Vaccinated Mesquite woman gets flu, but docs still recommend sho - Dallas News |

Vaccinated Mesquite woman gets flu, but docs still recommend shot

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Doctors keep urging people to get the flu shot.

Even though it's not 100 percent effective, most say that it's well worth the benefits, and a Mesquite woman who got the flu despite getting the flu shot is learning that firsthand.

Tena Fleming, a mother of three who works with schoolchildren, thought she was doing herself and everyone else a favor by getting the shot.

"I had heard that it was going to be a big flu season, and I also work around children," she said.

So she never imagined she would become as sick as she did. Fleming, a school photographer, decided to get the flu shot in October, but New Year's Eve, she and her kids started feeling sick.

It was downhill from there, and well over a week later, she's still recovering.

Fleming even waited to see a doctor because she thought it was bad stomach bug. The 44-year-old says she never had the flu or the flu shot previously.

Dr. Roger Khetan said the flu shot is not 100 percent effective, but it's still a good idea to get one.

In his 25 years of getting the shot, he's gotten the flu five times, but he says the vaccine does make a big difference.

"It is still advisable," said Khetan. "It decreases your severity of illness if you take the shot."

Khetan debunks the notion that flu shots make people sick, emphasizing that it's not a live vaccine.

However, he's also not surprised by people getting sick after the shot.

"That's because you came into exposure with a person who had the flu in the two weeks it takes you to develop immunity from the vaccine," he said.

Fleming says the experience has been eye-opening, and painfully so.

"It's sad when you put on your nice, warm fleece pajamas and they hurt," she said. "It was like I hurt everywhere."

Although she paused when asked if she'd get the shot again in the future, she says that she probably would and considers the alternative.

"I can't imagine what worse would be," she said. "I'd probably be in the hospital."

Dr. Khetan says a big concern when getting the flu is developing pneumonia, so it's critical to get to a doctor as soon as possible.

He also says he has seen pharmacies running out of Tamiflu, the drug to treat the illness.

He says it is flying off pharmacy shelves, but there's no widespread shortage; most pharmacies just order more.

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