Another flu shortage and the country is in a panic. How did it get to this stage? Who should really get a shot and what does high risk mean anyway?
It is estimated that some 36,000 people a year die of the flu in the United States, a public health crisis to be sure. So when the British manufacturer Chiron announced that they would not be able to supply more than half of the promised amount of flu vaccine to the U.S., panic set in. Lines reminiscent of bread lines in the Soviet Union started forming around clinics and supermarkets around the country. Medical experts advised that only those at high risk get the vaccine, but in a lot of places that advice didn't seem to be taken. What exactly is "high risk" anyway? High risk pertains to those who are at risk of dying if they contract the flu, not people at high risk of actually catching the flu. High risk includes the extremely young and extremely old, and people with a medical history that might make them vulnerable. President Bush declared he wouldn't get a shot, he's a pretty healthy guy. Vice President Cheney, who has suffered four heart attacks, did get a shot
Ref. Madhulika Sikka and the Nightline Staff - Washington, D.C.
I find it disturbing the mentality that most Americans have that if there is a shortage of 'something' that all of a sudden, they have to have it. If there were an abundance of flu shots, I guarantee you that not as many people would even be interested in it. Of course the issue of SARS in the past few years has contributed a lot to the panic that most Americans have with flu and flu-like conditions.
Medical Level: Virus Researcher / Health Participation: 70 7%
Similar to what Malexander is saying I am always surprised by the worry over cure rather than prevention. A healthy life style can make you almost flu proof. Garlic, vitamins and regular exercise works wonders.
Medical Level: Hospital CEO / Health Participation: 857 85.7%
And of course, there are numerous people who are blaming President Bush for the shortage. How they can get to that conclusion is beyond me. But it's an election year, and they have to blame someone, I guess.
The US fed.gov is NOT prepared for any type of serious outbreak. It's just impossible, with the huge population huge area of land. how could they possibly contain it? Sounds like another topic...
Medical Level: Medical Intern / Health Participation: 124 12.4%
The Government got blamed for the shortage here this year too.
Apparently the 'strain' of flu that was cultured for the flu vaccination was the wrong one this year, so they had to start another 'strain' off, which led to the flu shots not being ready in time, plus a major shortage of them.
Due to this, I didn't get my flu shot, but I did end up with the nastiest of virus's for about 4 weeks, that knocked me off my feet and wouldn't go away. I've heard people saying the same that have had their sots though, so I've got to say that I'm not too convinced that it makes any difference having the vaccinations...but I will have them, because I would feel compelled to follow my Doctor's order of having the jabs to at least try to protect myself from the flu virus.
Medical Level: Medical Intern / Health Participation: 115 11.5%
This is a very interesting article and should answer most questions… see website link below
Despite mild flu season don't skip shots
So far this year, there have been far fewer flu reports, including the fever, coughing, aches and pains that usually make winter so miserable. But that doesn't mean people should be complacent about getting their flu shots, experts say.
Source: msnbc.com: Health
The number of people dying from flu related death is increasing. Having a flu shot may soon become a necessity. We are in the thick of winter don't mess around with your health.
Medical Level: Health 101 / Health Participation: 5 0.5%