At least, if you believe a commenter that recently posted on my blog. Let’s see how well the link she posted, “Six Good Reasons to Avoid the Flu Shot,” holds up under the scrutiny of an individual familiar with many of the general complexities of the immune system and a cursory understanding of pseudoscience.
Every year it is recommended that people get a flu shot to avoid spending time feeling horrendously bad over the winter.
This is a matter of probability; the vaccines are selected and prepared based upon the strains most likely to be the most prevalent or dangerous the following year. Case in point: the novel H1N1 Swine influenza virus has a relatively high transmission rate and mortality when compared to others; this would have been one of the selected viruses in “the flu shot” cocktail vaccine had it not been detected so late in the year. Other strains of virus still exist, but those most likely of causing a severe pandemic are prevented.
Elderly people are especially warned that without a flu shot, their health could be in serious jeopardy.
Yes, but would you care to elaborate on why? The immune system of elderly patients are significantly less prepared for viral infections (or other infections) than young adults. This is due to a myriad of factors ranging from the atrophy of the thymus (results in T-cell dysfunction) to a decrease in B-cell numbers. Here is a decent source of information about immune senescence. Now you know why…
In recent years, this warning has been extended to children, and more recently even teenagers.
Well, it certainly depends upon the type of infection. Children tend to have less developed immune systems (not because they need magical nutrients or foods) due to the time necessary for immune cells to mature. As for teenagers and young adults, viral infections which can lead to autoimmunity or so-called “cytokine storms” are more likely in the populations (teenagers and young adults) with fully mature and fully functioning immune systems. Teenagers and children are also more at-risk for contracting influenza than are young adults due to the high traffic areas of schools. These teenagers and children then come into contact with parents and grandparents.
Yet there is mounting evidence that flu shots do not guarantee a healthy winter, and in fact they cause far more harm than good.
I want to see where this “harm” comes from. While it does not guarantee a healthy winter, immunity to the most transmissive strains decreases the probability of getting sick significantly since one is immune to those strains most likely to cause infection.
Here are 6 reasons to avoid getting a flu shot.
Are any of them decent?
1.There is absolutely no evidence that flu shots actually work.
Try again. They work wonderfully to prevent the strains which they are targeted towards; they give little or no benefit if the strain is not one of those in the vaccine. Most of the time, the strains in circulation are the ones in the vaccine.
The flu shot is only able to protect against certain strains of the flu, so if you come into contact with a strain that you are not protected from, then you will still get the flu.
Yes, but MOST of the time, the strains you are most likely to come in contact with ARE the ones in the vaccine.
This is in fact not uncommon. In 2004, The National Vaccine Information Center reported that the vaccine given that year did not contain the flu strain that caused the majority of flu outbreaks that year.
One example? That makes it “not uncommon.” Talk about cherry picking data.
A study published in the Lancet in August revealed that there was no correlation between the flu shot and reduced risk of pneumonia.
Yea… pneumonia… not influenza. These are two different diseases, this surprises you, why? The only possible link between the two would be if the pneumonia was an opportunistic infection.
Further, a large study of 260,000 children between 23 month and 6 discovered that the flu vaccine is no more effective that a placebo. This was reported in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Actually, you’re incorrect here if we’re talking about the same study (2008). Children under 2 years of age (with their developing immune system) have very little benefit from the vaccine. Without seeing if the data have any type of other anomaly which may explain this, I’ll take the word of the researchers. I am still curious as to why an 18 month old child and a 3 year old child differ so much in this regard, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it has something to do with the length of time necessary for T-cells and B-cells to develop with the necessary antibodies.
2.The flu vaccines, as well as all other vaccines contain mercury,
which is a seriously health compromising heavy metal.
Wrong again. Thiomersal is degraded into ethylmercury, which is easily removed by the kidneys and does not accumulate like methylmercury. Also, the quantity of thiomersal in the vaccine is a very small quantity only sufficient to preserve the vaccine from bacterial contamination.
Vaccines contain Thimerosal, which is made up of mercury.
No, it’s not made up of mercury, it contains mercury. Specifically, it is 49% mercury by weight. That means that, of the 12.5 µg of thiomersal (I’ll use the correct spelling, thank you) present in the vaccine, 6.25 µg are mercury. The maximum limit of mercury content considered “safe” in fish (this is methylmercury, not ethylmercury) is 3 µg/day. This is twice as high as the daily dose, but I’m pretty sure no one wants to get a vaccine shot every single day. Combine this with how rapidly ethylmercury is removed from the body (and methylmercury is not) leaves one wondering how you can completely misunderstand this much.
The amount of mercury contained in a multi-dose flu shot is 250 times higher in mercury than what is legally classified as hazardous waste.
That’s because you’re dealing with a concentration threshold rather than a mass-dependent threshold. A single vaccine dose (.25 mL) contains 12.5 µg of thiomersal. That’s a concentration of 50 µg/mL thiomersal or roughly 25 mg/L mercury. The regulations for mercury can be found here. The “low mercury” hazard threshold is .2 mg/L. The reason for this extremely low threshold is to prevent leaching.
Side affects of mercury toxicity are vast and include depression, memory loss, attention deficit disorder, anger, oral cavity disorders, digestive disorder, anxiety, cardiovascular problems, respiratory issues, thyroid and other glandular imbalances, and low immune system to name a few.
But at what concentration? And in what form? There is no evidence to suggest that, at the dosage level present in vaccines, thiomersal is dangerous in any way.
3.The flu vaccines contain antibiotics such as neomycin, polymyxin B and gentamicin which are added to eliminate stray bacteria found in the mixture. Evidence shows that antibiotics wipe out beneficial bacteria that is needed for optimum health. Antibiotics ironically lower the immune system and cause Candida overgrowth.
