About Those Flu Vaccines…

Written by Jill Chapin. Posted in Healthcare

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Published on November 24, 2013 with 4 Comments


By Jill Chapin

November 24, 2013

With flu season officially underway, there are people lining up like lemmings to get flu shots. Others have taken a step back from the constant media barrage to get a shot because they know that some people will get the flu shot and the flu, and others will get neither, remaining healthy throughout the season.

For every report of the effectiveness of flu vaccines, there are other, quite respectable counter-reports that all is not as rosy with them as you might believe. And anyone implying that the anti-vaccine crowd has zero scientific evidence for its claims is simply out of touch, especially in light of what even the CDC and many medical professionals also believe.

For starters, just a few years ago, a new analysis found that the flu vaccine provides only moderate protection, and even that can be greatly reduced – or even absent – during some flu seasons.

For instance, the CDC’s recent studies showed that this year’s vaccine – one with a better match with the virus than usual – can reduce your risk of contracting the flu by about only 60%. This is close to your having a 50-50 chance of getting the flu with the flu shot. Further, the CDC acknowledges that studies finding any perceived reduction in death rates may be due to the “healthy-user effect” which is the tendency for healthier rather than less healthy people to be vaccinated.

Dr. Peter Doshi, a Johns Hopkins scientist charges that although flu vaccines are being pushed on us in unprecedented numbers, they are even less effective than the CDC’s above estimates. He further says that people, including doctors, assume that solid research is behind officials’ claims that vaccines save lives, when in fact this is not the case.

He succinctly summed up the aggressive flu vaccine drive by saying that influenza is a case of “disease mongering” in an effort to expand markets. It couldn’t have been due to a genuine threat inasmuch as deaths from the flu declined sharply during the middle of the 20th century, long before the big push for vaccines in recent years.

But there is solid research showing that what we ingest plays a much larger role in flu prevention than what the medical profession tells us. For starters, just eating lots of foods high in anti-oxidants such as blueberries, artichokes, nuts, and scores of other foods can strengthen our immune system. Antioxidants help prevent and repair oxidative stress which is a process that damages cells. Common sense and logic would tell us that healthy cells are better able to fend off the flu.

Conversely, flu shots contain mercury which suppresses healthy immune functions. Mercury is an immunotoxin, a poison to the immune system. Are you comfortable with your doctor advocating a flu shot, essentially advising you to take a little poison?

Shortly after a flu shot, your immune system can actually be less able to fight off the flu. This could be why some people think the flu shot gave them the flu. It may have, but not in the way they imagine.

Wouldn’t it be more in line with your doctor’s profession to first do no harm, and instead redirect you towards foods you can eat and things you can avoid to build your immune system to more effectively stave off the chances of your getting the flu?

Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon, said that promoting flu vaccines is one of the most aggressive public health policies in the U.S. Available doses of vaccines skyrocketed from 32 million only 20 years ago to 135 million today. Health officials are worried about these large stockpiles because a lot of money would be lost if too many Americans choose to decline the flu vaccine; in fact, less than 50% of Americans are getting vaccinated this season.

As with most medicines, even the ones that are proven highly effective, they must be taken with more than a little caution. Sir William Osler, a physician who was one of the four founding professors of Johns Hopkins Hospital, explained it best. He said that the person who takes medicine must recover twice, once from the disease, and once from the medicine.

Jill Chapin

Jill Chapin

Jill Chapin has been a guest writer and columnist in several Los Angeles area papers for over fifteen years. She has written a bilingual parenting book titled, "If You Have Kids, Then Be a Parent!" and a children's book entitled, "My Magic Bubble."

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