You can tell that fall is around the corner because all of the local pharmacies have signs that greet you saying, “Get your flu shot.”
But are flu shots all they’re cracked up to be? And are they safe?
Here is what you probably don’t know, but MUST know, about the flu and flu shots.
Will flu shots prevent you from getting the flu?
The answer to that is: Maybe.
There are several strains of flu in existence each year, and when the flu vaccine is designed for a given season, scientists guess which strains may be more prevalent.
If they guess right, some cases of the flu may be prevented. If not, the shot is useless.
Plus the flu shot’s period of effectiveness varies from person to person, so you can get the flu even after getting a flu shot.
And all vaccines depress your immune system functioning for up to several weeks, which means you are more susceptible to other flu varieties plus viruses and infections.
But don’t lots of people die from the flu?
The answer to that is: No.
First of all, only about 20 percent of all flu-like illnesses that occur are actually influenza. Many types of respiratory illnesses are simply labeled “flu” without any flu testing being done.
Plus in many cases of death, especially in the elderly, “flu” is cited as the cause, when in fact, death was truly caused by pneumonia or a combination of chronic illnesses and flu may be in the mix.
The actual flu death statistics for 2013 (the most recent year on the CDC’s site) show total deaths due to influenza as 3,697.
That means you have about a .00001 percent chance of dying from the flu. You have an eight times greater chance of being struck by lightning.
Flu shots are safe, right?
The answer to that is: No.
All you need to do is read a package insert and you’ll see why.
Here are the ingredients for the popular Fluzone® vaccine:
Thimerosal: This is mercury—the most potent neurotoxin known to man. Flu shots contain 12.5 mcg of mercury in each .25 mL (one-quarter millimeter) dose—which is 25,000 times the EPA safe limit. There have been no studies proving the safety of injecting mercury into the human bloodstream.
Sodium phosphate-buffered isotonic sodium chloride solution: This is a saline solution.
Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and it can also cause allergic reactions.
Octylphenol ethoxylates: These are used in paints, emulsions, and wetting agents. Although they are classified as “low toxicity,” no studies have been conducted proving the safety of injecting octyl phenol ethoxylates into the human bloodstream.
Gelatin: This is used in foods, cosmetics, and glues and is derived from various animal by-products. There are no studies proving the safety of injecting gelatin into the human bloodstream; it may be a concern for people with animal or meat allergies as well as vegans.
The flu strains: The flu strains are cultivated in animal proteins such as rabbit brain tissue, monkey kidney tissue, pig blood, chicken embryo, embryonic guinea pig cells and calf serum. These may be problematic for people with animal or meat allergies…and vegetarians.
Not only can these proteins taunt your immune system, but heaven helps you if you’re allergic to any of them—the result could range from discomfort to death. Most pharmacies push flu shots, but VERY FEW are equipped to recognize and properly handle an adverse reaction.
Prevention is the key
Getting a flu shot is your choice, but remember that when it comes to the flu as well as all other illnesses, prevention is the key.
When you support your immune system and let it function like it was designed to, it is FAR less likely that you will have to worry about the illness, to begin with.
Here are four ways you can boost your immune system so it can better protect YOU:
Immune Booster #1: Probiotics
Nothing enhances your immune system like a helpful dose of the same beneficial bacteria that reside in your gut and house about 70 percent of that immune system!
The key is taking a probiotic supplement like Super Shield that has a wide variety of bacteria strains since each strain has its own “specialty” in terms of how it supports your health.
Immune Booster #2: Vitamins C and E
Vitamin C boosts your immune system by helping to increase the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies.
And vitamin E has been shown in studies to significantly increase T cell and B cell activity, thereby helping to make your immune system stronger.
Health supporting doses of both of these immune enhancing nutrients are in Super Core multi-vitamin and mineral formula.
Immune Booster #3: Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is crucial for the formation of white blood cells that comprise your immune system, and red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body.
Immune Booster #4: Reduce stress
Stress causes harmful changes to your gut microbes and impairs your immune functioning.
So if chronic stress is an issue for you, it’s time to do what you must to chill out. Ask for help if you need it.
Treat your precious immune system like the gold that it is and it will return the favor and better protect YOU!