With fall comes flu season. It’s that time of year when pharmacies promote their flu shots and doctors highly recommend (i.e. practically threaten) you to get vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published September 19th, 58.9 percent of children ages 6 months to 17 years got the flu vaccine during the 2013-2014 flu season along with 42.2 percent of adults 18 years and older—an estimated 143.2 million total—all under the assumption that they were doing something good for themselves, their families, and their communities. After all, by protecting yourself from the flu you’re protecting those around you, right?

Unfortunately, this may not be the case. A growing body of evidence is starting to surface that supports the inefficacy and possible dangers of the flu vaccine. One quick search on the Internet will take you to some credible and informative websites on the topic. Yet still, most Americans choose to take the “safe” stance on flu vaccination and follow the advice of physicians and the CDC. If you’re one of the estimated 143.2 million Americans that gets vaccinated, sadly, this may wind up doing you more harm than good. Below are three good reasons why you might want to reconsider getting the flu shot.

  1. There is little proof the flu vaccine is effective.
    • Given that there are over 200 viruses that cause influenza and influenza-like illnesses and there is no way to predict exactly which strain will hit each year, researchers make an educated guess and the vaccine manufacturers create a vaccine based on this guess. This means that when the researchers guess wrongly, millions of Americans get vaccinated against the wrong flu strain.
    • The British Medical Journal (BMJ) researched 259 studies on influenza vaccine efficacy and concluded that vaccine industry and government sponsored studies were of considerably lower quality and more in favor of vaccination. That is, the higher the quality and the more independently resourced, the less likely the study was to support vaccination. Another research article published by Cochrane Summaries in March 2014 concluded that “influenza vaccines have a very modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms.”
    • Simply read the CDC’s own page on influenza vaccine effectiveness. Statements such as the following leave much to be questioned: “How well the flu vaccine works (or its ability to prevent flu illness) can range widely from season to season.” Or, “Results of studies that assess how well a flu vaccine works can vary based on study design, outcome(s) measured, population studied and the season in which the vaccine was studied. These differences can make it difficult to compare one study’s results with another’s.”

 

  1. Vaccines contain harmful adjuvants and preservatives, and possibly viral proteins.
    • The CDC itself has reported that brain inflammation and death are known side effects of every vaccine. What most people don’t take into consideration is that conditions such as autism, ADHD and learning disabilities are manifestations of an inflamed brain. Below is a list of ingredients found in flu vaccines:
      • Aluminum compounds: a neurotoxin associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia
      • Ammonium sulfate: attributed to respiratory toxicity
      • Beta-Propiolactdone: a chemical linked to malignant lymphatic tumors in animals
      • Ethyl mercury (thimerosal): a neurotoxin that has been associated with autism, dyslexia, mental retardation and seizures
      • Formaldehyde: a known carcinogen, neurotoxin, and gene disruptor
      • Monosodium glutamate: a preservative associated with delayed learning, and behavioral and reproductive disorders
      • Oxtoxinol-9: a vaginal spermicide
      • Phenol: a toxin that is disruptive to the cardiovascular, nervous, reproductive and respiratory systems
      • Polysorbate 80:a synthetic compound that may cause anaphylactic shock and is a known carcinogen in animals
    • Flu vaccines may contain numerous viral proteins from chick embryos. Pharmaceutical companies commonly use chick embryos to culture flu strains. Fertilized chicken eggs (humans eat unfertilized eggs) are susceptible to a wide variety of viruses and contain active biologic ingredients that may be harmful to humans, such as tiny proteins associated with neurological disorders and oncogenes—genes that transform normal cells into cancerous ones.

 

  1. Influenza is not a serious threat.
    • How many people do you know have died from having the flu? Mostly likely none. In 2005 Peter Doshi—Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and Associate Editor of BMJ (British Medical Journal)—wrote an article exposing how the CDC spins its death by “pneumonia and influenza” statistics. According to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), “influenza and pneumonia” took 62,034 lives in 2001—61,777 of which were attributed to pneumonia and 257 to flu. In only 18 cases was flu virus positively identified.
    • According to the CDC: “Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.” The range is so great because the tests to diagnose an influenza virus from one of the 150-200 pathogens that produce flu-like symptoms are not sensitive enough to decipher the difference.
    • The CDC uses respiratory and circulatory (R&C) deaths as “the primary outcome in its mortality modeling because R&C deaths provide an estimate of deaths that include secondary respiratory or cardiac complications that follow influenza.” It admits, though, that “only 2.1% of all respiratory and circulatory deaths were influenza-related.” In addition, a 2010 study published in the International Journal of Medicine concluded that the flu vaccine contributes to cardiovascular inflammation, and thus may increase the risk of heart attack.
    • The CDC uses pneumonia and influenza (P&I) deaths as a secondary mortality model, yet it again admits that “only 8.5% of all pneumonia and influenza deaths were influenza-related.”

Remember, getting the flu during the fall and winter months is not inevitable just because health professionals propose this time to be “flu season.” Frequent hand washing with regular soap (not anti-bacterial) and a healthy lifestyle are far better and safer ways to prevent the onset of the flu than any pharmaceutical medication or vaccine on the market. If you’re concerned about getting the flu, speak with a physician that has a solid knowledge of natural ways to keep it at bay.

 

References:

“Flu Vaccination Coverage, United States, 2013-14 Influenza Season.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. n.d. Web. n.p.

Demicheli V, Jefferson T, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E, Rivetti A, Di Pietrantonj C. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001269. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001269.pub5

BMJ 2009;338:b354 doi:10.1136/bmj.b354

Null, Gary PhD, and Gale, Richard. A New Flu Season of Pain, Profit, and Politics. GreenMedInfo. Web. 22 Nov 2013.

“Vaccine Effectiveness—How Well Does the Flu Vaccine Work?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. n.d. Web. n.p.

J Intern Med. 2011 Jan;269(1):118-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2010.02285.x. Epub. 2010 Oct 22.

BMJ 2005;331:1412

“Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: CDC Study Confirms Variability of Flu.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. n.d. Web. n.p.

Brogan, Kelly MD. A Shot Never Worth Taking: The Flu Vaccine.” International Medical Council on Vaccination. Web. 27 Nov 2013.