Flu Shots

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    May 02, 2009 1:59 PM GMT
    If the government / health profession / whoever tried to make the flu shot mandatory would you oppose it or stand behind it?

    Personally I would oppose it.
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    May 02, 2009 4:09 PM GMT
    I doubt it would ever become routinely mandatory for everyone, on grounds of simple practicality. Perhaps it might be attempted during an emergency epidemic, but the US now has 300 million people, more flu shots than have ever been produced in a single year, and how is this going to be monitored & enforced?

    There are legal precedents for having mandatory vaccinations, such as for polio and the childhood diseases. But those are done continuously on a year-round basis, as children reach certain ages, and then it doesn't have to be repeated indefinitely, so that it's a small number at any given moment. It's not the entire population at once, at the beginning of the flu season each and every year.
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    May 02, 2009 4:31 PM GMT
    It would depend on the type of vaccine, the level of actual risk, and the efficacy of the vaccine. For flu, if there were that much vaccine actually available, I'd probably support it. In most cases, the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the small risks.

    However, the government has been known to go off half-cocked before. For example, some of the vaccines given to US troops headed to the gulf war were, at least in hindsight, a poor decision.
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    May 02, 2009 4:44 PM GMT
    As long as I could attain these vaccines from a private source, like Tuberculosis and other required vaccines under California law. If the government required me to be vaccinated by one of their own, I'd be a bit wary!
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    May 03, 2009 3:34 AM GMT
    Oppose it. I've never had one. Don't really see the point in getting one. If I get the flu, then I get the flu. No biggie. Just stay home. That's why they give us sick days at work. icon_biggrin.gif
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    May 03, 2009 3:37 AM GMT
    Yeah, I've also never gotten a flu shot. I heard something about it possibly going mandatory but probably just someone talking. Kinda like how your supposed to get checked out for TB and stuff like that. Thought it would be a good topic with the swine flu and all.
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    May 03, 2009 1:38 PM GMT

    Mandatory inoculation is not all that uncommon. In the US almost all schools (public and private) require children to be inoculated against a number of diseases. Compliance has been less than perfect because of concern over a controversial supposed link between some vaccines and autism spectrum disorders, but the rules are there.

    I think the main impediments to mandatory flu inoculation would a lack of vaccine supply (especially against the current H1N1 threat) and lasting memories of the flawed Swine Flu vaccine that was foisted on older people in the US a couple of decades ago and wound up killing quite a few of them.
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    May 03, 2009 5:31 PM GMT
    Current CDC recommendations for receiving a flu shot.

    1. Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday
    2. Pregnant women
    3. People 50 years of age and older
    4. People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
    5. People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
    6. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
    a. Health care workers
    b. Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
    c. Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

    Should people that don't met these criteria be forced to get a flu shot ? Where is all the vaccine to come from ? Is there going to be a flu shot police to chase down noncompliant individuals.? Should chronic violators be prosecuted and incarcerated?
    Flu shots do not prevent the common cold!!! There were only 3 antigens in last season's flu shot. Over 200 different viruses can cause colds. The rhinovirus is just one.