Articles, Blog

Why Dr. Fauci Never Misses a Flu Shot

November 5, 2019


“Dr. Fauci, thank you so much for joining
me at the NIH Clinical Center for our flu shots this year. Before we get vaccinated, I want to talk to you a little bit about the flu shot and what people can expect
if they’re getting it this year. Who should think about getting a flu shot?”
“Well, babies don’t think about it, but everyone from six months of age and
older should get a influenza shot. Everybody.” “Sometimes I hear people say, you know, I’m young, I’m healthy. If I get the flu, I’ll be home, I’ll be off work,
maybe binge some Netflix, no big deal, but that’s not actually true?”
“That’s not actually true. Obviously, clearly, most people who get influenza
ultimately do fine. They may be very uncomfortable, they may get sick, but they will ultimately do fine. But a small fraction of people, even otherwise well
people, and we hear and see the tragic stories of that in the media every
single year…. an otherwise very healthy young person, a college student or a
young person out in the community, gets influenza and gets very sick and
actually dies. So this is not a common cold. And I think that’s the thing that
people need to appreciate. We sometimes inappropriately say when someone gets an upper respiratory infection, ‘What happened to you?’ ‘Oh, I got the flu.’ They
likely did not get influenza. Influenza is really potentially and, from history, a
very serious disease.” “And so when should people start thinking about getting a
flu shot?” “People should start thinking about getting a flu shot now, and by now
I mean October. Everyone should, if possible, have been vaccinated by the end of October.” “So we should all be prepared. Is it ever too late to get a flu vaccine?”
“No, it’s never too late, and people say, ‘Well, we’re well into the season, I haven’t
gotten flu.’ But there’s flu out there. It’s now December, January, it’s never too late to get vaccinated. Having said that, try to get vaccinated
before October 31st.” “And people have a lot of fears and concerns about getting
vaccinated, and I know some folks in my family have asked me, you know, what about
side effects for the vaccine? Am I going to get sick? Am I going to
have a weird reaction to it? What would you say to folks who are worried
about that?” “What we do know from decades of experience is that influenza vaccine
is a very safe vaccine. In general most people have nothing, but maybe a little
bit of a sore arm for a few hours to 24 hours, and then you’re done.” “A
lot of people think that they got the flu, a mild case of the flu, from the
vaccine. Is that how it works?” “No, it’s impossible, not unlikely, but impossible
for you to get the flu from the flu vaccine.” “And I’ve heard other people say some things like ‘I have never gotten the flu vaccine, and I’ve never gotten the
flu. That’s working for me.’ And I’ve heard folks say, ‘I got the flu vaccine one year,
and that’s the year I got the flu.’ What what would you say to those?” “Well, for the people who said ‘I never got the flu vaccine and never got the flu,’ that’s
really good. Congratulations, you’re lucky! But you have a long life, and the chances
of your ultimately getting influenza if you don’t get the flu vaccine are reasonably good. So the idea that you have not gotten the flu despite the… the fact that you’ve not gotten flu vaccine is absolutely no
excuse not to get the flu vaccine. The other situation is the person says, ‘Well,
the year that I got the flu vaccine I got the flu.’ Well, the flu vaccine is not perfect. It is not a hundred percent perfect vaccine.
But the advantages of getting the flu vaccine versus being unprotected and not get the flu vaccine is really a very very very wide difference. A) it can
protect you from getting the flu, and B) importantly, it could really mitigate
and dampen the seriousness of the flu if you get it.” “And what about for folks who
have had a cold, possibly a bad cold, early in the season, and they think
they’ve gotten the flu. And now they’re they have an immunity because they’ve
had the flu, and so they don’t need the flu vaccine.” “Well, there’s two
components to the answer. One, they may not have gotten influenza. They may have
gotten any of a number of the circulating upper respiratory viruses:
coronavirus, adenovirus, parainfluenza. They think it’s flu, and it’s not. You
will likely never know. Therefore, you should get the flu vaccine.
Secondly, if you did get one of the flus, there isn’t just one flu that
circulates. In the vaccine, there are three and sometimes four components.
There’s H3N2, H1N1, and two B influenzas, so it is conceivable that you are infected
with an H1N1 in the end of October, the beginning of November, you are still
vulnerable to H3N2 and to B. So whether you did get the flu or get something
that looks like the flu, it doesn’t matter. You should still get the flu shot.” “Still
get the flu shot. And what if you just really hate
needles and you really hate injections, what would your advice be?”
“Well, I, my advice, I would say suck it up and get vaccinated. But if it really,
really is a problem, there is a live attenuated nasal vaccine that’s
available.” “And so every year, we hear in the news that there’s this conversation
about whether the vaccine matches the flu virus that’s circulating in the
population. Can you tell us a little bit about that and how important is that to
take into account when you’re making the decision to get a flu vaccine?” “No, I think
that that is not something that should be left up to the decision of whether
you get a flu vaccine or not. Most of the time the decision of what to put into
the vaccine… and that decision is generally made in February or early
March…. it is conceivable A) that you’ve made the right choice and nothing
changes so it’s a good match. Or they make a choice, and the virus drifts a bit
and changes. Even if it does and it’s not a perfect match, getting vaccinated is
still beneficial because you could still get some degree of protection. It might
not be the optimum degree of protection, but it would be some degree of
protection.” “Wonderful, let’s go get our shots.” “Let’s do it.” “Hey there!” “Hello, Dr. Fauci!” “Good to see you.” “Good to see you.” “Have you ever skipped a year, Dr. Fauci?”
“I have not. I have I would say to be a perfect record. I’ve gotten vaccinated every single year since I’ve been here at the NIH.” “Little stick.” “See that? Painless” “I didn’t even feel it.” “Thank you.” “That’s my goal. You are quite welcome.” “Perfect.” “I’m working on my perfect record.” “Take care.” “Okay, well, that was easy.” “Now we’re done.” “Easy and quick.” “Yeah, we’re done.” “So, is there anything else I should keep in mind to do to stay healthy this winter?” “Well, yes, as a matter of fact, if we do, and it’s likely, we’ll have a flu outbreak. During the time of
the peak outbreak, you should stay away from crowded places. If it’s really a big
outbreak, you don’t want to dramatically modify your life, but to the best of the
circumstance, do what you can. But the important thing is really to wash your hands. I
mean, we say that all the time because people touch their faces, they touch
their eyes, they touch their mucosa. To the extent that you possibly
can, wash your hands at every opportunity, and that’s the important thing. If you do
get flu, stay home. Don’t bring it to the work place. If your children get flu, keep
them home, don’t bring it to school.” “And I think that that’s an important point to
make too, that if I get the flu shot, I’m not just protecting myself. But I’m also
contributing to helping protect my family, right?” “Not only your family, but the
general community because the more people that get vaccinated the more
protection… a veil of what we call ‘herd immunity’… is out there. And the flu
doesn’t have the opportunity to rapidly spread throughout the community. So,
you’re doing yourself a service and you’re doing the community service.”
“Wonderful. Well, I’ll take that. And I’ll see you here next year?” “Yes, indeed.” “It’s a deal.”

