I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile. I know some will agree with me and many won’t…it’s still something that I need to share. First of all, I write this post as someone who has experienced vaccine injury through my younger sister. In this country, most of us follow the exact same vaccine schedule and because of this my sister now deals with two autoimmune disorders at the age of sixteen. So while I’m not anti-vaccine, I do believe that we need to start questioning what we’re injecting ourselves with and that we can make schedule adjustments as needed.

I also am writing this post from the perspective of a creative entrepreneur. I don’t work in a hospital around infants, the sick or the elderly. I am in control of my healthcare and day-to-day decisions and am speaking from that lifestyle. Just like diet, exercise and daily habits, we don’t force anything on our readers. We love sharing our opinions based on research and experience.

But let’s get back to the point of this post: the flu shot!

What is a flu shot?

Before I go into details on why I don’t get a flu shot each year, let’s discuss what a flu shot is and how it’s made. At the beginning of each calendar year, officials head to Asia to find out which strains of the flu are active in that continent. They assume that those strains will make their way to the U.S. each fall and they hope to be prepared. Obviously if they’re wrong (or if the strain mutates/evolves) then you’re not getting anything that will help. And as Dr. Mercola puts it, “to add insult to injury, you’ve just been injected with a laundry list of harmful ingredients.”

He also goes on to inform us that the flu strains selected are cultivated in chick embryos for several weeks before being inactivated with formaldehyde, which is a known cancer-causing agent. Then they’re preserved with thimerosal, which is 49 percent mercury by weight.

Excuse me while I go throw up.

Some flu shots contain as much as 25 mcg of mercury per dose. This means that it may contain more than 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit for mercury. They also include:

  • Aluminum
  • Triton X-100 (detergent)
  • Phenol (carbolic acid)
  • Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
  • Betapropiolactone (disinfectant)
  • Nonoxynol (used to kill or stop growth of STDs)
  • Octoxinol 9 (a vaginal spermicide)
  • Sodium phosphate

Now you know the risks from getting a flu shot, what about GETTING the flu?

To be honest, I do think that there are some people who don’t care about what they inject into their body. I think that for some people missing 3-5 days of work isn’t possible and I understand that parents can’t swing that type of time off. I hope that when I’m at that point in my life, I can weigh my options and at least know what I’m saying YES to.

As far as deaths associated with the flu go – it’s a bit skewed. My own mother (who has been a nurse for over 20 years), brought to my attention that death caused directly by the flu virus isn’t as common as you’d think. The vast majority of so-called “flu deaths” are in fact due to bacterial pneumonia – a potential complication of the flu if your immune system is too weak. I was skeptical at first but decided to do my research and found that it was true. I found the following information:

Unfortunately, the CDC grossly distorts the facts about flu deaths, making the flu virus seem far more dangerous than is warranted. On the CDC’s main flu page 1, they state that about 36,000 people die from the flu in the United States each year. But if you search a little harder, you can find the actual number of people who died from the flu in 2005 (this is the most recent data that’s available) was 1,806. The remainder was caused by pneumonia. In 2004, there were just 1,100 actual flu deaths.

The elderly and people with other pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, are at higher risk of developing pneumonia after a bout of the flu.

Okay but does it work?

Study after study comes back showing the same results: the flu vaccines are not an effective method of prevention of the flu and they do not save lives. In a vaccine insert for the 09-10 strand, the company FLULAVAL states:

FLULAVAL is an influenza virus vaccine indicated for active immunization of adults 18 years of age and older against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine. This indication is based on immune response elicited by FLULAVAL, and there have been no controlled trials demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with FLULAVAL.

But of course we never see those package inserts, do we? For years I would let them inject me with anything, really. Need more proof?

  • Vaccinating young children against the flu had no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits. Read here.
  • A study found that influenza vaccination was NOT associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia in older people. Read here.
  • Research that confirms that there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza and pneumonia in the elderly. Read here.
  • A review of 51 studies found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo in children under two. The studies involved 260,000 children, age six to 23 months. Read here.

So then what? GET THE FLU?

Yep. That’s what I’d suggest. Just kidding. Build up your immune system. Get Vitamin D. Sleep. Exercise. Eat real food. Don’t lick public areas. Get rid of stress. Bacteria can be good!

Too late and you already have the flu? Here are some great tips to get you through it. And more here.

