2008 19:30:38 »
The only thing I usually take for a cold is whiskey; it doesn't cure it, but it stops it bothering you so much.
There may be any number of drugs that, for whatever reason, you shouldn't take. Interferon might be one of them- it doesn't suprise me. However it's still not an antibiotic and it still doesn't contain codeine.
 

Offline rosalind dna

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2019
    • View Profile
Re: Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #21 on: 03/10/2008 13:12:14 »
The only thing I usually take for a cold is whiskey; it doesn't cure it, but it stops it bothering you so much.
There may be any number of drugs that, for whatever reason, you shouldn't take. Interferon might be one of them- it doesn't suprise me. However it's still not an antibiotic and it still doesn't contain codeine.

BC thanks but I can't drink alcohol with my medicines, so Irish Whiskey or Scotch whisky is out of the question.
Then I will carry on taking Vitamin C as it's not a medicine but something that I eat every day.

I am still in 2-mindeds about the Flu-jab as it won't stop colds and since I hardly if ever get the flu it is useless for me I think. Interesting all the same.
 

Offline careful4u

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #22 on: 08/10/2008 07:54:17 »
I am 72 yrs old, and I had the flu jab on Saturday.  I have been ill with the flu since then and was confined to bed for 3 days. Next year I will not have the jab I dont want this to happen to me again. I still feel very ill and my arm is very sore where I had the jab.  My doctor said that I had a reaction to the jab.
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #23 on: 08/10/2008 10:54:40 »
I am 72 yrs old, and I had the flu jab on Saturday.  I have been ill with the flu since then and was confined to bed for 3 days. Next year I will not have the jab I dont want this to happen to me again. I still feel very ill and my arm is very sore where I had the jab.  My doctor said that I had a reaction to the jab.

Hello careful4u ,

Was this the first time you have had the flu jab ?

 

Offline careful4u

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #24 on: 08/10/2008 11:27:51 »
Hi ,

   No it was not my first time for the flu jab,but I will say that it usally makes me feel sleepy, but this time I am quite ill with it.
My doctor said it will take just over a week for me to get better.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Is the 'flu jab effective at preventing 'flu infection?
« Reply #24 on: 08/10/2008 11:27:51 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums