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Question about Vaccines
Old 10-25-2011, 09:27 AM   #1
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Question about Vaccines

I got my seasonal flu shot recently, then found that it is exactly the same formula as last year, since the same strain is expected. That is, I just got the same shot twice.

However, I've read that it's still a good idea to get it, since it will boost your immunity.

However, other vaccines, such as shingles or polio, are supposed to last a lifetime.

So, do vaccines differ as to how long they protect you?
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:16 AM   #2
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Yes, different vaccines give you different periods of immunity.

When I was in the Air Force, we had to maintain a personal shot record that showed each vaccine given and the date. They all had different immunity periods (e.g., one year, three years, ten years) so you knew when you were due for another one (and the local medical unit would generally remind you shortly beforehand).
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:20 AM   #3
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So, do vaccines differ as to how long they protect you?
Yep. Tetanus vaccines need boosters every decade, but I've never made it that far before needing to get another one.

I was also regularly vaccinated for diptheria & typhoid before sea duty. Frankly I think they should've handed out pneumonia vaccines too.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:35 AM   #4
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I heard on the news yesterday that the flu shot given this year is not expected to be as effective as in past years. Especially true for seniors. The CDC is in a rush to develope a stronger strain.
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:51 PM   #5
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I saw that too, but what they were saying was that all of the annual flu shots are less effective than previously thought, not just this year's.

CTV Edmonton - Flu vaccine less effective than once thought: report - CTV News

And there's this:
Two drug companies are testing formulations of universal flu vaccine in hopes of bringing a successful version to market in the coming years. Such a shot may work for several years, possibly replacing the annual flu shot.

I was also thinking, after I got my $200 shingles vaccine, that there's no way to know whether they gave you the right vaccine, or whether they didn't refrigerate it. You just have to trust them.
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:03 PM   #6
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Yep. Tetanus vaccines need boosters every decade, but I've never made it that far before needing to get another one.

I was also regularly vaccinated for diptheria & typhoid before sea duty. Frankly I think they should've handed out pneumonia vaccines too.
You might want to get a pertussis booster with next tetanus/diptheria.
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:05 PM   #7
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I saw that too, but what they were saying was that all of the annual flu shots are less effective than previously thought, not just this year's.

CTV Edmonton - Flu vaccine less effective than once thought: report - CTV News

And there's this:
Two drug companies are testing formulations of universal flu vaccine in hopes of bringing a successful version to market in the coming years. Such a shot may work for several years, possibly replacing the annual flu shot.

I was also thinking, after I got my $200 shingles vaccine, that there's no way to know whether they gave you the right vaccine, or whether they didn't refrigerate it. You just have to trust them.
I haven't yet invested the time in finding a doctor, applying to be a patient, making an appointment, getting a prescription, tracking down if/where the shingles vaccine is available...
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:13 PM   #8
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I haven't yet invested the time in finding a doctor, applying to be a patient, making an appointment, getting a prescription, tracking down if/where the shingles vaccine is available...
I got my shingles shot last Fall at my nearby Safeway supermarket. When they have vaccine available, they put signs out in the parking area: Shingles Shots Today!. (I keep trying to get my wife to get a shot, but no luck so far.)
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:32 PM   #9
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I got my shingles shot last Fall at my nearby Safeway supermarket. When they have vaccine available, they put signs out in the parking area: Shingles Shots Today!. (I keep trying to get my wife to get a shot, but no luck so far.)
Kroger (grocery store) had signs up inside saying shingles vaccine available; when I asked they said I needed a prescription.

Who determines the criteria?
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:47 PM   #10
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Kroger (grocery store) had signs up inside saying shingles vaccine available; when I asked they said I needed a prescription.
How irritating. I wasn't asked for a prescription. They wanted my insurance card, the name of my doctor, and some money. Perhaps policies differ from state to state? Safeway keeps a licensed medical doctor on duty in their pharmacy, so maybe that makes a difference.
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:53 PM   #11
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I got my seasonal flu shot recently, then found that it is exactly the same formula as last year, since the same strain is expected. That is, I just got the same shot twice.
It is generally the case that antibodies against the flu virus last 4 to 6 months or more but eventuallly drop off to very low, presumably non-protective levels for most adults after a year. Hence, the annual same-shot recommendation.

Interesting reading here.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:30 PM   #12
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Rich, I sorta lost track of the vaccines that I've gotten or haven't gotten over the years. Is it a problem to get a shot again that was only supposed to be every 10 years or once in a life time?
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:13 PM   #13
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Kroger (grocery store) had signs up inside saying shingles vaccine available; when I asked they said I needed a prescription.

