Bad AskMe Deletions. December 11, 2011 8:56 PM   Subscribe

These are Bad AskMe Comment Deletions.

In this post the person asking the question literally asks : "Also, is the flu shot really necessary?"

To which several people, including myself responded as to the effectiveness or value of getting a flu shot. Many of the responses that indicated the flu shots were less than effective (I am most definitely NOT an anti-vaxxer FWIW) are being deleted in that thread.

A response of mine that was deleted was:
---------------
Tamiflu is not a flu vaccine. This is poorly-informed conspiracy nonsense.

The link given earlier clearly shows that Tamiflu is an anti-viral widely prescribed for certain flu viruses. As with the current flu vaccinations , knowing the effectiveness - or lack thereof - of recommended vaccinations/medications should be an important consideration to the O.P when considerng the need for a flu shot.

In the case of flu vaccinations you have only a 60% chance (earlier link) of the vaccine being effective against only the three viruses that were guesstimated a year ago to be making the rounds this current season.
-----------------

which gave a link to a study from a highly recognized researcher that indicated that flu medications/vaccines were dubiously effective and his opinion that they were being misused.

Yet a post saying "Tamiflu is not a flu vaccine. This is poorly-informed conspiracy nonsense." was allowed to stand

One mod actually says : "Guys, can we all just agree to stop with the anti vs. pro flu shot derail?" which directly contradicts the Original Posters question of "Also, is the flu shot really necessary?"

I realize that flu shot discussions are controversial around here. Negative information about flu medications can often be construed with anti-vax sentiments which is not necessarily true. Shouldn't the O.P have full access to both sides and is not the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of flu vaccines directly answering one of the questions that the O.P. asked.
posted by Poet_Lariat to Etiquette/Policy at 8:56 PM (188 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

You are more than welcome to email the OP which is the suggestion that we indicated might be good from within the thread. Continuing a derail about Tamiflu is not answering the OPs question. It's always difficult trying to figure out where to cut off a side discussion, but you had already made a long comment with links to further resources which seemed sufficient. People mentioned that Tamiflu was not a flu vaccine. The OP is asking about the flu vaccine. If you have a longer explanation about the politics and economics of the Flu Industrial Complex, it's totally okay to email the OP and totally out of place to put it in the thread beyond your original comment.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:02 PM on December 11, 2011


Tamiflu is not a flu vaccine. The poster asked specifically about the flu vaccine.

At the very least, it's irrelevant, which is deletable in AskMe.
posted by kagredon at 9:04 PM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Respectfully, Jessamyn, Tamiflu is but one of many medications that were being highly touted by our government (along with vaccines) as recently as the the '09 swine flu outbreak. The link that I gave in rebuttal was to a Guardian article the indicated that at least one very respected researcher was indicating that such medications (vaccines AND Tamiflu) were not being properly used , specifically that he believed that such medications/ vaccines had little place in general population yearly outbreaks. All that is indicated in the link that I originally posted and reproduced here and I feel is directly related to the question of current vaccination effectiveness , and a directly related to the question of "Should I get the flu vaccine". It's just one datapoint in many - but if certain datapoints are to be discarded then is the question really being answered? In my opinion, no it is not.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:10 PM on December 11, 2011


One mod actually says : "Guys, can we all just agree to stop with the anti vs. pro flu shot derail?"

That person is not a mod.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:14 PM on December 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


That person is not a mod.
My bad . In my mind I imagine you saying this in the tone of "That is not my dog" :)

However a mod does say [Please stick to the question, folks. Thanks. ], which in my mind amounts to the same thing for the same reasons and likely for the very same deleted comment(s)
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:19 PM on December 11, 2011


Feeling vehemently that the sidebar discussion you want to get into is important doesn't make it any less of a sidebar discussion. There's not really anything controversial here in terms of how askme normally functions and is moderated—if you want to go into this in further for the asker, you can send her a mefimail with some notes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:23 PM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cortex, if you believe that a quote from Dr Tom Jefferson saying:
To Jefferson's horror, however, the WHO has recommended that the drugs should be used against seasonal flu - the usual forms of flu that hit us every winter - so that doctors get used to giving them, and patients to taking them, ahead of a pandemic. "Wide-scale use of antivirals and vaccines during a pandemic will depend on familiarity with their effective application during the inter-pandemic period," then we shall have to agree to disagree. Perhaps I could have quoted that directly instead of linking to a longer, more contextual, article. Nevertheless I believe it to be very pertinent to the question. Again, we are apparently going to agree to disagree here.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:33 PM on December 11, 2011


The link that I gave in rebuttal was to a Guardian article the indicated that at least one very respected researcher was indicating that such medications (vaccines AND Tamiflu) were not being properly used , specifically that he believed that such medications/ vaccines had little place in general population yearly outbreaks.

He says that he doesn't believe antivirals should be used in yearly outbreaks, because it could lead to proliferation of AV resistant strains. That's not a concern for vaccines. He doesn't talk about vaccines. The only mention of vaccines in the article is the WHO saying that the utility of vaccines in a pandemic situation will depend on how familiar people are with "effective application." The researcher in the article disagrees with their opinion on antivirals, and gives a reason why, but there's nothing in the article that's relevant to if a given person should or should not get a flu shot.
posted by kagredon at 9:34 PM on December 11, 2011


we are apparently going to agree to disagree here.

That is the one time vaccines are mentioned in the article [I read it] and it's referring to a pandemic situation which is not the one that the OP is in. Again, I understand that this is important to you, but you need to send that information to the OP and not make the thread about something other than the OPs question "Should I get the flu vaccination this year and can I combine it with a tetanus shot?"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:35 PM on December 11, 2011


Tamiflu is not a flu vaccine. The poster didn't bring up tamiflu. Why are you bringing it up? Why are you bringing up politics? Why are you derailing the poster's simple question so you can grind some bullshit axe?
posted by empath at 9:40 PM on December 11, 2011 [32 favorites]


This year's flu shot gave me rabies.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:40 PM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


It gave me Asperger's :(
posted by mlis at 9:43 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


It gave me the flu.
posted by 6550 at 9:46 PM on December 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


So, I knew that that thread would become a MeTa.

I am becoming more conversant at the peculiar culture that is MetaFilter and its assorted sub-sites.

Go, me.
posted by dfriedman at 9:46 PM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


> I am becoming more conversant at the peculiar culture that is MetaFilter and its assorted sub-sites.

It starts to get really scary when you intuitively know who favorited a comment.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:48 PM on December 11, 2011 [18 favorites]


> I am becoming more conversant at the peculiar culture that is MetaFilter and its assorted sub-sites.

It starts to get really scary when you intuitively know who favorited a comment.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:48 PM on December 11 [1 favorite +] [!]


I clicked through to see if it was dfriedman and it was winna

I blame the flu vaccine.
posted by kagredon at 9:54 PM on December 11, 2011


However a mod does say [Please stick to the question, folks. Thanks. ], which in my mind amounts to the same thing

Check your mind.
posted by carsonb at 9:55 PM on December 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well now I favorited the comment.
posted by dfriedman at 9:55 PM on December 11, 2011


Poet_Lariat In the case of flu vaccinations you have only a 60% chance (earlier link) of the vaccine being effective against only the three viruses that were guesstimated a year ago to be making the rounds this current season.