Again, you must look, not only at what is in it, but at what concentration and how much of a dose is being given. “Penicillin kills E. coli” is a true statement, if, of course, a high enough dose is given. E. coli can live comfortably in media containing 2 µg/mL penicillin; once it reaches 32 µg/mL, E. coli can no longer live in that media. The doses within these vaccines are only high enough to kill bacteria living IN THE VACCINE; they will do nothing to bacteria living within or on the patient’s body.
4.Vaccines contain Polysorbate 80 as an emulsifier. This highly toxic agent can seriously lower the immune system and cause anaphylactic shock which can kill. According to the MSDS sheet at Science lab.com, section 11, polysorbate 80 may cause reproductive effects, cancer, and may be a mutagenic, (change the genetics), in animals. According to PubMed.Gov, neonatal rats that were injected with small doses of polysorbate 80 had serious damage to their reproductive organs, often resulting in infertility. Imagine that they are recommending this for young girls! It’s no wonder that the infertility rate is skyrocketing each and every year.
Damages what reproductive organs? Granted, if you eat 1 kg of polysorbate 80 every day for 21 days, you’ll lose a few pounds, but otherwise, no genes or jeans will be affected. Can I switch to Wikipedia style?
5.There is growing evidence that flu shots cause Alzheimer’s disease due to the aluminum and formaldehyde combined with mercury since they are even more toxic together than they are alone.  Some research suggests that people who received the flu vaccine each year for 3 to 5 years had 10 times greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease than people who did not have any flu shots.
I could find no decent studies showing aluminum OR formaldehyde having ANY affect upon Alzheimer’s. Since the neuronal “death receptor” DR6 is likely the causative agent of Alzheimer’s disease.
6.With so many potential side effects, it seems clear that the flu shot is potentially dangerous while not making a difference anyway. In addition, it is also completely unnecessary. Everything that we need to enjoy amazing health is right here on planet earth. Nothing man made is ever, ever needed in order to ward off illness and live vibrantly. Here are some powerful ways that you can ensure you don’t get the flu this year without injecting yourself with the extremely toxic flu shot:
This isn’t a reason, it’s a conclusion, it goes at the end. It shouldn’t be in the list of “reasons.” Here’s an idea, think about the “Nothing man made is ever, ever needed in order to ward off illness and live vibrantly” statement a bit. I present to you soap. I also present to you fire. I will also present to you tools. The flu shot is not toxic, it is not dangerous, it is just another tool humans have developed to prevent the discomfort and death of those we care about. One has to wonder how man members of those ancient tribes were afraid of fire…
·Make sure that you get plenty of sunshine over the winter research continually indicates that the winter flu is often a result of vitamin D deficiency from lack of sun. If you live in a place without sunshine, take cod liver oil, find a place that offers sunshowers (natural tanning beds), and if it is sunny go outside as much as you possibly can no matter how cold it is. Raw, unpasteurized milk is another vitamin D abundant food.
Except vitamin D increases the likelihood of influenza infections.
·Exercise, exercise, exercise! When you get out and get your body moving, you are much less likely to get sick. Yoga, for example is a fabulous way to get fit, relieve stress and boost the immune system.
Yoga? Really? There was a study done over a year ago by NCCAM that has yet to be published… For the time being, the “immune system boosting” gets a bullshit tag.
·Eat plenty of immune boosting foods such as garlic, vitamin C containing fruits and fresh green juices (broccoli, cabbage, cucumber and celery.) A diet rich in live foods is a sure way to stay healthy all year long.
More “boosing” the immune system. What the hell is it with alternative to medicine con artists and “boosting” the immune system? What exactly is meant by this word “boosting,” does it imply increasing the activity of something that is already functioning properly (called autoimmunity) or increasing the response time beyond it’s “normal” maximum; in which case, how was this claim tested? Also, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say these foods were *gasp* selectively bred and thus “made by man,” but oh well. Anyway, garlic is tasty, citrus fruits are tasty, and I personally love celery. It won’t keep you from getting influenza.
·Cut out sugar. Sugar suppresses the immune system and causes disease.
Wait, so, sugar suppresses the immune system? How? Evidence?
Today there are so many wonderful healthy alternatives such as agave nectar and xylitol that it is totally unnecessary to ever consume sugar.
Except, you know, if you like bread or any sweet pickled foods. Also, if you’re, you know, poor. Both are substantially more expensive than sucrose.
·Deal with emotional stress. Anger and stress suppress the immune system.
Well, and then, when they get sick, you can just say that they were stressed rather than admit you were full of shit?
Yoga, meditation, counselling, natural therapies and plant medicines can transform stress and help you live with abundant health in mind and body. Get plenty of sleep. A lack of sleep suppresses the immune system, but is a reality for millions of people. Find ways to make life less hectic so that you have more time to catch those zzzzs.
Because people with hectic schedules have options like “slow down, relax, take a break.” More than likely, these people are busy because they have no other choice. I certainly hope we’ve learned something here.
Lastly, my little rant below the fold:
The reasons to get an influenza vaccine are not just to prevent you from getting sick, it’s to break the chain of infections. If it is only 50% successful at preventing infections, the decreased spread of the virus makes it less likely for those with compromised immune systems to come into contact with an infected person. It also means less people will get sick to the point of needing medical attention, cutting medical costs. Also, decreasing the number of infected people decreases the mutation rate of the disease, decreasing the likelihood of it becoming very, very dangerous. There are many other reasons to get a vaccine other than yourself.