With all the hype, pressure, and availability everywhere (even for free), can we assume that there is no controversy about getting an annual flu shot? No, there is controversy. As evidence, I do not know a single integrative physician, functional medicine doc, naturopath or nutritionist who thinks they are a good idea for most people. While I certainly won’t tell you to avoid the shots, I should say that I’ve never had a flu shot or the flu and don’t intend to get either one. Here are some reasons I feel that way:
- They are not as effective as advertised. Some years they keep fewer than 20% of those who get the shot from becoming ill. The shots do have what sounds like a good average 50-60% protection against hospitalization and more serious complications. However, I don’t have the greatest confidence in those statistics because of medical bias in reporting. Then there is the fact that the Centers for Disease Control owns many vaccine patents and their members own over 50 patents related to vaccines. The agency and its members clearly have a vested interest in making vaccines look good. (Also, as you will see below, traditional vaccines aren’t the only way to protect yourself.)
The media tells us that the folks most vulnerable to complications from the flu are the young and the elderly. That is because their immune systems are not as strong. But, since a strong immune system is required for the vaccine to produce protecting antibodies, can you guess which groups are least likely to benefit from the shot? As is the case with most infectious diseases, getting the flu without having the shot protects you naturally against more varieties of the disease and protects you for much longer.
- The shots can sometimes be dangerous. There is the potential for a serious allergic reaction because of all the stuff included in them. The flu shot uses dead viruses so it won’t give you the flu. Many other vaccines use “inactivated” viruses, but they don’t always get the job done. As an example, there are 37 new cases of polio in Zambia now that were caused by the vaccination for polio! Getting flu vaccinated two years in a row is a risk factor for getting the flu and has been associated with miscarriage.
- They contain toxic components. Unless you request mercury-free, they contain mercury which damages the brain and nervous system. So does MSG which is in some. Various flu vaccines select ingredients from this toxic soup: formaldehyde (embalming fluid), egg protein, sugar, squalene, barium, hydrocortisone, dog kidney cells, and pork gelatin. Many also contain antibiotics which are hard on our cells, but also kill good guy gut bacteria who supply 70% of our immune function. The immediate side effects of the flu vaccine are manageable, but there is no reassuring evidence that these toxins and many more chemical constituents won’t add to our toxic load and cause trouble in years ahead. I’m especially concerned about those who believe they will benefit from vaccines for shingles, pneumonia and so on. (More about them another time.)
- The safety studies are rigged. Vaccine studies are conducted by the drug companies themselves. Given the criminal behavior we have seen from several of them, that alone should give us pause. (Fox / hen house?) They aren’t required to and therefore don’t compare the shot to a placebo (for example a saline solution). They only compare it to last year’s flu shot! So, if the same toxic components are in both, we can’t know if the shot is safe—only that it is probably no worse than last year’s version.
- There is a better way. Homeopathy has been used to protect against infectious disease for 200 years. This site has some of the amazing history. It is totally safe and has been extraordinarily safe on a mass scale…but, of course not in this country because there is so much money involved in the pharmaceutical approach. A 2011 study done in Brazil showed that children who received the placebo had 3 times as many infections as those given the homeopathic. This site has more studies. Cathy Lemmon of Healthy Healing Arts, gave a powerful presentation on that subject at our Health, Home and Garden Expo. Watch a video of it and see the slides for free (she’s on page 2). Click here. (If you don’t have a homeopath, you will have to do a little research. Try an internet search for “homeoprophylaxis flu near me”.)
No matter what you decide about all that, it is crucial to keep your immune system strong. This page in my website Library has suggestions for doing that. Even if you get the shot, you may still get the flu (or a cold). Get prepared in case that happens. Please go to this page for prevention ideas, do’s and don’ts, a remedy kit and other advice.