Is this controversial? I get the flu shot every year and in 2005 I caught a bad case of the flu about 8 weeks after getting the shot. My internist told me roughly what Poet said above.
posted by mlis at 9:56 PM on December 11, 2011


It starts to get really scary when you intuitively know who favorited a comment.

The flu vaccine gave me ESP.
posted by arcticseal at 9:56 PM on December 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


Guys, can we all just agree to stop

no puedo parar
posted by eddydamascene at 9:59 PM on December 11, 2011


The flu shot gave me the best night of my life, then never called.
posted by Riki tiki at 10:57 PM on December 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


The flu shot gave me a well earned and appropriate sense of moral superiority.
posted by Justinian at 11:11 PM on December 11, 2011


I though it was the JD that did that.
posted by mlis at 11:18 PM on December 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


So, I knew that that thread would become a MeTa


Impressive. I figured the cat thread three posts down was going to make it...
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:27 PM on December 11, 2011


Vote Gingrich/Flu Shot 2012.
posted by auto-correct at 11:32 PM on December 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well, last time I had a flu shot someone stabbed me with a needle.
posted by loquacious at 12:23 AM on December 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


I used to get flu shots then I took a needle in the knee.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:19 AM on December 12, 2011 [12 favorites]

It gave me the flu.
Actually, the 'live virus' flu vaccine does give the innoculue a (very mild) case of the flu.
posted by delmoi at 2:11 AM on December 12, 2011


I signed up for the flu shot this year, only to be told that the swelling I experienced last year is indicative of an allergy, and that, while the first go round is usually a bad swelling, a second yearly shot in case of allergy can lead to a violent, or even deadly reaction. The doctor at the clinic refused to give me the shot, and urged me, if I was set on getting one, to make sure I was in a hospital equipped with an ICU.

I think I'll skip the flu shot.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:55 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I saw that question, and was going to post something about how the tetanus shot would probably ache for a day or two, but decided that it wasn't going to answer the question asked.
posted by crunchland at 4:16 AM on December 12, 2011


I had a flu shot and other than waiting 45 minutes for Rite-Aid to figure if they would honor the voucher that my insurance company had sent me*, it's been fine. My arm hurt for a day but I haven't gotten sick.

*The voucher card had the Rite-Aid logo on the back and they were listed on the website as providers but my local store couldn't seem to figure out what to do with it. Took them like three phone calls to clear it up.
posted by octothorpe at 4:23 AM on December 12, 2011


Perhaps more prolific AskMe commenters will disagree with this, but I think the best contributors generally say what they have to in a single comment and leave the thread. Unless they are asked to further clarify something. As the commenter, it's not really our responsibility to counter what everyone says in a thread.

Offer your opinion as best you can and get out of the way -- let the OP draw their own conclusions.

The one time I didn't do this (in a thread where the topic was domestic violence,) I had a comment deleted after a bit of back and forth arguing with another user, and didn't understand why. I was trying to counter what I thought was bad advice and I was right, dammit! ;) But looking back, I was really just axe-grinding and not adding anything that might help the OP answer answer his question. And missing the whole point of AskMe.

These days, I always ask myself if a comment I'm going to make will add something constructive to a thread in Ask or just add noise. It means I comment less, but hopefully am contributing more effectively.
posted by zarq at 4:39 AM on December 12, 2011 [18 favorites]


I heard a caller on Diane Rehm the other day who compared people who don't get flu shots to the anti-vaccination crowd.
posted by box at 4:43 AM on December 12, 2011


I signed up for the flu shot this year, only to be told that the swelling I experienced last year is indicative of an allergy, and that, while the first go round is usually a bad swelling, a second yearly shot in case of allergy can lead to a violent, or even deadly reaction. The doctor at the clinic refused to give me the shot, and urged me, if I was set on getting one, to make sure I was in a hospital equipped with an ICU.

I think I'll skip the flu shot.


Which is, of course, an important argument for the rest of us getting one.
posted by gaspode at 4:52 AM on December 12, 2011 [20 favorites]


I heard a caller on Diane Rehm the other day who compared people who don't get flu shots to the anti-vaccination crowd.

I can see that, mostly because when you ask around about why people aren't getting it their reasons are cockamamie and unfounded in science. Many people are just scared, basically, of the vaccine and its consequences in a non-rational way.
posted by OmieWise at 4:55 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


More specifically, people who don't get flu shots and then come to work sick. And cough all day.
posted by octothorpe at 5:06 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


It starts to get really scary when you intuitively know who favorited a comment.

Even scarier actually when you do find who favourited a comment and I have no words right now for how to frame this properly so maybe I'll stop writing now
posted by infini at 5:29 AM on December 12, 2011


Octothorpe, seriously? You mention that your arm hurt for a day. Mine hurt for a week, and swelled pretty badly. I had no idea that was considered a pretty bad reaction until I went for a shot this year. My doctor pointed out that there was a nonzero chance of me dying, actually dying from an allergic reaction to a flu shot. I weighed my options, and as much as getting the flu would suck, something about collapsing and dying from a flu shot seems to be a touch worse.

Also, I teach in a Japanese junior high. Pretty much a standard rule is you don't go to school, teacher or student, if you have a fever.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:32 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh, shit. not octothorpe. gaspode. apologies. must be the flu.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:33 AM on December 12, 2011


Actually, the 'live virus' flu vaccine does give the innoculue a (very mild) case of the flu.

True! But you can't get the live one as a shot (in the U.S., anyway) - it only comes as an intranasal spray.
posted by rtha at 5:38 AM on December 12, 2011


*Smacks Bad AskMe Comment Deletions with rolled up copy of MeFi Mag*

No, not the November issue.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:40 AM on December 12, 2011


The flu shot game me a rock.
posted by Splunge at 5:53 AM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ghidorah, I think gaspode actually was being sincere (as in, not taking a dig.) One of the more important reasons for getting a flu shot if you can, is to prevent spreading the flu to people in your position (who can't get it for medical reasons.) scody mentions it in the AskMe.
posted by kagredon at 5:57 AM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Kagredon, I hadn't seen scody's comment. Again, apologies (this time to gaspode), I'm a bit touchy about being the potential cause of my friends' and loved one's misery this year. I mean, I teach 12 and 13 year olds. I can almost plan my enforced one week vacation. It would be great, except for the fever, aches, and all around wanting to die thing, and being forced to sleep in the backroom, as far away from Mrs. Ghidorah as she can get me.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:08 AM on December 12, 2011


if you believe that a quote from Dr Tom Jefferson saying

Those crazy founding fathers! What didn't they say?
posted by malocchio at 6:24 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I try to avoid hosptials, schoolyards and the Metro during flu season. The last place you want to go to get well is a hospital. I know two people who have died from unrelated nasty infections they got whilst hospitalized.
posted by crunchland at 6:24 AM on December 12, 2011


The flu shot gave me psychosomatic flu symptoms.

That's how I know it's working.

