'My patients will allow complex, devastating, overwhelming, life-changing surgery, radiation, immunotherapy, genetic therapy, and chemotherapy. They may get rashes, headaches, joint pain, swelling, fevers, and risk heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure, and who knows what else failure. However, they will, consistently, recurrently, refuse the simplest protection of all: a flu shot.
What is the risk of a significant side effect of routine flu vaccine compared with the danger of actually getting influenza, especially in immunocompromised patients? Apparently, many of my patients think it is far too high.
The truth is the opposite. The risk of a severe complication from taking the flu shot is literally, one in a million. The risk of even a minor side effect, like a chill or slight fever, is small.
The reason that experts recommend the flu shot to essentially everyone is that the flu is a deadly disease. Thousands of people die every year in the U.S. from the flu; the average deaths in the U.S. over the last decade were 32,743 per year. Many of those people had weakened constitutions because of other medical problems ... like, say, cancer and cancer therapy.'
James C. Salwitz, MD on why the decision not to have a flu shot is just plain baffling: medpagetoday.com/Blogs/Kevi...
Note: With CLL, treatment is designed to wipe out CLL cells, which also means healthy B-lymphocytes are wiped out (medical researchers still haven't found a way to differentiate between cancerous (clonal) and healthy B-lymphocytes). So vaccinations just aren't going to work during treatment. All the more reason to have them while you can.
Photo: Striated Pardalotes photographed on Kangaroo Island at Seal Bay, with thanks to Jay for identifying them. I didn't recognise them from the top down view!