I'm not surprised by the amount of misunderstanding, misinformation, or what have you, nevertheless, it's still somewhat scary to see the vehement justifications some people have given what little they do know.
Originally Posted by heyheyhey
Forcing their levels up with vaccinations to get rid of weak viruses is good, but it leaves you more open to attack from viruses and bacteria that are too strong for our bodies (and medical science) to deal with.
I'm not purposefully trying to make this personal but this is the part I mean when I say "scary."
Originally Posted by celery
The more dangerous aspect is that the flu only evolves when it sees the need to evolve. When people get vaccinated they are giving it a reason to evolve and become more dangerous. It's much safer to just let the current strain stay as is which is relatively non-deadly as we cannot truly predict what it will evolve to in the future.
This is simply another example of poor understanding. A virus can adapt/mutate/shift regardless if it comes into play with flu shot-given antigens (avian flu ring a bell.) Lawyerdad's (and to a more complex degree septavirus') assessment is the closest to the truth. Scientists study current strains of a virus/virii using epidemiologic data and predict near-future strains, not strains they expect to see in 10 years. The idea of vaccinating the young, elderly, and immunocompromised/recurrently exposed is to protect them now
; one's dead grandpa will have very little use for a vaccine that could protect him in the coming years. The problem is that since a virus likes to mutate or "shift" predicting which future variations will be more prevalent than others is still not quite an exact science. Personally, I don't think it's indicated that the general population should go out and get a flu shot. Most people have a strong enough immune system to handle illness without serious complications. Most people also don't come in contact with the very young, elderly, or generally immunocompromised on a routine basis. I, however, do and am therefore required to receive the shot at the "low point" of the prevalence season (it was mid-February here this year) with enough time for my body to build up enough of an immune response to handle the outbreak peaks. I would argue that if you identify yourself in one of the described groups or are in contact with them then you should consider getting the shot to help yourself and others. Of course, this advice comes with a warning based on your past experience in receiving the shot specifically strong adverse reactions, however, mild flu symptoms are not uncommon and are not grounds for future contraindication.