I'm not even kidding, I always get the imaginary flu for like two days after the flu shot. Ask me about the most recent time I got the tetanus shot, it ended with me promising my doctor I'd never use google again.

Poet_Lariat, I can't follow at all how that's related to the OP's questions, sorry. It seems like it deals with politics and medical practice around antivirals -- not the question -- and flu epidemics. It seems like an interesting side discussion, but I'm not sure what it has to do with the question other than being about the same infection. I'd probably read a FPP or whatever about it, though.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:30 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Perhaps more prolific AskMe commenters will disagree with this, but I think the best contributors generally say what they have to in a single comment and leave the thread. Unless they are asked to further clarify something. As the commenter, it's not really our responsibility to counter what everyone says in a thread.

I think it's fine to respond to others in the thread once, provided you're responding to the actual topic of the question. We've had the discussion here before about whether or not wrong answers should be deleted, and part of the rationale for why they shouldn't is that others can then respond with corrections. So I think we need that to be something people do.

And sometimes you can get a sort of group effort going where a bit of discussion breaks out and leads to a better answer to the original question. As long as it's on-topic and is going somewhere useful, I think that's fine as well.

It's the responses that don't actually address the original question, or just re-hash the same objections repeatedly, that are the problem. I find it takes effort to keep out of that stuff, because, you know, Someone is Wrong on the Internet and all that.
posted by FishBike at 6:34 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ghidorah, absolutely I was being sincere. You *can't* get one. Many people can't get one because of allergies or age (very young infants) etc. It's why I was incumbent on the rest of us. Public health and all.
posted by gaspode at 6:36 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I got the flu shot and ended up with a cute Tweety Birt sticking plaster on my arm. A++++++ DOCTOR WOULD GO AGAIN
posted by subbes at 6:37 AM on December 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


BIRD. Tweety BIRD. Dammit.
posted by subbes at 6:37 AM on December 12, 2011


The great thing about MeTa'ed AskMes is that here we can air all our off-topic bullshit and non-answers without fear of deletion. There should be a MeTa for every AskMe, just for shits and giggles and acrimony.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:41 AM on December 12, 2011


BIRD. Tweety BIRD. Dammit.

Bullshit. I've seen you wearing those bootleg palette-swapped t-shirts with "Bugs Bungy", "Dorfy Duck" and "Yosemite Steve" on them.
posted by griphus at 6:56 AM on December 12, 2011 [19 favorites]


It doesn't matter whether people bringing the flu to work have had flu shots or not. But I'm sure they're not bringing it to work out of malicious pleasure in working through illness with the bonus of spreading misery but more likely because they don't get or can't really take (without negative consequences) paid time off, or even unpaid time off. If that's not you, which increases the chances you'll actually have insurance that covers the flu hot, please consider being pleased instead of being mean.
posted by Salamandrous at 6:58 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


We get (almost) unlimited sick days and management often sends out emails telling people to stay home if they are sick. We can work from home almost as well as at the office so people can keep up with work without infecting the rest of us. But people still insist on dragging themselves in and spreading the joy.
posted by octothorpe at 7:05 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have the flu and I came in here earlier and licked the 'post comment' button and now you all have the flu too.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:19 AM on December 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


I licked it with my nostrils.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:19 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can't believe the internet has failed me in my attempt to find a fan art depiction of Borgs Bunny.
posted by nomisxid at 7:45 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I got the flu shot and it turned me into Michele Bachmann.

["I got better"]
posted by drlith at 7:46 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


nomisxid: "I can't believe the internet has failed me in my attempt to find a fan art depiction of Borgs Bunny."

Resistance is Futile, Doc.
posted by zarq at 8:03 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Poet Lariat, Roche (the parent company of Tamiflu) comes out and says "Tamiflu is not a substitute for the flu shot. Vaccination is still the first line of defense for flu protection" on their marketing literature. The fact that you haven't parsed the difference between a vaccine and a preventative aid means you do not have the expertise to be contributing to that thread.

AskMe is about information, not theories. Theories, like Tamiflu, are not a substitution for the former.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 8:11 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]



I heard a caller on Diane Rehm the other day who compared people who don't get flu shots to the anti-vaccination crowd.


I'm not sure that I understand the difference. Is one of them louder?
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:24 AM on December 12, 2011


I love, love, love empath's succint recapitulation of cortex's and jessamyn's polite responses. Sometimes it's nice to not be a mod.
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:26 AM on December 12, 2011


I'm not sure that I understand the difference. Is one of them louder?

I never got flu shots until this year and had only had the flu once. Just because I was lazy and don't like needles, not because I was anti-vac. I had a terrible flu last year though, and decided to get the flu shot this year.
posted by empath at 8:29 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]



I never got flu shots until this year and had only had the flu once. Just because I was lazy and don't like needles, not because I was anti-vac. I had a terrible flu last year though, and decided to get the flu shot this year.


Under a thin veil of snark, I guess my attitude is that the end result seems to be much the same. Although I suppose the loudness of the anti-vaccine crowd makes them slightly more destructive and virulent.

Honestly I didn't get them for a long time, but now they come into the office where I can get it done on company time without much paperwork or any cost. Convenience and accessibility are probably the solution to adoption rates.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:35 AM on December 12, 2011


I don't get flu shots because it would mean leaving my bubble.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:42 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait so now I have to get a flu shot or I'm antivac? Personally I haven't had a flu shot or taken any antibiotics since I was in high school. I rarely get sick. In fact the last time I was sick was in May 2008. I contracted Dengue fever from a mosquito, whilst in Nicaragua, and sweat it out with a saline drip and a some acetaminophen. I can't remember the last time I had the flu. Not saying that people shouldn't get flu shots if they want, just saying that I don't need them(or so it seems). In my experience everyone else who I see taking antibiotics and getting flu shots are the ones who are always getting sick. Sometimes when my wife gets sick I will feel like I'm coming down with something, you know the feeling, but the next day I have apparently fought it off. This is a reoccurring pattern. Maybe my "feeling" of coming down with something is psychosomatic. I know my own personal observations are not a scientific study and are therefore not relevant in a scientific context. I'm just trying to convey my own rationalization for why I don't ever get flu shots or take antibiotics.

I will be laughing my ass off, though, when I survive the planned Armageddon which is scheduled for later this year. For those curious the exact date is December 22, 2012(at least that's what I learned from watching the X-Files).
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:09 AM on December 12, 2011


So you're immune to human disease and you live in the future?
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:14 AM on December 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


I got flu shots for a few years because I lived in a small community that made it very easy. Then I got the worst flu of my adult life. It hurt to open my eyes. If I'd felt any better, I would've got up and killed myself.

So I stopped getting flu shots. Then, about three weeks ago, I got the second worst flu of my adult life. Which I'm still feeling a little smacked around by.

Conclusion. I don't f***ing know. It's certainly good business for somebody. Telling us all to get flu shots, that is.
posted by philip-random at 9:14 AM on December 12, 2011



So you're immune to human disease and you live in the future?


