Every year around flu season, we’re inundated with recommendations to get a flu shot. But do flu vaccines really protect against the flu? And what about the widely documented flu shot side effects? Are they worth the risk?
Mounting evidence suggests that the effectiveness of flu shots is only fair and is not the protection we’ve been led to believe.
Estimates of flu vaccine effectiveness vary greatly. According to the CDC, one observational study of people aged 50–64 demonstrated a 60% effectiveness in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza among healthy adults. However the effectiveness level dropped to a mere 48% among people with high-risk medical conditions (Herrera et al., 2006). But it’s important to know that even under ideal conditions the flu vaccine varies in effectiveness from year-to-year.
Here are five reasons to reconsider your yearly flu shot:
1: Weakened Immune System
The idea behind a vaccination is to introduce a weakened version of the virus into the body so the immune system can recognize the intruder and build a response for when the real flu hits. The reality is often the opposite. Many people have observed that previously healthy kids who have received the flu shot develop runny noses, pneumonia, ear infections, and bronchitis more often.
Vaccinations initially weaken the immune system as it fights the weakened form of the virus. Then the immune system is supposed to bounce back stronger. But increasingly, data is starting to reveal a long term trend of weakened immunity from flu shots. This is because bodies that don’t naturally encounter the strong version of the virus have a generally weaker immune response to it and other, similar viruses.
2. Mercury Toxicity
Flu vaccines contain mercury, a highly toxic substance that has been linked to brain damage, Alzheimer’s disease, and a host of other terrible consequences to the human body. The amounts of mercury in flu vaccinations are within a regulated limit, and have not been directly linked to any conditions in patients who have received the flu shot. But creating a direct link between the mercury in a flu shot and a specific condition would be a scientific feat because of the complexity of the human body. However, it is known that mercury is a highly toxic substance, so why inject it into your body and risk the side effects of mercury toxicity.
3. Overuse is Leading to Resistant Strains
A resistant strain of a virus is a form of the virus that has mutated, allowing it to adapt to new conditions and in essence making it resistant to any medication we can throw at it. By vaccinating most of the population to a certain strain of virus, we open up a vast playground for any resistant strain. The immune systems of those who have been vaccinated wipes out the competition for the resistant strain, and allows it to wreak havoc on the body of that person. The amount of deadly, resistant strains is on the rise: bird flu, swine flu, H1N1, Avian flu virus – all have been in the news lately. Getting vaccinated to the common flu just distracts your immune system from building a natural response to the more deadly, resistant strains.
4. Complications in the Elderly and Immuno-Suppressed
Because the vaccine contains a small amount of the influenza virus, it can bring on the flu. This is especially true for the elderly, the very young, and those with weakened immune response, such as HIV-positive individuals. For these people, getting the vaccine can lead to serious health complications, and even be deadly. A better practice is to maintain overall health to support the body’s own immune response, and to avoid exposure by washing hands frequently. This is much more effective than risking potentially deadly flu shot side effects.
5. Potentially Serious Side Effects
Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) This autoimmune disorder occurs when a person’s immune system attacks the myelin sheath of nerve cells, which then leads to muscle weakness and in extreme cases, paralysis. In 1976, a “swine flu” vaccine was given to millions of Americans. Several hundred recipients contracted GBS, and 30 died from it. While you would think that the possibility of contracting Guillain-Barre Syndrome from today’s vaccine has been removed, you might be surprised to learn that GBS is still around, and is still linked to flu vaccines. Although the numbers of GBS from flu vaccines are very small, many others develop allergies, suppressed immune systems, and other chronic illnesses from flu vaccines.
Why Take The Risk?
Since flu shot side effects can lead to serious health complications, why not explore the many natural products that can help your immune system ward off the flu naturally. You’ll find your Garland chiropractor is a great resource for finding the right natural supplements, homeopathies and herbs.