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Question for those who get flu shots

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I had my flu shot this afternoon.  In about 8 hours I'll start a low grade fever, chills, headache and body aches, and will be lying around for a few days without feeling 100% back to normal for a week... that's just how it is for me, every time.  It's like influenza "lite."

 

My 13 and 10 year olds get their flu shots and always complain about intense arm pain for the first day or two.  As an incentive they are allowed a lot of screen time the day of their shots, but this does not distract them from the pain.  They require a steady stream of tylenol to (barely) tolerate it.

 

Dh generally has no problem with the flu shot aside from a little soreness.

 

Given our wide range of reactions to the shot, some of which are very unpleasant... I am always conflicted about vaccinating my youngest children.  I usually can't bring myself to do it.  I tell myself that having the rest of us vaccinated protects them somewhat. This year I am seriously considering letting my 3.5 year old get the shot for the first time.  I have to decide by Monday.  I am very reluctant to vaccinate my 1 year old.

 

The recommendation is to vaccinate everyone over 6 months old.  If you are a household that gets the flu shot, do you vaccinate everyone over 6 months?  Or do you make an exception for the little ones, and why?

 

(As a side note, I do get the flu shot when I am pregnant and going to be in the 2nd or 3rd trimester during flu season, just because of the awful statistics regarding that cohort.  Maybe it's hypocritical that I will subject a developing fetus to the vaccine but not a 6 month old.)

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I got the flu shot a week ago.  This is the first time in years that I have gotten one.  I haven't had any reaction at all to it and I don't remember any reaction in the past, although it has been awhile.  

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Geesh that sucks big time.  If I had that kind of reaction, I probably would not get one myself.  I never have any sort of reaction to it.

 

I don't know what I'd do with the younger kids.  I could see arguments for either way.  (Sorry, I'm no help!)

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In our family of six, two of us (dd and DH) always have a mild reaction to the vaccine (mostly body aches and fatigue), while the rest of us are fine.  They also have a tougher time with other vaccines and mild illnesses like colds, so I suspect that their immune systems are more reactive to things than ours are.  So I wonder if you can tell with your little ones by how they respond to other illnesses or vaccines how the flu shot will affect them?  I would go ahead and still have them vaccinated because I am pro-flu shot, but I know everyone doesn't feel that way.  

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We vaccinate everyone. Our vaccine reactions are mild—slightly sore arm, fatigue, headache. Nothing that a little Tylenol can’t fix. And it doesn’t stop us from our daily activities.

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I vaccinate everyone but none of us has bad reactions--the one exception was the year we did flumist instead of the shot; all of us had minor respiratory infection symptoms for a few days after that.

 

With the shot it's just a slightly sore arm for a couple of days.

Edited by maize

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We vaccinate everyone in the family. My reason to even begin getting the shot was when my 2.5 year old (only child at the time) got the flu. It was terrible. That’s when I decided that we should all get the shot the next year and have ever since. One year, my 1.5 year old got the flu (different strain) even though he had gotten the shot. It was even more awful than with my first! So we tolerate the soreness to avoid the weeks of misery (hopefully). Your youngers may experience less noticeable soreness because it will probably be given in the leg. I always think that’s better than the arm. Our soreness is quite noticeable for a day, but we can still do normal activities.

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We started getting them after the flu knocked me out for most of the winter and well into spring a few years back.

 

We don't have any issues with it and now I wonder why we didn't start earlier.

 

When DS was younger and there was the swine flu scare, we wanted to get him vaccinated (he was in K, I think) but couldn't, because we couldn't get assurance that an ingredient he had previously had a reaction to wasn't in it. The government refused to tell us (we were in Canada) and we couldn't get the nasal spray vaccine in the States since we didn't live there. Iirc we did come down with it, but not horribly so.

 

We are big believers in vaccines though, so I would (almost) always advise to get them. Maybe especially for the little ones.

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We've always gotten our kids vaccinated against the flu, starting when they were very young. Having experienced the misery of the flu, a little bit of discomfort from the shot is much preferable!

 

 

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Wow, If you react like that to the vaccine..I can't imagine what your body would do with the flu!

 

With a reaction like that, I would absolutely vaccinate all my family.  If for no other reason, but to be able to control when they feel bad for a few days (vs having them get really, really sick on a week we have plans or a holiday event).

 

We just get the typical lump in the arm feeling for a day or so, and that is it.  DD18 and I both have immune system issues, and we still just get a bit of localized pain at the injection site and that is all. 

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We are pretty religious about getting the flu shot.  When I was a teen my family didn't get the shot when we normally would have because I was busy and we always went together.   Mom got the flu and it was horrible!   She was practically bedridden for a month, and sick for several.    The upside was that she quit smoking and stayed that way.  But, that isn't the withdrawal method I'd recommend.   

Some people say that they feel crappy when they get the flu shot, so why bother?   But, a bad flu version can kill people.   

