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This may be an impossible question to answer, but my father, in his eighties, refused a flu shot this year. He said he won't get one because it will make him sick. He has always been diligent in the past about getting one.

Over the age of 65 I've heard a double dose of the vaccine is reccomended. I've had mine but I'm frightened of him getting the flu and leading to pneumonia, and I take care of him. He does get out in public now and then mostly for grocery shopping.

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That's an interesting, theory, that the body can build up a resistant to multiple flu viruses if one is immunized for many years. Maybe the various strains (different ones contained in the vaccine in different years) confer differing kinds of immunity.

That FluMist was the be-all and end-all when it was introduced. And now it's pretty much worthless. I never had it.
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I am thinking back about my parents, they received the flu shots since the first time flu shots were ever given, decades ago.... plus they worked 3 days a week doing volunteer work at a regional hospital. And here they were in their late 80's. Not once did they ever get sick, not even a sniffle.

I believe if a person get a flu shot every year for years on end, the body builds up a resistant to anything "flu".

Thus i had followed my parent's lead and had also been getting yearly shots for decades. This year I finally tried the "senior" flu shot, and had no side effects :)

If a senior doesn't have a flu shot and is out and about, or someone else in the household doesn't have the shot and works outside of the home, or there are school age children in the household.... there is a higher chance the elder will come down with the flu.

According to the CDC [Center on Disease Control] the product called FluMist, the nasal spray influenza vaccine, not be used during the 2017-18 season.
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I've been thinking about the flu epidemic lately. Although my mother and I have both had flu shots, I would dissuade her from going to the ER for one of her "panic"/dizziness/"vertigo" attacks. (She usually ends up in the ER about once a year.)

She doesn't allow them to do anything more than draw blood and take a basic CT scan. She will not allow them to do an MRI. So she always gets sent home with no reason for the latest "attack." After the most recent ER trip (which was more serious, although now she insists it was just vertigo), she has told me she won't be going back to the ER.

I do NOT want to sit with in the ER waiting room for hours, exposed to all the flu germs. I do not want to take her multiple times to the bathroom. I do NOT want to sit with her in the ER cubicle for hours. So I am thinking that the next time she thinks she needs to go to the ER, that I will tell her to call the ambulance and then have the ER call me to come get her when she is ready to be released. The staff can wheel her out to my car. And then I will bring her back to her condo.

Sounds awfully selfish, doesn't it? But she wants me to have nothing to do with her medical decision making, and looks upon me strictly as her dummy daughter driver. I refuse to sign even ER discharge instructions for her anymore.

I shouldn't be doing any kind of caregiving for her. I know that. But my brothers are states away. And my mother refuses to hire help of any kind (just this week she told me it takes her a full hour to get dressed in the morning...apparently a lot of balancing is involved and she moves so slowly).
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Very informative even if it is an old thread! 😉
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The flu vaccine does not have mercury or any other harmful substances in it. The current flu outbreak (that is heavy with most hospitals packed full) is being caused by a screw up by manufacturers of the vaccine, they guessed WRONG as to what strains to include in the vaccine. So the vaccine isn’t working against the strain of flu that’s prevalent and making people sick.

So in 2017-2018, it’s pretty easy to catch the flu. I’ve had it, my daughter’s had it and apparently my dad caught it in the hospital ER while waiting for my mom to be admitted for CHF episode. It took them all night to get a room so I’d say this flu is about average for being contagious.
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Despite the thread being old, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t valid. It still might help someone who has similar concerns.

I just want to say that people are unique and immunity varies and furthermore, the flu virus can mutate.

My mother who is just 68, but has diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease and lymphedema in both legs (that we can’t control, because Medicare, & insurance companies don’t cover the needed supplies for compression that she needs), got the flu in Feb. 2017, which lead to her first hospitalization in decades - because it triggered congestive heart failure. Then in September, 2017 she was hospitalized again for congestive heart failure, due to medication mismanagement and again not being able to manage that Lymphedema. This Jan. 2018, she was in the hospital for the third time in a year. Still not able to manage the severe swelling that leads to the build up of fluid in both legs.
So get the flu shot, because the complications of could be worse.

stcausey1, I just want to suggest that you tell your loved one that is in the military that gets sick after getting the flu shot, should report his side effects to the FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) - all of the information can be found on their main site at vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html , you can make a report on this page vaers.hhs.gov/esub/index.jsp and you can call this number for more assistance 1-800-822-7967, and I would also suggest he look into the possibility of getting permission to receive the flu-mist, instead of the shot; It might not make him sick.