Who determines the criteria?
Not sure. May be the state or may be driven by your insurance company. I live in Michigan. A friend here went to the pharmacy at Meijer's and requested the vaccine and gave them his insurance card. They said come back in 20 minutes (so they could thaw/warm the vaccine). They gave him the shot and he was done.

Said friend was trying to talk me into going to Meijer's. too. Luckily I called my insurance company (BCBS) first. They will only cover the cost if the vaccine is administered by a doctor. When I called my doctor's office they said the shingles vaccine is currently on back-order, but should be available in November.

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Old 10-27-2011, 10:30 PM   #14
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ahh, shots - just got my flu and the Tetanus/XXX booster (don't know what the other part is) - I had started to walk out of the clinic after the flu shot (thank goodness a shot and not the nasal rinse due to the cold I have - heh) when the airman said, "you will be overdue for the Tetanus shot on 31 Oct," err - then lets just do that now - so the other arm got shot - both of them twitched and scared her when I got the shot as I had just done my fitness test - push-ups until I dropped was one of them......the Air Force makes sure I get shots all the time....sigh

On topic a bit more - the shot tech said that you have a base immunity in which you keep adding and strengthening each year with your flu shots...and that what it does do is lower the severity of the symptoms as well. So T-Al - perhaps the symptoms you get with your flu this year will be less severe....:-)
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:21 AM   #15
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Yep. Tetanus vaccines need boosters every decade, but I've never made it that far before needing to get another one.
This is an interesting one. I was under the impression that they lasted 10yrs until I got bitten by a crab and doc wanted me to come in and get another shot even tho 3 yrs were still left of the 10. Does that mean, the defenders can hold off the barbarians temporarily but will eventually get overwhelmed unless fresh troops are sent in? What if I had been bitten in the first yr?
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:54 AM   #16
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This is an interesting one. I was under the impression that they lasted 10yrs until I got bitten by a crab and doc wanted me to come in and get another shot even tho 3 yrs were still left of the 10. Does that mean, the defenders can hold off the barbarians temporarily but will eventually get overwhelmed unless fresh troops are sent in? What if I had been bitten in the first yr?
If you mean that the doctor is the defender and the malpractice lawyers are the barbarians, then yes, that's right.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:46 AM   #17
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If you mean that the doctor is the defender and the malpractice lawyers are the barbarians, then yes, that's right.
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:11 PM   #18
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If you mean that the doctor is the defender and the malpractice lawyers are the barbarians, then yes, that's right.
Perfect

We went and got our flu shots today after we'd been to the pool. Chatting to a bunch of friends after the exercise session we said we had to leave for our flu shot appointment with the nurse at the clinic.

They all echo'ed the reports that this year's flu shot was not going to be much help. I asked how many had decided not have it this year, but they all had decided to do it anyway.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:23 PM   #19
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I was also thinking, after I got my $200 shingles vaccine, that there's no way to know whether they gave you the right vaccine, or whether they didn't refrigerate it. You just have to trust them.

Everyone should expect their pharmacy/pharmacist is ethical and honest, they are handling your daily prescriptons too.

Unfortunately a couple bad apples that get a lot of press, spoil the whole bunch.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:49 PM   #20
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Kroger (grocery store) had signs up inside saying shingles vaccine available; when I asked they said I needed a prescription.

Who determines the criteria?

Usually the state licensing board. Most states allow a collaborative agreement with a physician that allows a pharmacist that has been trained to give specific immunizations under specific protocols.

For example in my state and under our collaborative agreement we can immunize 12 years and older for almost all vaccines with the exception of pregnant women.
This also has to follow the Advisory Committee on Immunizing Protocols (ACIP) an arm of the CDC (as per the state). This is why we can vaccinate anyone over 60 y.o. with out an Rx for shingles but persons younger need an Rx b/c the ACIP hasn't implemented the FDA's suggestion to lower the age to 50 (theory is that it will have 27 million more people clamoring for a shot that is already hard to get).

A script from a prescriber over-rides the protocol though. An OB/GYN can give us a Rx for a flu shot for their pregnant patient. A general practitioner can give a shingles Rx to 45 y.o. and we can give it.

I would call a couple of pharmacies in your area and get specifics, could be that Kroger doesn't have a collaborative agreement and has to rely on scripts from the prescriber or maybe your state doesn't allow an agreement and all immunizations have to be done by script?
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