Five Reasons to Think Twice Before Getting a Flu Shot

It’s late autumn, the traditional start of the cold and flu season, when you see signs promoting flu shots adorning doctor’s offices, walk-in clinics, pharmacies, even big box retailers. As a result, millions of Americans will dutifully roll up their sleeves and trust that this year’s vaccine will keep them healthy throughout the cold winter months.

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But is this ubiquitous vaccine all it’s cracked up to be in terms of protecting you from the flu? Furthermore, is receiving an injection like this year after year the wise thing to do for your long term health? While I don’t claim to be an expert in chemistry, medicine, or biology, I can report that I have never received a flu shot and cannot recall ever contracting the flu. And as a student of health and fitness, I’ve discovered that there are plenty of credible reasons to consider other alternatives to optimizing your health than subjecting yourself to repeated injections of toxic chemicals and virus strains grown on living tissue. Here are five:

1. There is little evidence that flu shots actually work. The flu shot is only able to protect against certain strains of the flu, so if you come into contact with a strain—and there are many–that you are not protected from, then you will still get the flu. According to the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) own website, for example, the 2014-15 flu vaccine was only 19% effective, which means that over 80% of people who received a flu vaccine that year were unprotected from the flu. Worse, according to the data reported by the CDC, since they first recommended that children under 5 receive the flu vaccine just before the 2003-2004 flu season, there has been an average increase of 67% of flu-associated deaths in children. Plus, a 2008 study published in the Lancet found that influenza vaccination was NOT associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia in older people. Unfortunately, the data suggests that getting the flu vaccine gives people a false sense of protection from contracting the flu.

2. The flu vaccine, as well as all other vaccines, contain mercury, a harmful heavy metal that can seriously compromise your health. Vaccines contain a preservative called Thimerosal, which contains mercury. The amount of mercury in a multi-dose flu shot is 250 times higher than what is legally classified as hazardous waste. Even so-called, “Thimerosal-free” vaccines contain enough trace amounts of mercury to be considered toxic by the EPA. Side-effects of mercury toxicity include depression, memory loss, attention deficit disorder, digestive disorder, anxiety, cardiovascular problems, respiratory issues, thyroid and other glandular imbalances, and low immune system.

3. The flu vaccines contain many other toxic or hazardous ingredients, including:

    • Aluminum — a neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
    • Triton x-100 – a detergent.
    • Phenol (carbolic acid) – also found in weed killer.
    • Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
    • Betapropiolactone – a disinfectant.
    • Formaldehyde – classified as a carcinogen.

4. There is a vast difference between ingesting chemicals through eating or drinking verses injecting them into your bloodstream. Even if it were possible to substantiate claims that trace amounts of mercury (found in some species of fish, for example) and other harmful chemicals are too small to cause any problems, remember that, when we swallow something toxic, our digestive processes act as natural filters that greatly reduce the potency. But when you receive a flu shot, toxins are injected into the muscle and pushed directly into the bloodstream which is far stronger and more harmful. This is something the vaccine manufacturers never bother to point out.

5. There are plenty of safe and effective alternatives to protect us from the flu. With so many potential side effects while only protecting against a small number of strains, the good news is there are some natural remedies you can try that are proven to strengthen your immune system without risk of long term health problems. These include:

    • Getting plenty of vitamin D during the winter months.
    • High dose vitamin C (I take 3,000 – 5,000 mg per day…and I haven’t had a cold in nearly 3 years.)
    • Fish oil, one of nature’s most powerful tools to fight colds and flu.
    • Exercise, which produces natural immune-boosting chemicals throughout your body.
    • Eating plenty of “power-foods” like garlic, berries, and cruciferous vegetables.
    • Eliminate sugar. Few things suppress your immune system like sugary drinks and foods.
    • Reduce stress. The only thing worse than sugar to your immune system is subjecting yourself to frequent anger and stress.
    • Sleep. The more research published on sleep, the more clear the connection between sufficient sleep and a healthy immune system.

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I know this is, for some, a controversial topic and I don’t claim to be a public health expert. Neither am I in any way suggesting that no one should ever receive a flu shot. But I am convinced that, for most people, trusting in a vaccine to keep you healthy is a bit of a fallacy. Not only are the real consequences—both short and long term—there are also plenty of good alternatives to injecting toxic chemicals into your bloodstream with, at the very best, a 50/50 chance they will even work.

So before you roll up your sleeve and get that painful needle, think it over. What are your thoughts on the flu vaccine? Have you ever considered that there may be harmful consequences from getting a flu shot? Or do you think it has helped you stave off sickness during the winter months? I’d love to get your comments.

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    11 Responses to Five Reasons to Think Twice Before Getting a Flu Shot

    1. Mary Nykerk November 2, 2016 at 11:18 am #

      Thanks Bill ! I have never had a flu shot and have never gotten even an inkling of the dreaded illness. (I’m 65) I agree with all your points and preventative maintenance. Thanks for halping me feel I am not crazy.

