As with many topics in integrative medicine, this one is somewhat controversial. If you listen to the PR machine, you had better get your flu shot right away or you will die. Ironically, I know of many people who get the flu shot and then get the flu anyway. I always say that there are risks in vaccinating, and risks in not vaccinating, but people need to make a truly informed decision.
While some people do die of the flu, the vast majority do not. As with any infection, in my opinion natural prevention is the best. I personally have not had a flu shot in 20 years, and have not gotten the flu in that entire time – despite working in a busy medical practice, having kids (otherwise known as “little germ factories”) travelling to conferences, and doing all the other busy life things that everyone does.
The secret is to keep your immune system strong. As mentioned in my previous blog, basic things like getting enough sleep, and washing your hands after being out in public and before eating is also helpful. Just keeping your vitamin D levels in a good range (60-80) can drastically reduce your risk of contracting the flu. Most people need 5000-10,000 iu's per day (especially in the winter when sunlight is scarer) or a shot to achieve this blood level, but you have to be tested to be sure. Other nutrients such as Vitamin C (my favorite is a fat-soulable form called Ascorbyl Palmitate) at levels of 500-1000 mg twice per day - and more if you feel that you are getting sick - are very helpful, as are medicinal mushroom extracts, and many more.
The flu shot itself is often manufactured against the wrong strain of flu. The drug company tries to guess what strain will be the most prevalent NEXT year, and then build a vaccine against that – but mother nature likes to trick us, and they often guess wrong. It is not uncommon to find out at the end of the flu season that the vaccine they just pushed so hard – was only 30% effective.
The flu vaccine only provides temporary immunity – basically for that season alone - and at the cost of being injected with many potentially toxic ingredients that are immune irritants or worse. If you actually get the flu, you become immune to that strain of flu for the rest of your life. I tell people that I would rather get the flu than get a flu shot.
Thimerisol is a preservative in most flu vaccines (except those for pregnant women) that is 50% mercury and is very neurotoxic. Although this has not been studied to my knowledge, I estimate that if someone gets a flu shot every year for many years, it will increase their risk of dementia and autoimmune disorders, based on our knowledge of what these toxins do.
If someone wants to learn more information about the flu shot or any other vaccine for that matter, I recommend that they go to YouTube and search for a video by Barbara Loe Fisher on that particular vaccine. Ms. Fisher is a vaccine expert, and has made many excellent educational videos for the public on every vaccine.
Do your homework and make an informed decision, and I hope that you have a flu-free year!