No, he's an elf.
posted by philip-random at 9:15 AM on December 12, 2011


AElfwine, you're missing the point, that many people have said here -- you don't get sick, and that's great, but the reason you should get the flu shot is NOT for yourself -- it's for everyone else. There are people who can't get the shot -- some are allergic, but more are immunocompromised in some way (in chemo, infant, elderly), so can't get the shot, but are also at much higher risk of dying if they get the flu. Even if you don't get sick from the flu, you can still be a carrier, and it is THOSE people you are protecting by getting the flu shot -- not just yourself. Herd immunity is very, very important, and you aren't helping, even though you could, just because you don't really feel like it. This is why people who don't get the flu shot are compared to anti-vaccers -- because their decision adversely affects the entire population.
posted by brainmouse at 9:17 AM on December 12, 2011 [18 favorites]


Specifically, in Elder Scrolls terminology, a Flumer.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:17 AM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I can't remember the last time I had the flu.

This is probably because so many do get the flu shots.
posted by empath at 9:19 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]



Wait so now I have to get a flu shot or I'm antivac? Personally...


"Personally," is where it all falls apart. "Personally" you might be fine, but for vaccines to be worth doing they need a certain critical mass. North America is really big on the rights of the individual over social responsibility, but that's the crux of it here. It's not a decision that can be easily isolated and individualized, because it does affect those around you.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:24 AM on December 12, 2011


So you're immune to human disease and you live in the future?

Oh boy. Read what I said. I never claimed I'm immune to disease. Last time I checked Dengue fever is considered a human disease.

How many people get sick or die from the flu every year? Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.(source)

Jesus I probably endanger more people by getting in my car and driving to work every day. Get a grip people. Following your logic I shouldn't drive because I may kill someone. People have the right to life, not the right to never die. Death happens, it's natural. My tax dollars probably kill more people every year than any disease I may or may not carry.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:34 AM on December 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Once I get my final shots next week, I'll be immune to cortex.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:38 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I got the flu mist for the first time this year and it is glorious (except that I got a stuffy nose which turned into a cough which has lasted for two months but that's just me). I had promised my kids ice cream after they got their flu shots, and when they got the mist instead I felt like I wasn't really getting my money's worth.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:39 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Specifically, in Elder Scrolls terminology, a Flumer.

Well tbh I did come down with a case of Chanthrax Blight last year. I believe I contracted it from a Kwama who didn't get his vaccination.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:40 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, yeah, of course there's other things we do that kill more people, but it's a balance thing -- the pro of getting a flu vaccine as far as society is concerned is stated above, and the con to you personally is 10 minutes in line at Rite Aid (your proven incorrect confirmation biases notwithstanding). The personal con for not driving, for example, is much greater in that it has a much larger impact on people's day-to-day lives, so instead we take other steps to decrease the likelihood of death from driving as a society (speed limits, safety restrictions on cars, seat belts) to balance the inconveniences they cause with their advantages. The flu vaccine has obvious good and extremely minimal bad, but everyone who can get it needs to for it to work, so it boggles my mind that anyone would say "death happens" about something that they can take such ridiculously easy steps to help prevent.
posted by brainmouse at 9:41 AM on December 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


I can't believe the internet has failed me in my attempt to find a fan art depiction of Borgs Bunny.

Nominally related.
(Disclosure: self-link.) (He does get regular rabies inoculations.)
posted by Glinn at 9:43 AM on December 12, 2011


Stagger Lee: “I'm not sure that I understand the difference. Is one of them louder?”

By the testimony of the doctors who administer them, flu shots have a much lower rate of effectiveness than most vaccines. It's difficult to keep ahead of the flu, so it's really a gamble every year where scientists try very hard to nail whatever strain will be prevalent when the shot hits the market. That is difficult.

brainmouse: “AElfwine, you're missing the point, that many people have said here -- you don't get sick, and that's great, but the reason you should get the flu shot is NOT for yourself -- it's for everyone else. There are people who can't get the shot -- some are allergic, but more are immunocompromised in some way (in chemo, infant, elderly), so can't get the shot, but are also at much higher risk of dying if they get the flu. Even if you don't get sick from the flu, you can still be a carrier, and it is THOSE people you are protecting by getting the flu shot -- not just yourself. Herd immunity is very, very important, and you aren't helping, even though you could, just because you don't really feel like it. This is why people who don't get the flu shot are compared to anti-vaccers -- because their decision adversely affects the entire population.”

Flu shots are a precautionary measure that medicine tries to provide. They are nothing like vaccines. Their effectiveness is suggested but not nearly as guaranteed as proven vaccines for stable strains. As such, it makes little sense to blame people who don't get the shot if an outbreak happens; it would make just as much sense as blaming the doctors who came up with a given year's flu shot if they didn't manage to pin down the prevalent strain properly. Which happens much more frequently than you might think.

“The flu vaccine has obvious good and extremely minimal bad, but everyone who can get it needs to for it to work, so it boggles my mind that anyone would say "death happens" about something that they can take such ridiculously easy steps to help prevent.”

I'm still somewhat doubtful (as are many in the medical field) that the effectiveness of flu shots can be guaranteed. Moreover, given that there are many strains, if everyone in the world got a flu shot, the result would not be that flu would be eradicated. It would be that a different strain would prevail. The impact might be lessened somewhat population-wide, but there would still be influenza. The flu shot really makes more sense if one sees it as a personal precaution rather than a societal precaution.
posted by koeselitz at 9:48 AM on December 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


I can see that, mostly because when you ask around about why people aren't getting it their reasons are cockamamie and unfounded in science. Many people are just scared, basically, of the vaccine and its consequences in a non-rational way.

Here's why I don't get a flu shot: I haven't caught the flu in 20 years. If I do, I'll stay home for a while.

Where do I get fitted for my tinfoil hat?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:49 AM on December 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


koeselitz: what's the downside? I mean, I understand it may not be as effective as promised and all that, I understand that it may not be as good as people say, but I don't understand what the downside to doing it anyway is?
posted by brainmouse at 9:52 AM on December 12, 2011


I have never gotten the flu vaccine before (extreme aversion to needles), but the herd immunity discussion in this thread has convinced me. I had honestly never considered that aspect of it before. Is it still worth it to get the nasal spray this year, or have I missed the boat?
posted by Rock Steady at 9:52 AM on December 12, 2011


Following your logic I shouldn't drive because I may kill someone.

The logic would more be toward the argument that you shouldn't drive drunk even if you're a really, really awesome drunk driver and/or believe that everyone else is generally speaking a really alert defensive driver who would avoid an accident you might otherwise cause.

Not that that's a great analogy either because driving isn't immunology, but, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:54 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's why I don't get a flu shot: I haven't caught the flu in 20 years. If I do, I'll stay home for a while.

You don't need a tinfoil hat, you just need to be ok with the fact that by not getting the shot you may be contributing to the spread of influenza to people who can't handle it as well as you can. If that's worth the inconvenience of getting a needle in your arm, that's your decision.
posted by auto-correct at 9:55 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think people have maybe gotten confused about the purpose of this thread. It's not to have the flu argument that you couldn't have in the AskMe thread.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:00 AM on December 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


The personal con for not driving, for example, is much greater in that it has a much larger impact on people's day-to-day lives, so instead we take other steps to decrease the likelihood of death from driving as a society (speed limits, safety restrictions on cars, seat belts) to balance the inconveniences they cause with their advantages.

