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Immune responses after influenza vaccination in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by barbc56, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    Hi alex3619

    Do you know offhand if there is actual evidence that the flu vaccines are effective, that is, do they reduce deaths or sick days?

    I've read this before. I've also read someplace that sometimes they guess wrong, and the vaccine ends up being of little use. But hey - as long as people buy the stuff, who cares?

    What happens to us when we are exposed to a virus that doens't trigger an immune response? I recall that most illness symptoms are actually caused by the immune response as opposed to the virus itself. Are there particular symptoms that are caused by the uncontrolled virus?
  2. HowToEscape?

    HowToEscape? Senior Member

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    Docs and biologists I've met universally favor the usual vaccines for people in normal health. There's a whole industry of anti-vax BS on the net, often coupled with some sort of fake medical practice or frauds like Wakefield.

    For people with immune system issues, vaccines appear to be a case by case thing. If you get a reaction as severe as the flu you might catch then the vax isn't for you ... unless you are in contact with infants or immune compromised people.
    I always get my flu shot, as I don't have a reaction. The small amount of weakened flu fragments are a far smaller challenge than the large amount of live flu virus I'm sure to encounter during flu season - I live in a major city in the USA - NYC, which means i) high density of people and ii) many who think they're too cool to need to wash their hands, thus flu and other stuff on every surface in public.

    If everyone in good health was fully vaccinated we'd be in better shape, as we would encounter fewer contagious diseases to set off immune issues. My illness may have been finally set off by a couple rounds of pnuemonia after other systemic stresses. If a vaccine for whatever strain of pneumonia I got existed and was part of the routine sequence, there's a chance I wouldn't have joined this club.
    barbc56 likes this.
  3. roxie60

    roxie60 Senior Member

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    oh my, I should write my experience for posterity after anguishing over getting/not getting the flu shot. I finally decided to get it, was so sick for the next 2-3 weeks after....was it coincidental, don't know, dont think so. Too tired to recap the experience tonight.
  4. roxie60

    roxie60 Senior Member

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    Increased sick days in my case. Even with my symps I would try t make it to work 3-4 days a week, I was bedridden for over a week and then it took almost 2 more weeks to get back to about my good level which is about 40-50%
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi jimells, I have not seen the actual studies. However in my immunology lectures (around 2001) such studies were cited. One claim was that the single cheapest way to save lives was the flu vaccine. Dollar for dollar its has a huge impact on public health. I think this is probably right, but ignores several issues. First is that when you do such studies, it has to be considered that each vaccine formulation is different. Some are probably more effective, some less. Second, while there is general benefit in the population, is this true for every population subgroup?

    As for sickdays, I am not aware of evidence the flu vaccine will reduce days off work, but I think it probably does. Just because I am not aware of it does not mean such evidence does not exist either.

    The case in point, of course, is whether it is good for those with CFS or ME. For most people, most of the time, I think a flu vaccine is a great idea. For all people, all of the time ... no. We need more research to screen out those who are likely to have adverse effects. This is being largely ignored, and manufacturers sometimes have special legislative protection to reduce legal liability. I think this can only be justified if such protection goes hand in hand with research funds to identify and solve vaccine related problems. Otherwise its very morally questionable to protect an industry that can do so much harm. Its the old moral debate: is it justified to allow harm to a few to protect the many? I think it is, but only if you do everything reasonable to mitigate harm to the few. If you ignore that harm, the moral justification disappears.

    The argument that the tiny amount of flu protein etc. in a vaccine is less dangerous than the flu itself is correct. Its also only part of the story. The issue with vaccines is adjuvants. These are immune boosting chemicals in the vaccine. They stimulate the immune system. My suspicion is that there are subgroups in the population for whom this is a very bad idea.

    Those who are harmed are very vocal and often very angry. This fuels the anti-vaccine debate. My current position on this is that they are sending the wrong message. Its not that vaccines are good, or vaccines are bad. Its that some vaccines and uses of vaccines are bad, and both victims and future victims are being ignored. They should be demanding recognition of the issues, screening tests, identification of biomarkers, treatments .. a whole research program. That would have a much stronger moral position. A similar argument can be applied to ME and CFS research, including CBT/GET.

