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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Vax Update

Now 3 weeks later, my arm still has two lumpy spots that feel like a bruise when pressed. Otherwise, I'm back to normal with the full range of motion in my arm and seem to be able to carry a normal weight again in the arm. That step lagged the end of taking pain meds by a few days, but seemed fine by this past weekend.

There's a basic risk/benefit analysis that totally works for the TDaP. You take it once and get 10 years of immunity to some really serious stuff. If you're sick for a few days (or even 2 weeks), it's totally worth the benefit of 10 years of insurance against catching three common and extremely nasty bugs. That same analysis totally breaks down for the flu shot. You take it once, get immunity for one year from a flu bug that they may or may not have guessed right on. Getting sick for a few days isn't worth an immunity that's valuable for a year or less, unless catching the flu is likely to be life-threatening for you. I'll cheerfully go get another TDaP booster in 2020. I will encourage others to get there TDaP. I encouraged Erik to get his and he got one today. I will not however sit quietly back and go along with the party line on "Get your flu shot." Instead, know the risks, and decide for yourself. If it's right for you, get it.

And for any vaccine where you may have had a reaction, please report it to the Vaccine Adverse Reaction database. It is only through consistent reporting that the vax manufacturers and our government will know that there is a problem that may need attention. Too many people write it off to "Oh, I must have been getting sick already" or food poisoning or some other falderol. If you're feeling sick 6-48 hours after a vaccination, please report it. Maybe we can make a better vaccine in the future.

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