It seems as if you can’t turn a corner without hearing about the flu, and more importantly the FLU SHOT and why you must get one!! At the grocery store, the pharmacy, the community center, your doctor’s office and now even the commercials, information about the flu (shot) is everywhere. But is it the whole story?
If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that I am a passionate advocate for children’s health, I am NOT anti-vaccine, but I do believe there are some questions to be answered regarding vaccination and children and MUCH MORE research needs to be done to answer these questions. I believe information is power and that the more you know about ALL sides of a conversation, the better equipped you are to determine what YOUR position is (not what you are told your position SHOULD be)! And finally, I believe every healthcare decision for a child should be placed in the loving hands of their parents, because after all they know that child best and they must live with all the consequences (both good and bad) of that decision.
With all that said- here are 5 tidbits that I have learned along the way about the flu (shot), that have made me dig deeper and do my homework. I encourage everyone, young and old to do their OWN research also and not just accept that ALL medical interventions are 100% safe for you or your child, until you can confidently site ALL the risks and benefits and how your current medical status and medical family health history weigh into those risks/benefits… a big leap toward PERSONALIZED MEDICINE…when the Person getting the medicine makes a fully informed decision to do so!
Much Ado about the Flu- Top 5
1. The multi-dose flu shots contain a form of Mercury called Thimerosal. Thimerosal adversely impacts the function of your mitochondria (research here and here). Mercury in any form is considered a neurotoxin. Here is a listing of the flu shots for the 2015-2016 season showing the ones that contain mercury. This FDA article/table explains why the ones with zero in the mercury column, may not actually mean “zero mercury contained”, but rather a “trace amount” (Trace=≤0.3 µg Hg/0.5mL dose). It is best to consult the package insert or call the manufacturer to be sure of the mercury content of any vaccine.
Recently, I was talking to a friend who was headed to the pediatrician’s office for her child’s flu shot. Her child has a history of developmental delays, so I was sharing with her a great question to call ahead and ask the clinic would be:
“Does the flu shot that my child will be receiving contain mercury or thimerosal?”
When she called to check, the reply was a bit shocking and concerning, as the person on the other end of the phone asked, “What insurance do you have?”
Now why would you and your child’s insurance status have anything to do with the type of flu shot you receive and the INGREDIENTS in that flu shot?? Hmmm….
2. The Flu is seasonal and in my research about Vitamin D, I found out exactly why. Read more here but also consider this study that shows:
Vitamin D may be MORE effective than a flu shot, even at low dose supplementation.
Vitamin D3, even when taken in low daily dosages, has been found to slash your risk of developing the flu by 42%. source
3. The FluMist version of the flu (nasal spray) is a LIVE ATTENUATED VIRUS (LAIV) vaccine. What does this mean? It means that if you or your child’s immune system is not in a TIP TOP 100% functioning state (i.e..immunocompromised in some way shape or form), then you may just be giving yourself the flu! Also this Live Virus vaccine SHEDS…which means it acts as the vaccination that keeps on giving (ie. vaccine viruses capable of infection and replication can be cultured from..vaccine recipients).
See the Package insert here:
FluMist Package Insert
4. According to The National Vaccine Information Center:
“As of November 2013, there have been more than 93,000 reports of reactions, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following influenza (flu) vaccinations made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), including 1,080 related deaths, 8,888 hospitalizations, 1,801 related disabilities and over 1,700 cases of GBS. In 2013 the Federal Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV) voted to add GBS to the Vaccine Injury Table within the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).”
A few years ago I did not know what VAERS (reporting system of CDC) and VICP (ie Vaccine Court) were or stood for… I quickly found out and I urge you to do the same if you have never heard of them.
This short videos should help explain:
What is VICP?
What is VAERS?
Despite most claims being rejected, the government Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has paid over $3.1 billion to those killed or injured by vaccines.
The flu vaccine is the most compensated vaccine. Between 11/16/14 and 2/15/14 (a 3- month period), of 91 cases settled, 74 were for severe injury or death due to influenza vaccination.
5. And finally for my Mitochondrial counterparts… The live virus vaccine called FluMist carries this post-marketing warning in its package insert–
“Exacerbation of symptoms of
So those just a few of the tidbits that I have come across in my journey to try to understand why so many people I know, including some of my own family members, have had adverse reactions to certain vaccinations including the flu shot. Consumer beware, but more importantly, do your homework so you can make the best INFORMED decision for you and your family!
And don’t forget there are ways to NATURALLY boost your immune system during these cold months of winter!