 

 

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My preference is to vaccinate everyone.  My 2 kids and I got our shots last week.  1 of my kids complained about a sore arm for a day.  That was it for all 3 of us.  A couple times in the past week I've been tired and thought "Hmm ... maybe because of the flu shot?".   But could be anything really. 

 

EVERY year someone is not vaxxed for the flu someone gets it.  And it's the full on fever for 7-10 days absolutely miserable variety. 

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Wow. We've never experienced anything like that. Maybe some soreness if the injection site is pushed on- but that's it. I don't know what I would do in your shoes.

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I don’t get the flu shot while pregnant and I don’t give it to babies and toddlers. I follow a selective, delayed schedule and there are more important shots for them to receive when they see the doctor.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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We've always gotten the flu shot for everyone starting as early in age as possible. We each experience arm pain for the next day, but it isn't severe.

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I think I'd be talking it over with my pediatrician.  In general, I think the vaccine outweighs the short term side effects, but they see a wider, younger, audience than I do so I'd find it worth their input.

 

I normally have no reaction - can't even feel the shot.  This year I still didn't feel the shot, but my arm was sore for a couple of days afterward starting later that evening.  I wondered what the difference was (still do actually).  In any event, it seems possible to have reactions some years and not others, so hopefully yours might be better this year?

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The recommendation is to vaccinate everyone over 6 months old.  If you are a household that gets the flu shot, do you vaccinate everyone over 6 months?  Or do you make an exception for the little ones, and why?

 

 

I never had my kids flu vaccinated until they were older and it wasn't a problem. I think we probably started when they were 4 & 6? I don't remember. We just weren't around as many people when they were younger (especially during flu season.) 

 

Ds is like you and gets a flu-lite every time. I feel so awful for him! I'd love to not vax him, but he gets flu-FULL every year or two when not vaxxed, he can't take Tamiflu (he can, it just comes right back up,) and he's guaranteed to pass it to his sister. Dd has a heart condition and has to be vaccinated. Fortunately for her, she usually has no reaction from the shot beyond slightly sore arm. I've never had a flu vax, but I'm considering getting the shot this year. Dh never has and never will. 

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We always vaccinate, I sometimes get a sore arm but didn’t this year. One of my kids had a sore arm this year the day after vaccinating.

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We vaccinated at the earliest age recommended, but I'm thinking it was older than 6 months back then--I can't really remember. But if my disabled seizure kid were to get the flu, the complications could be very serious so we've always made sure that everyone in the family got the shot to protect her. My arm usually hurts after the shot (for two nights this year, but I also had the pneumonia vaccine in the same arm), but it's just an "ow, it feels like I've been punched!" kind of pain. Nothing serious, just enough to want some sympathy and have a little ice cream to soothe it.

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That's a really bad reaction to the shot! What does your doctor recommend?

 

All the symptoms I get are listed in the vaccine handout as possible side effects.  I tell every doctor or pharmacist who is about to administer it.  No one has recommended against it.

 

So far nothing except a slightly sore arm and muscle twitches at the injection site.  I always go for 10-12 hours after the shot feeling ok, hoping this year will be an exception.  Then the symptoms come on quickly!  We shall see...

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I get the same reaction as you, so I stopped getting the flu shot for years. I only started because it is required for me to volunteer at the hospital. My husband also gets a very sore arm for several weeks. The kids never have any issues. I would likely vaccinate everyone.

Edited by SeaConquest

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Btw, this board so very different from my local homeschooling and parenting boards in So Cal. I would say 1/50 seem to be getting flu shots in that demographic. :(

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I get severe arm pain and weakness.  I can't lift anything for a week or two with that arm.  Like an empty plastic cup is excrutiating to try to lift.  Getting dressed is difficult etc.  The doctors and nurses just tell me the vaccine shouldn't do that.  Um but it does.  They don't believe me.  I finally stopped getting the shot because I had a 4 month old and a 1 year old (plus a few other kids),  I simply couldn't afford to lose my arm for a few weeks. 

 

In your case, since it seems your family seems to run on the sensitive side, I would probably skip it for the baby too.

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Studies have shown that the flu shot isn't any more effective than a placebo for children under 2. So no, I wouldn't be getting a flu shot for small children. The benefits would not outweigh the risks.

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Studies have shown that the flu shot isn't any more effective than a placebo for children under 2. So no, I wouldn't be getting a flu shot for small children. The benefits would not outweigh the risks.

https://www.unitypoint.org/blankchildrens/article.aspx?id=92b7063f-d5cf-4e92-9fd0-0c4c16088e68 This article mentions the study that claims it’s no more effective than placebo.

 

We got our flu shots, and so far half of my extra kids got them. I have to get the biggest 3 in (they were scheduled this week, but my truck needed a repair).

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https://www.unitypoint.org/blankchildrens/article.aspx?id=92b7063f-d5cf-4e92-9fd0-0c4c16088e68 This article mentions the study that claims it’s no more effective than placebo.

 

We got our flu shots, and so far half of my extra kids got them. I have to get the biggest 3 in (they were scheduled this week, but my truck needed a repair).