This is a derail, but I just have to say that in the history of our species a flu pandemic has never even come close to wiping out our species. Driving, and all the other industrial pollutants are well on their way to doing just that(along with wiping out numerous other species). So basically...come off it already. I choose to not get a flu shot. Deal with it.

Not that that's a great analogy either because driving isn't immunology, but, yeah.

Yeah that's a horrible analogy. One starts from a natural state, and the other from an unnatural state which takes a conscious choice to achieve. But yeah don't drink and drive and stay in school. I have yet to see any scientific evidence that me not getting a flu shot will lead to any quantifiable harm. Me drinking a fifth and joyriding around town...not so much.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:01 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since I've stopped working in an office or classroom, I almost never get sick. We're talking going from 3-4 bad colds and possibly a flu every year to none in the past 3. Just another reason that working from home is the best ever.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:04 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


You don't need a tinfoil hat, you just need to be ok with the fact that by not getting the shot you may be contributing to the spread of influenza to people who can't handle it as well as you can. If that's worth the inconvenience of getting a needle in your arm, that's your decision.

Well, I may be every bit as likely to spread flu after getting 'immunized'. Effective 60% of the time against a small handful of last year's strains. Not exactly a plastic bubble, that.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:04 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


To follow up on what PhoBWanKenobi said(in the context of group interaction), if I was habitually working and interacting with an at risk group such as the elderly or young children I would probably change my tune pretty quick. But I don't.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:07 AM on December 12, 2011


Oh, incidentally my husband (who is in my home office with me right now) can't get a flu vac because of egg allergies. I need to get one, but I forgot this year. Not maliciously, but I did. I'm not saying my lack of interaction with real humans makes me immune from the obligation. But, yeah.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:09 AM on December 12, 2011


Comprable, observable eco system would likely be networked computers. Stop patching one of them sumbitches and let me know how long it lasts.
posted by iamabot at 10:12 AM on December 12, 2011


Here's why I don't get a flu shot: I haven't caught the flu in 20 years. If I do, I'll stay home for a while.

Well, then, my comment does not apply to you, and was qualified besides.

Well, I may be every bit as likely to spread flu after getting 'immunized'. Effective 60% of the time against a small handful of last year's strains. Not exactly a plastic bubble, that.

This isn't actually how the vaccine is composed.
posted by OmieWise at 10:13 AM on December 12, 2011


Oh look, the Rite Aid around the corner has vacs. Might as well get that done today. Thanks for the reminder, guys.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:19 AM on December 12, 2011


This isn't actually how the vaccine is composed.

Sorry, I should have said: Stabs in the dark regarding this year's likely strains. You're right, that's much better.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:25 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Out of curiosity, does anyone know about how fast the flu mutates?

Google is just yielding pages that say "faster" and "slower" but there's no point of reference.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:28 AM on December 12, 2011


It's not to have the flu argument that you couldn't have in the AskMe thread.

I thought one of the purposes of MetaTalk was to catch derails?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:29 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stabs in the dark regarding this year's likely strains.

Really?

While you seemed to dispute my contention that many people who don't get the vaccine do so for reasons not grounded in science, you also seem to be suggesting that you either don't understand the science behind the vaccine, or discount it for some reason that you haven't specified. While I thought my first comment did not apply to you, I'm no longer so sure.
posted by OmieWise at 10:32 AM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think people have maybe gotten confused about the purpose of this thread. It's not to have the flu argument that you couldn't have in the AskMe thread.

The OP appears to be gone and this was a relatively individual complaint that seems to be opposed by community consensus, so I'm not sure what that leaves as the purpose of this thread. I just figure if we've avoided jokes about "Let's post recipes for chicken soup...nonowait, RECIPE FOR FLU SHOT!!" then it's a win.
posted by cribcage at 10:34 AM on December 12, 2011


Yeah, but it's still a thread mods have to watch and a potential place for flare-ups to happen. And metatalk isn't the best place for that stuff since we don't really have quite as many guidelines here as elsewhere. So probably the conversation should move.

I hear MetaChat is really good for this kind of just-want-to-discuss-this-subject thing.
posted by koeselitz at 10:37 AM on December 12, 2011


Alright, OmieWise, if I'm wrong, I'm entirely willing to be corrected. Implying that I'm a wingnut conspiracy theorist is not doing that.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:39 AM on December 12, 2011


The OP appears to be gone.
Waiting for the 'flu kills' jokes.
posted by Namlit at 10:39 AM on December 12, 2011


Stabs in the dark regarding this year's likely strains.

Really?

While you seemed to dispute my contention that many people who don't get the vaccine do so for reasons not grounded in science, you also seem to be suggesting that you either don't understand the science behind the vaccine, or discount it for some reason that you haven't specified.


I agree that "stabs in the dark" is unlikely; however influenza virus mutates so quickly that even the best made predictions of upcoming flu viruses get it wrong, or to be fair, not exactly right.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:46 AM on December 12, 2011


I found a flu vaccine (Tamiflu) in the back of my medicine cupboard. It expired only 3 days ago! Should I take it?
posted by vidur at 10:49 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Alright, OmieWise, if I'm wrong, I'm entirely willing to be corrected. Implying that I'm a wingnut conspiracy theorist is not doing that.

I would suggest that the benefit of the doubt ought to go to the scientific modeling by which flu vaccine projections are made, and that you might need to give your reasons for thinking that this process is akin to a stab in the dark.
posted by OmieWise at 10:51 AM on December 12, 2011


Out of curiosity, does anyone know about how fast the flu mutates?

Google is just yielding pages that say "faster" and "slower" but there's no point of reference.


Here's a somewhat dated article form 1986:

Evolution of Human Influenza A Viruses over 50 Years: Rapid, Uniform Rate of Change in NS Gene

and here's a fairly recent article:

Comparison of the Mutation Rates of Human Influenza A and B Viruses

and a study of viral mutation rates in general:

Viral Mutation Rates

I'm sure that if you follow the sources you will find what you are looking for.l

Also here's an interesting paper which illustrates the futility of the argument that getting a flu shot, or even a vaccination, is an "obligation":

Pandemic Influenza: An Inconvenient Mutation
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:56 AM on December 12, 2011


Doesn't getting a flu shot for a certain type of strain help fight off similar types? I thought that was one reason for getting shots every year, so you have a wide-spread immunity?

I haven't gotten one in years, because although I am not allergic to eggs, they tend to make me feel sick, and the shot does too. I have been too lazy to look into the spray.
posted by annsunny at 10:59 AM on December 12, 2011


Making small talk with a complete stranger last week, I found myself on the receiving end of an anti-vax rant. What was notable about the experience was that this happened at the pet store and the pseudo-science and conspiracy were all about vaccinating dogs and cats for rabies.
posted by peeedro at 11:05 AM on December 12, 2011


Is it still worth it to get the nasal spray this year, or have I missed the boat?

