Vaccine fails to protect some, but flu drug can speed recovery

People's Pharmacy

Health & Fitness

January 18, 2004|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,King Features Syndicate

My daughter recently came home from school sick and running a fever. I took her to the doctor, who diagnosed her with the flu and wrote a prescription for Tamiflu.

Because I had gotten a flu shot in October, I didn't think I would have a problem, but on Friday afternoon I was stricken with a high fever, sore throat and chills. My daughter, who is 10 and usually healthy, recovered by Saturday afternoon.

I remained in bed for the entire weekend and then started taking Tamiflu. I was impressed with how well this medicine worked. My daughter, who started Tamiflu right away, got the greatest benefit, but it also worked well for me.

The strain of flu going around is not prevented by this year's vaccination. I have been faithfully vaccinated for the past 20 years, and this is the first time in all of those years that I have ever contracted the flu. Is anyone paying attention to how many people who have been vaccinated are still contracting the flu? I think this is important information.

It will be several more weeks before experts know how well the flu shot worked. We have heard from others, though, that the vaccination did not protect them from this year's Fujian flu. Tamiflu does seem to work quite well to speed recovery from all strains of influenza.

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