      • Bill Marsh Jr November 2, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

        Thanks for commenting Mary! Knowing how youthful and vibrant you and Larry are, it surely doesn’t surprise me.
        Bill

    2. Lin Benfield November 2, 2016 at 11:24 am #

      Way to go Bill! Nice to see a local public figure like yourself speaking out on the dangers of vaccinations. Thank you.

    3. Laura November 2, 2016 at 11:28 am #

      I am forced to get a mandatory flu shot by the end of every October or lose my job at Munson medical center. No options unless you have severe allergies or reactions and have a doctor that will support this in writing. Being allowed to simply wear a mask throughout the flu season is not an option for the rest of us.
      Every year I don’t understand, for the sheer principle of it, why every employee doesn’t refuse to do this at Munson or any other facility who demands this 100% conformity . You can give alternatives for protection against the flu season , but ultimatums of complying of face immediate firing is giving all the power to a facility who has too much control of everything already. NO one has the right to force you to mandatorily take something internally to keep your job!! Nurses are exposed daily and have more immunities then most in resisting flu strains or other germs…. And by the way…if you take a personal day or two… You are already on the probationary ladder of disipline…. And if that falls on a weekend… You get to make that sick day up the next weekend. And staff don’t call in when they are sick because of the continual critically short staffing needs many of which are sick now…. Having just gotten their flu shot. So much for protection. I am sure there are those that feel strongly about getting a flu shot too. My objection is not having the CHOICE. Because let’s face it, termination really isn’t a choice for most of us…. Especially with our rate of pay.
      Tired of the Tyranny!

    4. Karen Fulkerson November 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

      Thank you for writing this and sharing it. I couldn’t agree more.

    5. Renee November 2, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

      My daughter who works at a hospital is not given an option.

    6. Jim November 18, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

      A misunderstanding of the issue and misleading reliance on extraneous “cherry-picked” factoids. Perhaps this kind of commentary is best left to medical professionals. Anecdotal/individual experiences or perceptions is not the way to draw an overarching hypothesis.
      Too many points to make in a brief response. If you trust EPA that flu shot chemicals are “toxic”, why don’t you trust the CDC that has zero concern and HIGHLY recommends? There is more formaldehyde in a banana vs. a flu shot and the more dangerous methyl mercury in fish than is found in the injections of ethyl mercury. My dad skipped a flu shot one year and almost died from flu. Shot is never 100% protective but what therapy is? Benefits WAY outpace risk for the individual as well as for the public. 3-6% of world population died from the 1918-20 flu, most healthy adults. Another epidemic is coming soon…

      • Whitey November 18, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

        I agree with Jim. Would love to respond to each of the 5 reasons in detail. I don’t do any of the things in point #5 and haven’t had a cold in at least 5 years. Yes, I got the flu shot each year. But flu shot does not prevent colds anyway.

        • Bill Marsh Jr November 20, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

          Whitey,

          Thanks for your comments–see my reply to “Jim” below.. As for the recommendations I list in point #5, they contribute to much more in terms of a healthy life than avoiding the flu.

      • Bill Marsh Jr November 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

        Jim,,

        Thank you for your comments–I appreciate differing perspectives on this issue. As I said in my post, I am not advocating that everyone avoid getting a flu shot. There is, however, a rapidly growing segment of the medical community–including allopathic physicians trained at top medical schools–who are questioning long held assumptions about treating chronic disease, some of which includes the flu vaccine. (BTW – All of the research for my post came from medical professionals. The difference is their economic livelihood is not dependent on the pharmaceutical industry).
        Nevertheless, you make some good points and I appreciate you taking the time to respond. We seem to live in a culture that prefers vilifying those who disagree with them instead of productive engagement, which is unfortunate.

    7. Izzy Dakota April 20, 2017 at 9:59 am #

      You are entitled to your opinion however there are vast amounts of credible, peer reviewed scientific research to support the use of all of the commonly administered vaccines. To say otherwise is simply untrue.

      The flu is a Top 10 killer in this country. The flu kills between 10,000-40,000 Americans annually (source: NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality) and by not getting a flu shot, you are unfairly putting others at risk who may not have the option of getting the flu shot themselves because of their compromised immune systems.

      Yes the flu shot does not always work because scientists have to try and predict the particular strain of flu a year in advance. However it often does, or lessens the impact, thereby saving lives.

      Finally, please don’t perpetuate any of the debunked myths about vaccines.

      No, all flu vaccines do not contain mercury – there are many flu vaccines produced by the likes of Glaxo, Novartis, Sanofi and Merck that do not (source: FDA)

      No, childhood vaccines do not contain mercury (Thimerosol) – that was removed as a preservative back in 2001 (source: Johns Hopkins School of Public Health).

      No, vaccines do not cause autism (source: Journal of Pediatrics, April 2013).

      There’s no vilifying of you for your opinion here; however in the face of scientific evidence, it’s a shame that there aren’t enough productive engagements about what reasonable people should believe based on facts.

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