Take care.
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I already reported them, but the more people who do the better.
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Agree GA
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And the two recent posts before Jeanne's sound very much like ads.
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This thread is 5 years old. Just FYI
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My son is in the millitary and he says he has to get the flu shot because his in the millitary,Because of that,the flue shot makes him sick every time he gets one.Ive strarted taking olive leaf extract ,ill be taking them six times a day,because of the fact that ive been having chronic pansinusitis,Antibiotics will help,but wont make the problem go away,Ive done research on this,Also it keeps colds and flu from accurring into your body,not only that,It fights off fungal infections,sinus infections,internal infections,I will be decreasing my dosage down to 3 once i get it my problem under control.God bless and take care.
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Absolutely he should get the flu shot. Anyone can be a carrier without showing symptoms and they could sneeze, touch something, etc. making him vulnerable. Seniors are more at risk for becoming ill from a low infectious dose of the virus than any of us healthy adults would be, our bodies could fight a low infection whereas it could become quickly serious in a senior.

Grocery carts, merchandise, store doors and handles, phones, remotes, church pew, hymnals, pharmacy counters, etc. probably all have germs that make him vulnerable.

At the very least, even if he got a little ill, he will probably be less ill and recover quicker if he was vaccinated vs being non vaccinated.

EVERYONE GET YOUR FLU SHOT!! Don't be a carrier where YOU could unknowingly infect seniors in public places or at home.
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Spelling correction: "been " and "severe"
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Flowergrl: It all depends upon his exposure to it. There may be years when he is not exposed to the virus, and other years when he is exposed. One never knows who may be a carrier. It's safe to be innoculated against the expected virus for any given year. I've benn told that he may still get it, but it will be less sever if he is innoculated. One shot that he cannot take a chance with is the pneumonia, both 1 and 2. My pulmonologist is adamant about this.
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still trying to find out what are the real odds of getting the flu with and without the shot. The only study I have been able to find says that it is 9% without the shot and 8.5 % with it. Can anyone show a link or real science to other information.
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Our doctor told my MIL a couple of years ago not to bother with the flu shot anymore - that he had read information gleaned from the last ten years and said that flu shots DO NOT PREVENT the flu in the elderly and could compromise their immunity instead.

So, she hasn't gotten a shot for two years now. I haven't had one in 12 years and don't plan to. Instead, we take vitamins, Omega 3's, Vitamin D3 - all immunity boosters and of course, we eat VERY WELL. Lots of fruits, veggies - whole foods and I cook from scratch - no instant food.