I got the shot version just a few days ago. It take 2 weeks for your body to produce protective antibodies to it, so there will be a short lag after you get the shot until you're protected. (protected against the strains that are in the vaccine this year) So it makes sense to hustle to get it soon if you want to be ready for Christmas visiting of kids and elderly.

CDC recommends getting the shot as early as possible, in early fall, but they say on their website it's still worth getting it even in December.

The drug store pharmacy near me in the US still has them, and they're quite cheap - even without insurance it would have been $20-$30 for the shot. If you call around to a few pharmacies near you, I bet you'll find a place that has them.

I didn't ask them about the nasal spray/live virus version, because I needed to get the killed-virus version which only comes in a shot. I share your needle aversion, but I looked away and the shot was quick and painless. Somewhat sore arm afterward.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:09 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you read the last article I linked it seems some people(corporations) are making boatloads of money selling you flu shots which don't actually so what they say on the box.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:09 AM on December 12, 2011


I wonder if that is a bug or a feature?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:10 AM on December 12, 2011


Again, seriously, if you want to talk to each other about something MetaFilter-related, feel free to do that here. If you are turning this MeTa thread into a debate about the flu vaccine and/or Tamiflu or a MeFi-post-by-proxy, please don't. We like to keep these threads open in case people have related concerns or questions that other people could answer. However, if it turns into some complaint/rant about big pharma, it needs to go elsewhere.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:14 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sure that if you follow the sources you will find what you are looking for.

Thanks!
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:26 AM on December 12, 2011


jessamyn, I was just responding to the whole "if you don't get a flu shot you are an irresponsible human being" meme which seems to permeate metafilter. I would think this is all metafilter related, but perhaps you are right and this is not the place to do that so I humbly beg your pardon.

Thanks!

No problem.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:29 AM on December 12, 2011


you see? it wasn't a bad deletion at all.
posted by batmonkey at 11:38 AM on December 12, 2011


Slight derail - are there any clues when a comment you entered is deleted? I could have sworn I posted an answer in an AskMe thread that I now can't find. Did I post it (and it was found wanting) or did I just forget to press "post answer?"

Or maybe I haven't had enough coffee today.
posted by zomg at 12:09 PM on December 12, 2011


There's no automatic notification or marker when a comment's been deleted; we'll sometimes leave a note if there's some sort of weird gap created by the deletion or if there's an ongoing situation in the thread that we're hoping an explicit note will help keep from spinning out of control.

You're totally welcome to drop us a line at the contact form if you want to ask about a deletion or a "did I hit post at all?" query.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:15 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The flu shot JR!
posted by neuromodulator at 3:16 PM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


These are Bad AskMe Comment Deletions

HOW can you not follow that up with "and you should feel bad for deleting them"? You've shown some willpower here today, Poet, I'll give you that.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:26 PM on December 12, 2011


This year's flu shot gave me rabies.
posted by Burhanistan

It gave me Asperger's :(
posted by mlis




It turned me into a newt!








....I got better.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:54 PM on December 12, 2011


Did I hit post at all?
posted by cjorgensen at 5:11 PM on December 12, 2011


Yep, I did.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:11 PM on December 12, 2011


An appropriate answer would be, "The vaccine comes in pie form and in that form it is 100% necessary." Natch.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:44 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait. When did flu shot availability stop becoming an issue? The last I heard, folks like me (young (at the time), in good health, and without respiratory issues) weren't supposed to get a flu shot in order to preserve the limited supply for the elderly, immunocompromised, and such. Is this no longer best practices?
posted by stet at 5:54 PM on December 12, 2011


Herd immunity is important. Remember what happened to Mufasa?
posted by michaelh at 5:56 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


never saw the film... had to google.

Absolutely herd immunity is important, it's just that my information is apparently out of date enough that, when current, it wasn't possible to produce enough vaccine for everyone and the available doses were best allocated to individuals who were more likely to die from the flu as opposed to individuals who were likely to weather the disease. There used to be a supply problem and herd immunity wasn't an option so the most vulnerable got dibs.

Not having a limited supply is pretty great news, despite the fact that it will inconvenience me slightly and I hate getting shots.
posted by stet at 6:08 PM on December 12, 2011


I bargined for salvation and the flu shot gave me a lethal dose.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:59 PM on December 12, 2011


Wait. When did flu shot availability stop becoming an issue? The last I heard, folks like me (young (at the time), in good health, and without respiratory issues) weren't supposed to get a flu shot in order to preserve the limited supply for the elderly, immunocompromised, and such. Is this no longer best practices?
I am an epidemiologist but IANYE. No, that's not best practice. It's recommended that everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated. Your health care provider will tell you if supplies are limited in your area, but this season the national supply looks okay.
posted by gingerest at 7:00 PM on December 12, 2011


The moral imperative here that not getting a flu shot is socially irresponsible is pretty darned astounding to me. I'm in no way an anti-vaxxer, in no way a libertarian, but putting a healthy adult's non-choice of not getting a flu vaccine in the realm of moral irresponsibility is just so far beyond my comprehension that I can't even articulate it all that well.
posted by localhuman at 7:03 PM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


putting a healthy adult's non-choice of not getting a flu vaccine in the realm of moral irresponsibility is just so far beyond my comprehension that I can't even articulate it all that well.

Really? Because I think the reasons people couch it in moral terms have been articulated pretty well, so I'm not sure what you're adding by registering your inarticulate shock.
posted by kagredon at 7:08 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I do think this topic is Metafilter related because it seems to keep coming up here and people use this as a bludgeon to judge others who don't get the shot.

I do not think that getting the flu shot is now as socially important as getting the polio vaccine, but the way not getting the shot is compared to being an "anti-vaxxer" you'd think it is. I don't agree with this view. Most people don't get the flu shot, so right away there's a huge difference in norms. I understand trying to create a new norm since there are no known downsides to getting the shot except in rare circumstances, but be clear that that's what you're doing: creating a new norm.

It is downright bizarre the way some people talk about the flu shot, like it's something "everyone knows" you are supposed to do and you're weird if you choose not to do it.
In fact, I'd swear that up until very recently (like, last three years or so), young adults were told to be careful not to use up the supplies because it's most important for elderly people, people with chronic illness, pregnant women, and small children. I know what the CDC website says (seen it linked here plenty of times by now), but that universal recommendation has only been in place since last year, and it only applies in the US. WHO still doesn't specifically recommend it for "everyone", just the usual at-risk groups. So people need to stop acting like it's crazy or something for an individual not to get the shot. It's something you have to go out of your way to do.

I want to be careful to note that I'm happy the flu shot is recommended for everyone now. More flu shots should mean less suffering from the flu, and goodness knows I am not one of those people who "never gets the flu". I'm glad people are spreading the news about the new recommendations. Just realize that to a lot of people, maybe even most, getting the shot is not a priority and it doesn't make them bad people or anti-vax.
posted by Danila at 7:45 PM on December 12, 2011 [9 favorites]




There was a Malcolm Gladwell article I read years ago (ah, here it is) which made me feel that overall flu shots were a bit of a crapshoot. A quick refresher of the article and a look at wiki suggest nothing much has changed. Can anyone tell me different?

