- May 1, 2009
Just a question, though. Do you ( or others here) get the annual flu vaccine? Or any other vaccine, for that matter, If so, did you know the side-effects and risks of the vaccine you got? Did you choose to get a particular vaccine because you knew or suspected or has been told or heard a rumour that one was better than the other?
WRT Flu vax I always choose which one to get. Some years the freebie at work has only be for 3 strains, so I've paid extra to the quad variety from my GP. When office tells us who the provider is each year, I contact them to find out what vax they are using and then check with GP to see if there is a better one for me.
I'm allergic to penicillin, so am always weary of trying new drugs incase I also have am anaphylactic reactions to something new.
I've had a stack of travel jabs (including yellow fever), usually I send my GP office the list of countries and regions where I'm going, when I arrive for appointment they have a list of recommendations based on what I've already had, I discuss which ones I will get, get the literature re side effects etc, then come back to see the nurse when I'm informed to get the shots.
I weigh the side effect risks against how badly I want to visit a location and if there are reliable no medication alternatives. For example when i have been to malaria regions for very short periods i.e. 3 days at Iguazu, I opted not to take the anti-malarials because of the time you have to take them, instead dressed in long sleeves and pants and dosed myself with bushman's friend (DEET) but I did get Yellow fever vax as unlike malaria it isnt treatable. I also got rabies vax because if you get bitten timing of treatments is more crucial if you haven't been vaccinated - and you cant always get to a hospital quickly.