I also read that pneumonia used to be called the 'old person's friend' - I know it may sound harsh - but my MIL already has a 'do not resuscitate' on her living will and wishes she were 'sleeping' because 'life has lost all meaning.' When you feel so bad that even fun things are no longer fun - well - you can understand why the elderly get depressed and angry - pain is not a very good constant companion. We will continue to help her eat well and manage her 'ailments' with good diet and vitamins and necessary prescription meds. So, far, she is doing well without a flu shot.
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Ishmael, I am glad that you have voiced so eloquently, what we NEED to do to live long and healthy. My husband has been an advocate for years on this very subject, and are (trying) to raise our 14 yr old son in the same manner. It is appauling at what passes as "good for you" in today's world!!!! So keep the info coming, we , at least are in the know...........!! Thank you , God bless and stay healthy
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My insurance covers my flu shot at CVS every year. I never pay anything for it.
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LT - thanks for clarifying that. I wasn't sure! But, it is relatively easy to find the preservative free vaccine, as they also don't give the regular version to pregnant women or people like me who are allergic to Thimerisol. Btw, Costco has flu shots for only $16.99, which is quite a bit cheaper than CVS or Rite-Aid.
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Thimerisol is the mercury preservative.
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dear CallMeIshmael
Thank you for your wonderful long reply. I have copied it out to study at length. I think this kind of networking is so important. There is so much corruption and money focus with the large corporations and their tremendous power to buy support of the FDA and the public officials. I have a couple of daughters who are also researching all the time. It is just wonderful what information is available if we dig a bit for it. I am living in Vancouver Canada so I also think the communications between countries is so important as certain things are suppressed in one place and promoted in another so it helps dig through it all to find our own radiant health and cheerful spirit and delight in our own life and the life of those around us. Thank you again for taking the time to do this for me. I feel so grateful to be alive and having this amazing computer to reach out and learn with. Hugs, Lydia
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My husband and I have gotten the flu shot every year for the last 6 years with no ill effects. We are in our early 50's though. My husband had triple by-pass surgery 6 years ago and his cardiologist insists that all his patients get the annual flu shot. When H1N1 was an issue I called our county health dept for the shot since the federal government was only issuing the shot to them and not local pharmacies or doctor's offices. Since we get the annual flu shot, I'm happy to report that my 84 year old mother has gotten the flu shot for the last 6 years. We all feel better each winter season so I think it is wise for all ages to get the flu shot. I wish I had gotten the annual flu shot years ago when my son was little and I would do PTA work or help his teachers @ his elementary school a couple of days every week. I always got sick in January or February with the flu or a severe cold each year. All 3 of us go to the local pharmacy and have the pharmacist give us the shot. It takes longer to fill out the form than to get the shot. Mom is covered by Medicare but my husband and I have to pay for our shots ourselves as both of our insurance companies will not and do not pay for the flu shot. This is a silly policy as it cost $24.99 for the flu shot this year for each of us but if we got sick and had complications from the flu it would certainly cost more than that to be in the hospital!
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Wow! all very informative answers. Especially callMelschmael's information. Thanks all.
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My understanding is that flu vaccines have not had mercury in them for some time. It is usually the preservative Thimerisol, that people have a reaction too. I do. If you go to the pharmacy of the major chain Costco, CVS - they carry single dose immunizations that are preservative free!
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I love all information that is shared here. My Dad is 90 and had his first flu shot this year. He was resistant, but his living circumstances changed from his own home to a senior apartment. His health is good so it was still a tough call due to concerns that the flu shot might be as dangerous as the flu. The things that changed are 1) Dad spends a lot of time socializing in the common area where he lives and 2) the food provided is not as healthy as when he was cooking for himself. Given those changes, we decided that we did not want to risk of him getting sick. IF you decide the shot is the right path for you, I suggest letting the doctor talk with your father.
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I agree with most of the advice already given. My dad is 97, and gets a flu shot each year. The last couple of times he has been given an extra-strong shot. This is because after 65, our immune systems start to decline, and the strong shot gives the immunity a bigger boost. Dad also gets his pneumonia shot when needed.

Flu is primarily a respiratory disease. If the flu weakens one, pneumonia can follow. These kinds of diseases are some of the most dangerous to seniors.
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Interesting, LT and callmeishmael
I am 75 and on a couple of meds -eg thyroid and don't take flu shots. I found that the amount of exposure to others makes a difference. I retired from teaching college nearly two years ago and have hardly had a cold. I a thiinking of volunteering at the local hospital. Handwashing is a big preventative measure, as well as diet. Ishmael, I have read of semi fasting - 500-700 cals low carb and low fat, 2 days a week in another context. It lowers your blood pressure, (mine was OK but went down to 109/60 when I followed the regime strictly), blood fats, insulin levels, blood sugar and so on. I firmly believe that lifestyle is the most important factor for health - what you eat, how much you move, stress levels, sleep... Constant munching leading to weight gain is unhealthy and may well contribute to the nation's obesity.
and. yeah, it is cool
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LT,

Good to see an unconventional viewpoint. I was sole caregiver / companion for my grandmother for 8 solid years up until she passed at almost 106. No drugs or shots for the last 4 years - just my food selections.

Well, Linus Pauling is long gone, but the Linus Pauling Institute continues on, and they now think that 400 mgs of C daily is optimal, but ideally from food sources. I noticed when my gm was in the hospital briefly before hospice that "they" don't care if you are getting even 1 milligram!