The article is twelve years old at this point, after all. If they've gotten to the point where they do have close to 100% coverage of countries reporting into the WHO and their prediction rates have improved, it seems like it might be worth it. But if it's about the same as it was in the 90s then it doesn't seem worth bothering with unless you're in close contact with children or the elderly.
posted by Diablevert at 7:49 PM on December 12, 2011


Has someone made a FPP out of this topic yet? Lets deliberately misconstrue each others opinions for our own personal motives there instead!
posted by Admira at 8:09 PM on December 12, 2011


gingerest: "I am an epidemiologist but IANYE. No, that's not best practice. It's recommended that everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated. Your health care provider will tell you if supplies are limited in your area, but this season the national supply looks okay."

Huh. Full credit to big pharma on that one. Your first link does mention who delivery should be targeted to in the event of a vaccine shortage, so I suppose I assumed there was always a shortage. I'll check with my GP. Thank you.

Also, I learned something useful in MetaTalk. That's not how it's supposed to work, we're supposed to be flinging insults and stupid jokes at each other or find some other way to create a shitstorm. Thanks for the medical advice though!

[THE LATTER IS A JOKE! NOT A SERIOUS STATEMENT. IT IS OBVIOUSLY NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, THAT IS WHY I hope IT IS FUNNY. NOT MEDICAL ADVICE-IST.]
posted by stet at 8:33 PM on December 12, 2011


(I am trying very hard not to bludgeon you guys about your vaccination choices, because IANYE. Your health is your private business, and MetaFilter is not the venue for significant public health interventions. However, my training behooves me to keep answering the question "What should I do?" with links to answers from public health authorities.)
posted by gingerest at 8:44 PM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


(For the record, everything up to and including "I learned something useful in MetaTalk." is absolutely sincere. The implication that you might provide medical advice to someone-you've-never-met over the internet is meant to be laughably absurd. Thanks again.)
posted by stet at 9:13 PM on December 12, 2011




I was under the impression that the specific "save it for the elderly/young/immunocompromised" injunction came only in that year that we had the weird Mutant Vulcan Death Flu strain, when there really was a risk of a shortage because everyone was falling all over themselves to get it.

Earlier years may have been more of a suggestion kind of thing -- "while it'd be a good idea for anyone to get it, you can safely use your own best judgement if you're hale and hearty" -- but the year there was that flu, people who never got a shot before were freaking out and swarming into pharmacies for it and exacerbating the problem, so that may be why they came out with the "save it for the elderly" thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:19 AM on December 13, 2011


By the end of the 2009-2010 season, almost all (98.9%) of tested 2009 pandemic H1N1 viruses were susceptible to oseltamivir (Tamiflu®), and all of the viruses tested were susceptible to zanamivir (Relenza®). In addition, all of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 viruses were resistant to amantadine and rimantadine. This information facilitated the guidance to use either oseltamivir or zanamivir during the pandemic. The rare 2009 pandemic H1N1 viruses that were oseltamivir-resistant shared a single genetic mutation that caused them to be resistant to the drug.

What have we seen so far during the 2010-2011 season in terms of antiviral resistance monitoring in the United States?
To date, 2009 pandemic H1N1, influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B viruses have been detected by surveillance. All three virus strains typically are sensitive to oseltamivir and zanamivir, but the influenza A strains have been resistant to the adamantanes (the adamantanes have never had activity against influenza B viruses). While, sporadic oseltamivir-resistant 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus infections were identified during 2009-2010 and can be expected this year, the public health impact of oseltamivir-resistant 2009 H1N1 virus infections has been limited to date. Ongoing surveillance for oseltamivir-resistance and resistance to other neuraminidase inhibitors among influenza viruses is essential.

What antiviral drugs are recommended for use during the 2010-2011 flu season?
Antiviral medications currently recommended include oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) and zanamivir (Relenza®), based upon recent viral surveillance and resistance data. These data indicate that more than 99% of currently circulating influenza virus strains are sensitive to these medications. Updates on antiviral resistance surveillance are available for clinicians at the Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report.


And this gives you an up date on the current situation. It seems they are getting better because according to what I've read resistance of H1N1 to oseltamivir and adamantanes went from 98.8% in 2009 to 1.1% by the end of 2010. Can someone who knows more than me about the subject maybe expound on the process of how they get from a to b? It also seems I was incorrect to assert that flu shots "don't do what they say on the box", apparently that would have been true in 2009.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:29 AM on December 13, 2011


Well, we've gone full-circle here, haven't we?
posted by kagredon at 5:39 AM on December 13, 2011


AElfwine Evenstar, all the quotes you provide re 2009 are about Tamiflu and other antivirals, NOT flu shots. Antiviral medications are not vaccines.

I can't address the 99% versus 1% (heh!) difference in resistance rates right now as I'm not an expert and any quick Googling on my part would be of no value.
posted by maudlin at 6:02 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the first day of symptoms the flu shot gave to me:
A weird little pain in my knee.
posted by flabdablet at 6:49 AM on December 13, 2011


all the quotes you provide re 2009 are about Tamiflu and other antivirals, NOT flu shots.

I was doing some more reading on the subject this morning and was interested in better understanding on how antiviral success rates vary so much from season to season.....actually after rereading my comments yeah i erroneously conflated antivirals and vaccines.

As far as vaccines, this year's still only have a 60% success rate(this is an average for all age groups), and that can vary widely season to season as others have noted upthread. This year the CDC is projecting licensed manufacturers will produce between 166-173 million flu vaccines. This year almost half the population will not be able to get a flu vaccine, even if they want to, so it seems to me that the obligation argument is pretty flawed. Especially for someone who doesn't have habitual contact with at risk groups. I would say, though, that certain people, such as teachers or health care professionals, should be obligated maybe even required to get vaccinated as part of their employment contract. But for healthy adults who don't have children or interact with at risk groups i just don't see the obligation. I'm basing my opinion off what the scientific data tells me about the reliability and effectiveness of the seasonal flu shot.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:56 AM on December 13, 2011


On the second day of symptoms the flu shot gave to me:
Two gouty thumbs
And a weird little pain in my knee.
posted by flabdablet at 6:59 AM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


AElfwine Evenstar: " But for healthy adults who don't have children or interact with at risk groups i just don't see the obligation. "

You cannot tell who is at risk by looking at them. One does not have to be a child or elderly to be a member of a risk group. One could have any number of chronic conditions or diseases that result in immunodeficiency or require a medically-induced suppressed immune system. You can't tell that someone is a transplant patient, or has AIDS, or is undergoing treatment for cancer, or has spleen problems, just by looking at them. Influenza poses a risk to them as well.
posted by zarq at 7:05 AM on December 13, 2011


> so it seems to me that the obligation argument is pretty flawed

Agreed, and I don't think I've ever seen someone's not wanting to get the flu shot lumped into the same category as "anti-vaxxer" prior to this thread. That's just silly.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:06 AM on December 13, 2011


As far as vaccines, this year's still only have a 60% success rate

That would be last year's success rate as we are now in the 2011-2012 flu season.
posted by peeedro at 7:07 AM on December 13, 2011




Great! I'm a sociopath!
posted by Burhanistan at 7:16 AM on December 13, 2011


Borderline sociopath.
posted by zarq at 7:17 AM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's the nanobots they inject that I'm really scared of, though.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:18 AM on December 13, 2011


Great! I'm a sociopath!

