I often feel like people look at me like I have two heads when I recommend that they (and their children) do not get a flu vaccine when December rolls around.
Believe me, I get it. Especially when we are bombard by colorful advertisements, warning us to get our flu shots from the walls of our doctor's offices, pharmacies and grocery stores. Afterall, According to the CDC, getting the flu shot is a matter of life and death. Flu shots, we are told, save lives.
However, the fact is that the CDC recently revealed that the 2014-2015 influenza vaccine had an efficacy rate of only 19 percent, clearly illustrating that there is lack of proof that flu shots are worthwhile.
According to an article posted on EcoWatch, "fewer than 50 percent of Americans are currently heeding the government's call to get their annual flu shot." The reasons stem from questions about efficacy as well as adverse reactions raised by the following data coming directly from the CDC:
1. The flu vaccine is not effective either at reducing the flu or reducing flu-related deaths.
A study published in Pediatrics International of Japanese children ages 6 months to 2 years who were vaccinated against the flu found that the influenza vaccine did not reduce the rate of influenza A infections in children under two.
2. Flu shots may take more lives than they save. There is evidence to suggest that getting the vaccine every year may cause damage to the immune system. In fact, researchers found that people who were vaccinated against the flu three years in a row were actually at higher risk of being infected with the flu.
Also troubling is the number of adverse reactions reported to the CDC after flu vaccination. About 13% of the some 30,000 post-vaccine events reported to VAERS are considered serious, associated with disability, hospitalization, life threatening illness or death, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
3. Thimerosal in flu vaccines. One of the greatest concerns with influenza vaccines is that they contain thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative. Thimerosal has not been proven safe for administration to pregnant women, whose fetuses are particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures. The material safety data sheet (MSDS) for thimerosal warns that it is mutagenic in mammals, and may cause adverse reproductive effects and birth defects in humans.
Another scary statistic...media reports that flu vaccines contain only a "trace" or "negligible" amounts of mercury are incorrect. Federal regulations define trace amounts to mean less than 1 microgram. Typical flu shots contain 25mcg of mercury (25 times the trace amount).
Finally, a new study published Nov. 11 in Science suggests that contracting the flu as a child may convey lifetime health benefits. That publication by UCLA and Arizona scientists funded by the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, the David Packard Foundation and others found that individuals who contracted the flu during childhood had lifetime immunities to entire families of flu viruses.
Readily available government data fully supports that vaccination against the flu may really not be in the best interests of America's health. Click here for the complete article as well as links to all of the studies I quoted above. Read it for yourself and decide.