Wednesday, September 4, 2019

I got my Shingles and MMR vaccine today

Recommendations from the CDC self assessment website 

I got my first shingles and MMR vaccinations today.

The nurse said that Shingrix vaccine seemed to have significant side-effects for many patients. The entire staff got the shot. She, personally, had three days of aches and pains and a 102 fever after the second of the two-part series.

I think the nurse flirted with me to take my mind off the shot.

She gave my deltoid a little pat and said, "Oh my. You have big muscles. I need to get a longer needle." Then she dashed out of the room for thirty seconds.

She probably just had to pass gas but it made me feel better.

She also gave me an MMR vaccination. It is also a two-part series but is administered subcutaneously.

The local drugstore offers the vaccination but it is not covered by my health insurance. The out-of-pocket cost for the four shots would be about $600.

I went to Ingham County Health Department.  They took my insurance info and will attempt to bill them. It will be interesting to see how that shakes out. I suspect we will get a bill much smaller than $600 as the health department gets various grants and volume discounts.

Vaccinations are considered a matter of public health. When a large portion of the population is vaccinated, epidemics can become self-extinguishing.

A partial match between the vaccine and the disease results in partial immunity. The person does not spew as many virus or bacteria as they would if their immune systems were totally naive thereby reducing the pressure on others who have not been infected.

One factor that rarely gets discussed with regard to influenza vaccinations is that it is impossible to count the number of people who did not get the flu. The vaccinated human population exerts selection pressure in favor of those strains and mutations that evade the vaccine and against those that don't evade the vaccine. By the end of the flu season the vaccine might have 20% effectiveness. But if there had been NO vaccine, how much higher would the effectiveness been against the non-selected influenza?

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