[looks at Burhanistan's posting history]
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:20 AM on December 13, 2011


I don't think I've ever seen someone's not wanting to get the flu shot lumped into the same category as "anti-vaxxer" prior to this thread.

I was.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:21 AM on December 13, 2011


Oh yeah, like I'm gonna read a full paragraph block quote that's entirely in bold blue letters, flickering every time I run my mouse past it. Almost as ludicrous as the multi-paragraph italicized block hyperlink upthread, though in that case I'm pretty sure it's done to obfuscate, so that the reader glazes past it and just reads Evenstar's summary.

Get control of your hyperlinks, people! It's like trying to read Zalgo around here.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:24 AM on December 13, 2011


Burhanistan: "It's the nanobots they inject that I'm really scared of, though."

Resistance is futile.
posted by zarq at 7:28 AM on December 13, 2011


though in that case I'm pretty sure it's done to obfuscate

Yeah linking to sources is always a sure sign of obfuscation.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:28 AM on December 13, 2011


Yeah linking to sources is always a sure sign of obfuscation.

Continuing an argument we've asked you not to have is a sure sign of something, but it's not obfuscation. Please do not make this thread into a MeFi-post-by-proxy.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:30 AM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


AElfwine Evenstar: " Yeah linking to sources is always a sure sign of obfuscation."

What, you don't put subliminal messages in your links?
posted by zarq at 7:31 AM on December 13, 2011


Please do not make this thread into a MeFi-post-by-proxy.

So is that a challenge to make my first meta? Or would this topic be unacceptable even with a dedicated meta?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:55 AM on December 13, 2011


Well this thread flu by so fast I didn't have a chance to inject anything helpful.
posted by Sailormom at 7:57 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or would this topic be unacceptable even with a dedicated meta?

I am not clear on why "let's argue about flu shots some more" would be something that needs a Metatalk thread. This metatalk was okay mostly as something that was about discussing some moderation; the let's-just-argue-about-flu-immunology thing that keeps happening isn't really so great and certainly doesn't seem like something mefi-related that needs another go in the grey.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:03 AM on December 13, 2011


So is that a challenge to make my first meta?

No. It's a polite request to not use MetaFilter for an argument about a topic that isn't really, at this point, MetaFilter related.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:04 AM on December 13, 2011


I am not clear on why "let's argue about flu shots some more" would be something that needs a Metatalk thread.

Sorry, I wasn't clear I mean't a meta on the topic of some posters comparing people who choose not to get a flue vaccine to antivacers, but yeah I guess its kinda hard to make at meta about that without it devolving into a fight about vaccines in general.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:12 AM on December 13, 2011


Doctor, there's a plank in my eye.
posted by box at 8:13 AM on December 13, 2011


* .... I meant a meta...hard to make a meta....

God typing with cold hands is not a good idea.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:14 AM on December 13, 2011


those ain't cold hands, those are flu hands
posted by subbes at 8:24 AM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Make a link out of one word or one sentence. Otherwise it looks like you're trying to flood the reader's eye with unreadable text so they glaze over on the meat and scan down to your more readable spin. It's elementary.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 8:25 AM on December 13, 2011


Doctor, there's a plank in my eye.

Maybe you should have that looked at. :) I was under the impression that the whole speck in someone else's eye plank in your own thing was about someone who judges others, which is kinda the opposite of what I was doing here. But yeah as I said in retrospect jessamyn is correct, and a meta wouldn't be a good idea.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:25 AM on December 13, 2011


those ain't cold hands, those are flu hands

Are those anything like Jazz hands?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:26 AM on December 13, 2011


Doctor, there's a plank in my eye.

Don't worry, it's only about .219 milligrams.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:51 AM on December 13, 2011


So is that a challenge to make my first meta? Or would this topic be unacceptable even with a dedicated meta?

Wouldn't that be a meta about conflating antivirals with the flu vaccine that came out of an argument on a meta about conflating antivirals with the flu vaccine?

METAMETATALK.
posted by kagredon at 10:22 AM on December 13, 2011


kagredon: " METAMETATALK."

METATRON
posted by zarq at 10:42 AM on December 13, 2011


I would say, though, that certain people, such as teachers or health care professionals, should be obligated maybe even required to get vaccinated as part of their employment contract.

I worked with kids and I was required not only to get the flu shot, but to provide records for all other vaccinations and get a TB test. So, yeah, this already happens.
posted by sonika at 3:00 PM on December 13, 2011


On the third day of symptoms the flu shot gave to me:
Three wrenched ribs
Two gouty thumbs
And a weird little pain in my knee.
posted by flabdablet at 5:56 PM on December 13, 2011


I'm looking forward to see where flabdablet goes with this. My guess is the ICU.
posted by arcticseal at 6:20 PM on December 13, 2011


flabdablet: "On the third day of symptoms the flu shot gave to me:
Three wrenched ribs
Two gouty thumbs
"
And an arrow in my left knee.
posted by Splunge at 6:45 PM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE HOOOOOOORRRRNET STIIIIIIIIIIIIINGS
posted by Sys Rq at 7:02 PM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Twelve problems cumming
Eleven fingers typing
Ten wounds a-weeping
Nine growths advancing
Eight nipples milking
Seven stone a-slimming
Six cysts a-staying
Five swollen things!
Four unfalling turds
etc.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:23 PM on December 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


That's genius, Sys Rq.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:46 AM on December 14, 2011


Sys Rq is one of those guys that gets a chocolate Advent calendar and rips open all the little doors straight away.

"Four unfalling turds" is good work though.
posted by flabdablet at 8:01 AM on December 14, 2011


I am totally one of those guys. Several times a year.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:43 PM on December 14, 2011


damn you I am doing a carol sing later and I am going to have to work really really hard not to sing "FIVE SWOLLEN THINGS!" when it comes to that part.
posted by KathrynT at 4:25 PM on December 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Perhaps "appalling" might be a little less forced and a little more evocative than "unfalling".
posted by flabdablet at 7:24 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am seeing that some around here get chocolate Advent calendars several times a year. That makes me sad who hardly ever gets one (although I get other stuff. Bills, for example, many shiny bills).

With all that chocolate, will it be unfalling or rather unfailing? (Depends on your metabolism, as MeFi wisdom normally would say)
posted by Namlit at 4:15 AM on December 15, 2011


I have, in actual fact, never once been in possession of an Advent calendar, much less eaten the chocolate out of several per year.

/bubble burst

posted by Sys Rq at 12:38 PM on December 15, 2011


I have, in actual fact, never once been in possession of an Advent calendar, much less eaten the chocolate out of several per year.

/bubble burst


DAMN IT I WISH I'D KNOWN THAT BEFORE THE SECRET QUONSAR MAILING DATE.
posted by kagredon at 3:28 PM on December 15, 2011


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