It is that time of year when people are making the choice whether or not to get the flu shot. Are you wondering if you should have one too? What about your kids or the elderly? Every person has the right to choose what they believe is best for their body and their families. Here are some facts about the flu shot that might help to make your decision.
Influenza is a respiratory-transmitted viral infection. The World Health Organization has estimated that seasonal influenza averages 3 – 5 million cases per year worldwide. An estimated 3,000 to 49,000 individuals in the United States die every year from seasonal influenza. Influenza like most colds, begins to increase in November and remains elevated through the end of March.
There are currently two types of flu vaccines. The first one is trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) a split-virus or subunit vaccine and the second one is the live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV). The government recommends getting an influenza vaccine yearly because of minor mutational changes in the circulating viruses. The flu vaccine is reformulated annually with the strains predicted to circulate during the upcoming flu season. Vaccine effectiveness can vary from year to year since the viruses adapt and evolve very quickly. In addition, the companies are making and educated guess on which strain of the flu will be most dominant each year by making a cocktail of flu vaccines. The flu vaccine is manufactured and distributed by a private pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies make a reported $3 billion a year.
In December 2009 the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) approved a grant that allowed the Comprehensive Influenza Vaccine Initiative (CCIVI) to research and examine the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine. Here are statistics from the completed CCIVI report.
The report states:
“In an effort to reduce influenza morbidity and mortality, over the last three decades the ACIP [Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] has expanded the populations recommended to receive influenza vaccine. These recommendations, however, often were based on professional judgment and not on scientifically sound data.”
When looking at the statistics:
We reviewed all studies that evaluated influenza vaccine efficacy and effectiveness published from 1967 to 2012 and summarized those that used rigorous methodology and had specific infection outcome end points. For TIV, results demonstrated: (1) evidence of moderate protection (pooled estimate of 59%) for executive summary healthy adults 18 to 64 years of age, (2) inconsistent evidence of protection in children age 2 to 17 years, and (3) a paucity of evidence for protection in adults 65 years of age and older. For LAIV, results demonstrated: (1) evidence of high protection (pooled estimate of 83%) for young children 6 months to 7 years of age, (2) inconsistent evidence of protection in adults 60 years of age and older, and (3) a lack of evidence for protection in individuals between 8 and 59 years of age.
Then of course there are the components of Flu vaccines that are controversial (This is a discussion for a different day).
- Many flu vaccines are made by growing the viruses inside fertilized chicken eggs. This means that they contain a small amount of egg protein.
- Aluminum – A neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Thimerosal – A mercury derivative. Mercury is toxic to the brain and has been found to be associated with brain damage and developmental delays in babies whose mothers were exposed to high levels of mercury during pregnancy.
- Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used to keep vaccines stable.
- Neomycin, gentamicin, and other antibiotics are added to vaccines. They stop bacteria from contaminating the vaccine.
- Polysorbate 80 keeps all the ingredients in the flu shot evenly distributed and is potentially toxic.
- Formaldehyde – This natural compound is found in household products from glues and other adhesives to pressed-wood furniture.
Whether or not you choose to have a flu vaccine, supporting your immune system during these winter months is always helpful!
Here are my top strategies for staying healthy this flu season.
- Chaga Mushroom
- Elderberry – High in Vitamin C and flavonoids. Reduces bronchial inflammation. Make your own syrup or buy it. wellnessmama.com/1888/elderberry-syrup/
- Vitamin D3
- Zinc supplement
- Fermented COD Liver Oil
- Vitamin C rich foods – camu camu powder
- Make a batch of Fire Cider – check out our LHH Facebook page for the recipe.
- Drainage Milieu
- Wash hands frequently!
- Get sleep – at least 7+ hours a night.
- Chicken bone broth
- Reduce stress and add meditation
- Probiotics and probiotic rich foods
- Whole food based multi-vitamin
- Exercise – 30 minutes 5x a week is ideal to boost your immune system.
- Eat real nutrient-dense food. Organic, unprocessed, and anti-inflammatory foods.
- Avoid excess sugar and refined flour.
And of course you need to make the most healthy decision for yourself and your family. If you do end up sick, please contact me and we can put together an effective plan to support your body naturally.
In health and happiness,