Which supports my point that ALL of our medical stats are based on data from a population that thinks 100 lbs of sugar per year is just fine. Ditto white flour everything, and especially especially white oil everything. I (formerly "we") consume an absolute minimum of veg oils and products that contain them. There are plenty of nutrition theorists (eg Udo Erasmus - has website) who are opposed to the highly processed oils which just happen to be ubiquitous.

That's why it makes more sense to look at groups like the Amish and see what kind of long-term degenerative disease rates they have. Like osteoporosis, Alz, etc.

Anyway, I just want to wish you good luck, and if you don't know about it already, look up "neuronal autophagy" in your spare time. The key idea is that by constantly EATING and therefore having drastically fewer fasting periods than our bodies were designed for, we DENY the built-in internal housekeeping clean-up processes a chance to engage. There are more and more studies that support this thinking, and if you Google { fasting Alzheimer's } you will see some interesting stuff.

Excerpt: Fasting for regular periods could help protect the brain against degenerative illnesses, according to US scientists.

Researchers at the National Institute on Ageing in Baltimore said they had found evidence that shows that periods of stopping virtually all food intake for one or two days a week could protect the brain against some of the worst effects of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other ailments.
...
Cutting daily food intake to about 500 calories — which amounts to little more than a few vegetables and some tea — for two days out of seven had clear beneficial effects in their studies
(end)

I can tell you for a fact that my gm had her dinner at 5 pm and that was IT for the day. So she unknowingly was receiving this benefit for her last decade. As for myself, I am in a position to do an 8-mile beach walk in the surf twice per week. I do it in the morning before eating and consider it to be "autophagy with a vengeance".

Finally, it's intriguing to me that the researchers who made these findings do not connect fasting with triggering autophagy. They see the benefit of twice weekly semi-fasts as a "black box" and are looking explanations such as "amounts of two cellular messaging chemicals are boosted". But if you spend a lot of time reading medical research you will find that there are PLENTY of scientists who use the analogy of a "recycling crew". If you think about the build-up of "tangles and plaques" in Alz as a persistent (day after day after day) failure do dispatch the FULL-FORCE clean-up team, then WOW.

Because you have faith that the body can take care of itself if treated properly, I will end this with an excerpt from PubMed (my favorite research site)

*** Autophagy and bacterial infectious diseases ***
"Autophagy is a housekeeping process that maintains cellular homeostasis through recycling of nutrients and degradation of damaged or aged cytoplasmic constituents. Over the past several years, accumulating evidence has suggested that autophagy can function as an intracellular innate defense pathway in response to infection with a variety of bacteria and viruses. Autophagy plays a role as a specialized immunologic effector and regulates innate immunity to exert antimicrobial defense mechanisms. Numerous bacterial pathogens have developed the ability to invade host cells or to subvert host autophagy to establish a persistent infection. In this review, we have summarized the recent advances in our understanding of the interaction between antibacterial autophagy (xenophagy) and different bacterial pathogens"

So remember - fasting TRIGGERS autophagy! And if our entire population is subverting this natural process thru constant munching, then the stats on all the long-term degenative diseases are junk.

Ain't it cool?
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I didn't know, anyone else out there knew that, the "flu shot's" have mercury in them!? It's nice to know they make one without mercury......BUT why do you have to "Special Order" it???? Mercury accumulates in your system,.....it does NOT get passed out of your body, as other vitamin's and minerals do!!! THIS STAYS IN YOUR BODY! It will kill you and also causes birth defects if persons taking it are of child bearing age!!!! SO as "LT" stated,.. If you ARE taking care of yourself and the ones your caring for, are pretty healthy and active, you won't need this Flu shot.....just extra Vit.C and TLC Godbless and stay healthy
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@teachergear1 Last week when I got my flu shot, the nurse asked me if I had had my pneumonia shot. I told her yes, about 2 years ago and I guess I had 3 years to go before getting another one. She said no. It seems "they" have decided that we only need one pneumonia shot, period and not every 5 years anymore. Folks might want to check on this before getting a second one.
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