**This post has been entered in Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist and Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop!**
Right now, there is a huge push for the flu shot happening. This year, the CDC is recommending that all people over the age of 6 months receive it. This is up sharply from just a few years ago, when the CDC recommended the flu shot only for children 6 months – 6 years, and adults over 65. Ironically, they’ve also admitted that their numbers of flu deaths were wrong. They’re now saying that it’s not 36,000 flu deaths per year; it’s only 23,600. Of course, both numbers have been pulled out of their rears, and both include ridiculous statistics (elderly people who were already very sick; pneumonia cases; other complications of flu, etc.). Less than 1,000 of these deaths are actually from the flu, and the vast majority of those (900 or so) are in elderly people. The rest are typically in immune-compromised people. Healthy people are typically not at risk of serious complications.
Of course, the mainstream wants you to believe that it’s dangerous not to get a flu shot. “You’ll get sick!” they say. “You’ll miss a week of work! You’ll be miserable!” Of course, most people who don’t get the flu shot don’t get sick. Most people, in general, do not get the flu. It’s also not a dangerous illness for the vast majority of people; it means only a few not-so-fun days riding the couch. Why would you feel the need to get a vaccine for such a minor illness?
Plus, there’s evidence that many people who did get the flu shot, also got the flu. There are all sorts of reasons why this might occur, and the authorities are focusing on only a few — it takes up to two weeks to be effective and you may have been exposed prior to vaccination; the strain you have wasn’t included in the shot, etc. Of course, sometimes the shot simply fails.
If that doesn’t convince you (and it actually does convince some!), there are many other reasons why you shouldn’t get the flu shot.
- It’s ineffective — Studies show that the flu vaccine isn’t particularly effective. Researchers have to simply “guess” which strains will circulate each year. There are several, but vaccines contain only three. There’s also a not-statistically-significant reduction in flu rates each year, suggesting that the vaccine matters little: about 3% of people who are not vaccinated get the flu, while 2% who were vaccinated do. Really? We’re looking at only a 1% difference! This also means that we would have to give 100 people flu shots to potentially make any difference at all for one person. Is it worth it?
- It contains thimerosal — That nasty poison that some people are blaming for autism (which, by the way, I do not think is whole story, not by a long shot) is still in the flu shot. Yes, if you get a flu shot, you will be injecting mercury (and aluminum, and a host of other poisons) into your body. These can cause neurological damage as well as harm your immune system. There are thimerosal-free versions but they are harder to get.
- It increases the risk of complications and hospitalizations, especially in children with asthma; it also increases seizure risk — Want to keep your children safe? Don’t give them a flu shot. A study last year showed that children who got the flu shot and had asthma were more likely to suffer flu complications and to be hospitalized than those who didn’t receive it. This year’s flu shot has already been shown to increase the risk of seizures (in Australia, where they just finished their winter).
- Not getting it doesn’t increase your risk of illness/complications — If you are healthy individual (despite the quote below), you are not likely to get the flu, nor any complications of it. There are other ways to prevent the flu: see below! Not to mention if your immune system is in better working order (no toxins), you’ll be less likely to get seriously ill.
- Certain versions can shed – Want to skip the shot and go for the mist? Bad idea. The mist version can shed the live virus for up to 21 days after you receive it, which means that you might not get sick, but you can spread it to anyone else you come in contact with!
- The “side effects” of the flu shot are about the same as the flu – Most common side effects are fever over 100, runny nose, and sore throat. Some people may even experience vomitting, diarrhea, etc. Hmm…sounds just like the flu! I don’t think so.
- There are better, safer, more effective ways to prevent illness — Contrary to popular belief, there are other ways to prevent the flu! Research shows that washing your hands, optimizing your vitamin D levels, and other things can prevent the flu, or minimize its effects. For more details, see my other post today, Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu.
And by the way, do you think that researchers are there for your benefit? Here’s a rather insulting quote from a Business Week article on why many are skipping the flu shot this year:
Among the 43 percent of Americans who don’t plan on being vaccinated misconceptions — and what the researchers call “magical thinking” — were cited as reasons for not getting a shot. These include mistaken beliefs that there are other ways to protect yourself from flu (71 percent), or the belief that they are healthy and the flu “doesn’t worry them” (69 percent).
I found that extremely rude. Do you? It’s just “magical thinking” that there might be some way other than a vaccine to prevent illness! Or that being healthy might lead you to not get the flu! This article is moronic anyway, because in their “study,” over 90% of health care workers said they planned to get vaccinated. Historic rates tell us that under 50% of health care workers typically get vaccinated. So I don’t know who they were asking but this was written as an inflammatory article, not the truth!
So, are you planning to get a flu shot this year?
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