*Also, keep in mind that the flu shot does not claim to (ever) prevent the stomach flu (there’s a difference between the stomach flu and influenza)

 

What’s your opinion? Do you get the flu shot? How do you stay healthy? 

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10 replies to this post
  1. I couldn’t agree more! I have such a problem with vaccines. ESPECIALLY those that have government funded advertisements coming at you from every angle. My own work sets up a “flu shot” day, yeesh! Why would anyone want to pump themselves full of all those chemicals just to avoid a few days of sickness? That’s if they even get sick! Like you, i’m talking about my own age group, it may be different with the elderly or those with pre-existing illness, but I so strongly believe it’s completely unnecessary. And speaking of vaccines, did you see the developer of Gardisal – the HPV vaccine that is pushed by SO many doctors and advertising – is saying it’s a huge scam? That she had to speak out so “she could sleep at night”? I can’t even count how many times my doctor pushed for me to get that $350 shot, that is not covered by OHIP (Canadian) either. People need to get back to the basics – eating clean, exercising, and sleeping well – and try to lower the amount of pills and vaccines!

    • Yes I always think it’s a shame when people don’t realize how much money and funding backs vaccines. Since I am young and my immune system is stronger, I don’t mind passing up a flu shot. I feel like if I do get sick, it’s my body’s way of communicate with me. It’s like women who only get 4 periods per year via their birth control…NOT NORMAL!

  2. I like that you point out that your healthy lifestyle and occupation allows you to limit your exposure to the public if you do get sick, as opposed to service providers. You are educated and healthy. My immune system is not as compromised as it once was, but I’m pretty sure if I get the flu, pneumonia and other things will follow. Thanks for keeping the public informed with real information and insight.

  3. I don’t get the flu shot either. I think I just never made a point to and my immune system is pretty great so I’ve not really needed it. I can honestly say I haven’t had the flu since I was in 8th grade. The only other illness I’ve really had was the swine… but I was taking public transportation very frequently at that point in time and it was destined.

    I don’t see a need to go get this questionable vaccine when I’ve never needed it and I’m not sure it will even help. Maybe I’ll have to change my mind when I have kids, but until then I’m staying away…. also speaking as a creative entrepreneur.

    Great post, Allie! An important subject this time of year.

    • Yeah I haven’t had the actual flu in awhile. If anything, I get sinus infections because of my sinus cavities + allergies. Our lifestyle is also pretty different than most so I just don’t see the need. Thanks for reading, Amy!

  4. I can’t remember the last time I got a flu shot or when I had the flu. Maybe in high school? Since I’ve been able to avoid the flu for so long, I also avoid getting a flu shot since at this point it almost feels unnecessary. However, I could see why those those with lowered immune systems or the elderly would get a flu shot because it is an illness that can seriously compromise their health.

    However, the main reason why I’m commenting is because of the first comment from Daniella. The current information circulating about the HPV vaccine is incredibly misleading and what she said is false: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/11/crucial-myths-about-the-hpv-vaccine/281580/

    It’s really important people educate themselves on vaccinations, why a lot of them are important (especially for children and the elderly), and not believe everything they read online. Yes, it’s important to eat and stay healthy, but these vaccinations exist for reason. (Sorry, this riles me up a little as I work for a non-profit that promotes polio vaccinations in third world countries and we have to deal with a lot of false info coming from uncredited sources.)

    Stay healthy, everyone!

    • Yay to being healthy! I haven’t had the flu in awhile either. I had the stomach flu (which I just learned isn’t the same as the flu) earlier this year. UGH but it was nice to get a few days off work to take care of myself. I like being alerted to my weakening immune system naturally.

      Also, thanks for sharing the article about the HPV vaccine! I always love it when readers can voice their opinion or share studies/articles. The way that I feel about vaccines in general is even different than how I feel about ONLY the flu shot. It also riles me up when people say I’m anti-vaccine! People need to do more research than skim articles or posts!

  5. I get the flu shot yearly because I work in hospitals and nursing homes. I do it less for myself but instead to keep my patients healthy and maybe expose them to fewer germs. It’s expected in my industry to get a flu shot, but if I didn’t have that job I might not be as concerned.

    • Yes! I definitely understand that. It’s usually an industry standard for those working in healthcare. My mom works in an office (not around babies, the ill or the elderly) and can get exempt.

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