Have you heard stories about people getting sick or the flu even though they got their flu shot? You have heard a number of these same stories over the years, yet those people still get the influenza vaccine. One of the biggest reasons why people get the flu vaccine is because of the marketing tactics. Drug stores like Publix, CVS or Walgreen’s offers cheap and convenient flu shots at their stores, no copay, no appointment, and no languishing in a physician’s waiting room. Some drug stores even give out $5 to $10 gift card to patients who get influenza vaccines at its store pharmacies.
Also, on the news, there is a headline something like, ”900,000 hospitalizations and more than 80,000 deaths from flu in the U.S”. Does it scare you? If so, someone is doing a very good job to convince the public that the influenza vaccine saves life. The truth is, is that the number of people who die from the influenza virus is about 1,000 per year on average, according to the Cochrane community (Cochrane.org is a British Charity formed to organize medical research findings so as to facilitate evidence-based choices about health interventions faced by health professionals, patients, and policy makers). Most of this big number comes from “influenza-like-illness“ such as pneumonia, respiratory and circulatory illnesses, and these illnesses cannot be prevented by influenza vaccine!
Sadly, there is authority pressure to administer the flu vaccine. Your work might be jeopardized if you don’t get the flu shot like this story in Minnesota. A Minnesota-based health system has fired about 50 employees who refused to get a flu shot. Mandatory vaccination in the workplace. I believe this is absolutely denying human rights.
Did you know the efficacy rate of the flu shot is unknown? This is because vaccine makers cannot create an exact match for the current strain of influenza virus. Green Med Info (an evidence-based natural medical information website) cited from Cochrane.org, “Over 200 viruses cause influenza and influenza-like illness which produce the same symptoms (fever, headache, aches and pains, cough and runny noses). Without laboratory tests, doctors cannot tell the two illnesses apart. Both last for days and rarely lead to death or serious illness. At best, vaccines might be effective against only Influenza A and B, which represent about 10% of all circulating viruses.”
Moreover, as you receive more flu shots, you are more likely to get sick. There is research titled, “Seasonal influenza vaccine and increased risk of pandemic A/H1N1‐related illness”. This research summarized that Canadian health officials confirmed that school-aged children and healthy young adults, who had gotten a flu shot the previous season, were at twice the risk of coming down with pandemic The swine flu in 2009 that was severe enough to require a trip to the doctor’s office. Repeated annual flu shots may hamper certain kinds of immune responses, making young vaccinated children, who have never been naturally infected with influenza virus, “more susceptible to infection with a pandemic influenza virus of a novel subtype.
So why bother getting influenza vaccine? Everyone knows that the best defense against colds and flu is a strong, healthy immune system. Yet too many people neglect their own health and instead look for a quick fix. So please review your lifestyle and change it by avoiding processed and sugary foods, getting adequate sleep, taking vitamin C, D and omega 3s, and managing stress levels. Please make sure this strategy applies to your kids too.