    We now have the technology for adjuvant-free vaccines. I do not know how the clinical trials and other research on this is going however. If such vaccines are both safe and effective in clinical trials, then the use of adjuvants can be abandoned, and so potentially greatly reduce side effects.

    Bye, Alex

    PS A second issues with vaccines is live vaccines. In some the attenuated virus might lead to a real infection. Its only a small percentage, but to those affected it is not a minor issue.
  6. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    Hi alex3619 Thanks for your reply. I hadn't heard of these 'adjuvants' before. Strange that there's lots of publicity around mercury preservatives, the use of poultry eggs as growth medium, etc, but apparently little about the adjuvants (or maybe I just missed it :sleep: ).

    The liability limitation laws are very troubling. They are always a red flag for me, like the Price-Anderson Act that limits the liability of nuclear power plants in the US. Corporations are cost-externalizing machines by definition, so of course they are always going to push for any legislation that transfers risks to someone (anyone) else.

    which will not lead to increased profits, or decreased risks, thanks to the liability laws.

    Like us, folks harmed by vaccines have been tossed in the trash. No wonder they are pissed.
  7. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Logan, Queensland, Australia
  8. Creekee

    Creekee Senior Member

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    Anyone remember the Swine Flu scare of the mid-seventies? The genesis of my illness was stomach ulcer, followed by Swine Flu vaccination (got sick afterward), followed by mono that basically never went away. All within maybe 24 months.

    Ya gotta wonder...
    GracieJ and GcMAF Australia like this.
  9. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    Regardless of whether or not any flu vaccine "works" or not and whether or not it is good for pwME/CFS to get one, the real underlying issue with vaccines is freedom of choice. Take that away and you have a whole new world few of us really want to be living in.

    I'll take my chances without vaccines, thank you very much.
    jimells, GcMAF Australia and ggingues like this.
  10. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    I'll probably take my chances with the vaccine this year (if I get around to getting it), but I think everyone should have the choice of taking it or not.

    I have not seen evidence for the flu vaccine reducing sick days. I do recall a number of years ago there was a campaign to get more people to get a flu shot. The primary targets were students and working people. The selling point was that it would reduce sick days and missed classes/work.
  11. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Getting the version of the vaccine without some of the nasty stuff in it might help too. I'm "hypersensitive" to eggs now, and swell up if I eat a trace amount. So I can see similar issues causing a reaction on its own in ME patients.
  12. Xandoff

    Xandoff Michael

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    Amen....Amen!
  13. PhoenixBurger

    PhoenixBurger Senior Member

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    I dont get this. I have never in my life had the flu shot. I am approaching 39 years old now. I have lived life fine.

    Wash your hands. Walk away from people who are coughing. Eat right. Sleep well. Exercise.

    I honestly don't think I've ever had the flu. Maybe once.

    How is this not a money making scheme? This flu vaccine. Flu vaccines were only supposed to be given to very old, weak people when they first came out, as I recall. Now everyone in the family can go to the local Walgreens and get shot up. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    The last thing I would ever do is voluntarily have someone shoot me up with a Flu vaccine. Especially when they only last 1 year. And you have to keep doing it over and over.

    There is enough evidence out there that vaccines cause adverse events with immune systems. People who are immunocompromised do get vaccines, but its because they are certain to die without them. We aren't.

    And how many of us had the Hep B vaccine within 2 years of this crap starting? I know I did. I saw someone else above say they did. Lets not even get into how many people have developed MS after the hep B vaccine. It's been banned in France for this very reason, from what I understand.

    I am staying as far away from vaccines as possible from now on. My kids will have the bare necessities. We've got immune dysfunction, and we've all got a lifetime of immune modulating shots repeatedly put into our bodies to 'protect' us ... I may be completely wrong but I see a correlation.
    Wayne and GracieJ like this.
  14. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    Huge correlation, pb...

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