8 Comments

  • Reply tkgtkk00 October 16, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Miksi sinä jättäisit infl. roteen ottamatta?

  • Reply Bernadette Pajer October 16, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    The government should not be promoting any type of pharmaceutical product — they should only be providing ACCURATE and COMPLETE information to the public so that fully informed medical decisions can be made. This video is missing much vital information about vaccine risk, effectiveness, and unintended consequences. Individuals should read all vaccine inserts, current science, and pay attention to who is funding the science. https://www.informedchoicewa.org/education/bombarded-by-flu-shot-marketing/

  • Reply Kathleen Austin October 17, 2019 at 10:53 am

    One of the tragic stories is that everyone will die. But if you die from flu in Australia, you will usually die older and quicker than from many other causes of death. We don't need to panic. The vast majority of deaths are in people over 80 years of age and an occasional child death is nothing compared to 1000 infant deaths yearly in our country. People die. It helps to know the facts and not be persuaded by misplaced fear. I don;t speak for developing countries, but we all know that the vaccines average around 50% effective – nothing to write home about.

  • Reply doctordashiell October 17, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    Thank you, Dr. Fauci, for helping the population understand influenza and the influenza vaccine. The takeaway here is get your flu shot each year, wash your hands frequently, don't touch your eyes or nose, and stay away from crowded places.

  • Reply Greg McKnight October 20, 2019 at 11:54 am

    I like his voice

  • Reply Greg McKnight October 20, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Wow that’s so fast! Lol

  • Reply National Death Service October 23, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Dr. Fauci – you can have mine as well.

  • Reply National Death Service October 23, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Dr. Fauci – you can have mine as well.

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