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Ask The Green Mama: What are you doing about the flu shot?

What is your take on flu shots? Do you or your kids get them? I have friends on both sides of this debate, I’m curious what your opinion is?

Dina G.

I do NOT do flu shots for me or my kids.

Why?

1. They are both healthy and we have never suffered significantly from the flu, if we get it, it passes quickly and without above-average difficulty and I believe kids are healthier when they get a chance to be sick upon occasion–everyone needs a job even the immune system!

2. Flu shots tend to still have traces of mercury (the inhalant version does not I believe) as well as other preservatives that I prefer to do without. These preservatives can be particularly dangerous for the fetus, babies, and young children. For grown-ups, the preservatives are less of an issue. I, however, have a lot of crazy nerve and arthritis-like issues both of which don’t do well with these preservatives either.

3. The flu vaccine is sort of a strange thing because it is based on total speculation–what will be this years flu vaccine? They gamble and make it way ahead of time–and thus no guarantee that it is even the flu that will take hold. This is on top of the general gamble of effectiveness. Most vaccines are only 70 to 90 percent effective by industry claims and the flu shot has been only 10 to 60 percent effective in the ten years the CDC has been tracking effectiveness.

A recent study in the Lancet on flu shot efficacy makes an important distinction. That number–even at the high end–does not mean that a shot will protect 10 to 60 percent of the people who get it from the flu. Rather, as a recent study in the Lancet shows, only about 2.73% of those un-vaccinated (control group) will get the flu versus 1.18 % of the vaccinated group. Looking at a meta-analysis of 31 eligible studies, the Lancet study found that at best the flu vaccine provided “moderate protection” and many seasons it didn’t provide any protection for adults age 18 to 65. On the other hand, those over the age of 65 had no proven benefit from the vaccine.

Furthermore, I’ve read information to suggest that an individual may get increasingly less benefit from a flu shot with repeat use. This, along with the side effects, which can include mild flu-like symptoms and definite exposure to mercury, aluminum, and other preservatives, give me pause.

Read this revealing recent report: “A Johns Hopkins scientist has issued a blistering report on influenza vaccines in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Peter Doshi, Ph.D., charges that although the vaccines are being pushed on the public in unprecedented numbers, they are less effective and cause more side effects than alleged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Further, says Doshi, the studies that underlie the CDC’s policy of encouraging most people to get a yearly flu shot are often low quality studies that do not substantiate the official claims.”

This study also pokes holes in those policies that force healthcare workers to get the flu vaccine and the recommendation that the elderly receive it as the research is particularly weak in this regard. “Here’s the bottom line,” says Dr. Blaylock. “The vast number of people who get the flu vaccine aren’t going to get any benefit, but they get all of the risks and complications.”

Tell me what you plan to do and why?