There are quite a few articles located on Natural Health News addressing vaccine issues. Should you have a greater interest, use the search function to locate them.
As one homeopathic MD I knew some years ago stated, "It's always the kids that get the vaccines that always seem to be sick."
“There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza. The producers of these vaccines know that they are worthless, but they go on selling them anyway.”
- Dr. J. Anthony Morris (former Chief Vaccine Control Officer of FDA)
Yes, there are risks to flu shots. Ask your health care provider exactly what they are beyond soreness at the injection site.
In the northern hemisphere we are moving into the colder fall and winter months, the time of year when you are bombarded with pressure to get a flu shot.
This campaign targets pregnant women, babies, children and adults, people with selected health issues and others.
This year, according to the FDA, six vaccines are available to protect against influenza virus types A and B including
* Afluria, for adults 18 years of age and older
* Fluarix, for adults 18 years of age and older
* FluLaval, for adults 18 years of age and older
* Fluvirin, for people 4 years of age and older
* Fluzone, for people 6 months of age and older
* FluMist, for people ages 2 to 49
Of the 146 million doses for this flu season, and in all years, efficacy of flu vaccine is always low. Often the efficacy is no more than 45 percent.
Vaccines for this year contain the following strains:
* an A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1)-like virus
* an A/Brisbane/10/2007 (H3N2)-like virus
* a B/Florida/4/2006-like virus
Critics state that the death toll from flu may be inflated and the majority of deaths result actually from pneumonia, which causes symptoms similar to that of flu. In many cases people who have received the jabs are the ones who are getting ill. Other concerns about the nasal spray like FluMist is that is makes you contagious for several weeks.
The pneumonia shot isn't one I'd take either. Using vitamin A (cod liver oil is best as is a product blending vitamin A with beta-carotene) helps protect your respiratory system. Vitamin C and garlic are also antibacterial and antiviral. Adequate hydration is critical as is sound nutritional practice.
For more information on prevention, see Cold & Flu.
Remember, anyone providing flu shots or other vaccines is required by law to explain to you the risks and benefits of the treatment, including, but not limited to, what the ingredients are and what they do and what problems they can cause.
And some additional information for you to consider from Herbal Legacy -
The CDC has a goal to vaccinate an astonishing 261 million people this year!
Why the push? The CDC claims that 36,000 people die each year from the flu, and that getting the vaccine will prevent you from getting the flu, therefore saving your life.
How much of this is true? Do you need the vaccine? Is it safe or effective?
Let's take a look at the numbers first - do 36,000 people die from the flu each year?
According to the Centers for Disease Controls own Vital Statistics (the exact same website that claims that 36,000 people die from the flu each year), 1100 people died from the flu in 2004, 1812 in 2005 and 860 people died in 2006 from the flu. This has actually spiked dramatically - deaths in 2001 were only 257. Of those deaths attributed to the flu, very few are actually determined for sure that they are tied to influenza.
So why does the CDC claim that 36,000 people die from the flu each year? Apparently researchers with the British Medical Journal wondered the same thing when they asked, "Are US flu death figures more PR than science?" They concluded that the numbers are inflated to scare the public and sell more of the vaccine (3).
Consequently - they come up with the 36,000 based on two things - 1) a flu epidemic in Hong Kong that killed about 34,000 people, and 2) by combining flu deaths with pneumonia deaths (which is completely different from the flu and even if the flu vaccine did provide immunity against the flu it would not provide immunity against pneumonia).
Despite the outright false data and the numbers, if the flu shot is effective then you want to get the shot, right? Let's take a look at that question: Is the flu shot safe or effective?
If it were effective then certainly health care workers (HCWs), who are exposed to the flu and other diseases every day, would line up to get their vaccine. According to the Journal of Internal Medicine, that isn't the case. The overall vaccination rate among HCWs is just 38%. The study concluded that "The overall influenza vaccination rate among HCWs in the United States is low. Interventions seeking to improve HCW vaccination rates may need to target these specific subgroups" (4).
Regarding the effectiveness of the shot, it is important to know how the manufacturers determine what strains of flu to put in that year. They travel to Asia early in the year and collect data, then guess as to which three flu strains will work their way across the ocean for the beginning of the flu season.
According to the Think Twice Institute:
"Flu 'experts' often guess wrong. For example, in 1994 they predicted that Shangdong, Texas, and Panama strains would be prevalent that year, thus millions of people were vaccinated with a flu shot that contained these viruses. However, when winter arrived, the Johannesburg and Beijing strains of influenza circulated through society. The vaccine was ineffective. This happened again in 1996, and again in 1997. More recently, the vaccine created for the 2003-2004 flu season contained flu strains that did not circulate through society that year. Officials were once again forced to admit that millions of people were vaccinated with an ineffective vaccine."
But what if they guess right for the year and the flu vaccine does contain the correct strains? We'll answer that with a question: Do you know what is in your flu vaccine? You may not want one even if they do guess right, simply because of the ingredients.
Here are some of the ingredients:
· Chick embryos
· Three flu viruses that were collected in Asia in last January or February
· Formaldehyde (that's right - the stuff they embalm humans with and classified as a known cancer-causing substance by the International Agency for Research on Cancer)
· Thimerosal - a mercury based preservative which can lead to brain injury, autoimmune diseases and autism, and frequently aluminum substances that may contribute to Alzheimer's
· Sodium Phosphate or Sodium Chloride
While we are not offering medical advice of any kind, we believe it is your right to know all of the above information and then make an informed decision about getting a flu shot.
For commentary on vaccines and children, please see this long but worthwhile letter from a mother.
And more here -