Flu Shot or Not?
It’s back. Flu season is here and everywhere you go, signs hang from store windows – “Flu Shots available” “Get your Flu shot here”.
During the 2010-2011 seasons, nearly half of all Americans received a flu vaccination. But the question and the controversy remains, is the flu shot really protecting us? Or is it really just a shot in the dark?
Advocates insist that the flu vaccine will protect the weak and keep the population primed for the dreaded day when we may be threatened by a true pandemic. However, critics argue that the vaccine is practically no better than a placebo, and in fact, there may be many safety concerns in getting a shot.
Over the years, scientists have become better at isolating specific influenza strains and producing updated vaccines. But it is still an inherently inexact science. We are simply unable to keep up with the speed at which viruses can morph and spread. So are we even aiming at the right target? In even healthy populations, typical vaccines only protect against 3 or 4 strains, not the multiple strains that are constantly mutating.
But it is fear that keeps the population coming back for more – new shots each year to protect us. But do we really need to be so afraid in the first place? Experts explain that the incidence of influenza is greatly inflated because of an incredibly common confusion between the deadly influenza viruses and simple “influenza-like illnesses” (commonly miscalled the “flu”) that are more frequently attributed to other viral and bacterial agents.
Experts estimate that only about 7% of people with “influenza-like illnesses” actually have influenza.
On average, experts estimate that perhaps 1 adult out of 100 vaccinated will get influenza versus a whooping 2 out of 100 for those who do not. So is the possible gain worth the risk?
While there are still certainly plenty of experts that highly endorse the influenza vaccine, take a look at what is in your shot:
Thimerosal – a mercury-based preservative removed from other vaccines in 2001
Polysorbate 80 – a chemical linked to infertility
Formaldehyde – a major human carcinogen
Octoxinol-10 – a chemical commonly used as a vaginal spermicide
THE GOOD NEWS? There are other ways to stay healthy this Flu season!
-When you are sick, stay home!
-Wash your hands frequently
-Keep your (germy!) hands away from your face
-Support your immune system with plenty of sleep and exercise
-Get plenty of sunshine (soak up that vitamin D)
–Avoid antibiotics. Surprised? Antibiotics can weaken your natural defense system. By avoiding chemical antibacterial agents, you’re immune system will get smarter and work harder.
–Get adjusted! What better way to support your immune system than a strong base. Use regular chiropractic adjustments keep your spine in line and your body healthy.