 

I have never heard that.

 

Off to read.

 

 

 

I get them for everyone.   No matter the age.  I get a sore arm, I think the kids do, but they don't talk about it much. But we did do the flu mist for a few years.   So mad that it wasn't effective. 

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Wow, If you react like that to the vaccine..I can't imagine what your body would do with the flu!

 

With a reaction like that, I would absolutely vaccinate all my family. If for no other reason, but to be able to control when they feel bad for a few days (vs having them get really, really sick on a week we have plans or a holiday event).

 

We just get the typical lump in the arm feeling for a day or so, and that is it. DD18 and I both have immune system issues, and we still just get a bit of localized pain at the injection site and that is all.

Same, but this year I actually did have more of a long lasting achiness in that arm. I figured it probably had more to do with the injection technique itself rather than the contents.

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I normally have no reaction - can't even feel the shot. This year I still didn't feel the shot, but my arm was sore for a couple of days afterward starting later that evening. I wondered what the difference was (still do actually). In any event, it seems possible to have reactions some years and not others, so hopefully yours might be better this year?

Well now you have me wondering!

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We just got the flu shot for the first time this year as a close relative is going through chemo. We had a bit of arm soreness and I might have had half a day of a stuffy nose and blah feeling, nothing else.

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Geesh that sucks big time.  If I had that kind of reaction, I probably would not get one myself.  I never have any sort of reaction to it.

 

I don't know what I'd do with the younger kids.  I could see arguments for either way.  (Sorry, I'm no help!)

 

Only those that don't have a bad reaction get them. Which means I get it, and my 7 and 5 yr old usually do, and my oldest and DH do not. I will not be vaccinating the 6 month old. I can't handle a cranky 6 month old if she ends up like my oldest (who is like you and takes days of getting over it). 

 

I see no point in purposely getting sick for 3 days every year to possibly avoid getting sick for 5 days, maybe. So those of us that react skip it. 

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Geesh that sucks big time.  If I had that kind of reaction, I probably would not get one myself.  

 

 

Ditto. Sometimes my arm is a bit sore, sometimes not. The kids get shots if it's convenient. Since it has to be at the doctor's office in NY for minors, it's typically not convenient, so they typically don't get it. 

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I see no point in purposely getting sick for 3 days every year to possibly avoid getting sick for 5 days, maybe. So those of us that react skip it.

I can see not getting the shot if you react badly but I wouldn't assume that catching the flu itself would affect you for only a few days. Last time I had it it took me about four months to get back to normal.

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I can see not getting the shot if you react badly but I wouldn't assume that catching the flu itself would affect you for only a few days. Last time I had it it took me about four months to get back to normal.

Similar here. I only had flu B, was down for a solid week, but then caught every bug that ever existed and was sick for most of January to June.

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We don't have any littles here anymore but we always got the flu shot, even when ds was little. Dss and ddil get the shot and see that our grandsons also get it. Dss and ddil are a firemedic and nurse respectively. They're required to get it. Their boys aren't though, and they still have them get the vaccine.

 

 

Wow, If you react like that to the vaccine..I can't imagine what your body would do with the flu!

 

With a reaction like that, I would absolutely vaccinate all my family.  If for no other reason, but to be able to control when they feel bad for a few days (vs having them get really, really sick on a week we have plans or a holiday event).

 

We just get the typical lump in the arm feeling for a day or so, and that is it.  DD18 and I both have immune system issues, and we still just get a bit of localized pain at the injection site and that is all. 

 

Truly! I'd much rather have that reaction than the full blown flu. FWIW, none of us have ever had any reaction to the vaccine.

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https://www.unitypoint.org/blankchildrens/article.aspx?id=92b7063f-d5cf-4e92-9fd0-0c4c16088e68 This article mentions the study that claims it’s no more effective than placebo.

 

We got our flu shots, and so far half of my extra kids got them. I have to get the biggest 3 in (they were scheduled this week, but my truck needed a repair).

 

Quoting you in order to quote part of the article you linked lest anyone actually believe the statement that the vaccine is no better than a placebo without doing research themselves.  The whole article is worth a read, of course.  Be careful just believing what is read on the internet (or heard via another source) without looking at actual data!

 

Now, the reason you might hear a flu shot doubter claim the vaccine is ineffective in kids under two is because of language used in a 2012 Cochrane Review of influenza vaccine efficacy, which states, "Inactivated vaccines in children aged two years or younger are not significantly more efficacious than placebo." 

How is that conclusion reached, given the above data? Well, meta-analyses like this one necessarily don't look at all the data, but only studies that meet certain parameters for inclusion. For whatever reasons, none of these were included in the review. The only study that was includedin the review was from 1976, which looked at a whopping 16(!) infants, and used a single-strain, highly reactogenic influenza vaccine, a far cry from the trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines used today. This is completely irrelevant to modern policy-making, and no basis to declare the vaccine similar to placebo.

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