CFL Magazine Article: “Is the Flu Vaccine Safe & Effective? Think Twice Before Rolling Up Your Sleeve.”
Dr. R. Todd Shaver
Submitted: 21 November 2014
The annual marketing blitz for the flu vaccine has commenced. Billboards, the nightly news, popular magazines and websites … everywhere we look “experts” are scolding us to roll up our sleeves to receive the flu vaccine. And they’ve made it so convenient, too; no doctor visit necessary … now you can get your shot while picking up a loaf of bread at the grocery or while shopping for greeting cards at the corner pharmacy. Step right up, everybody. However, when we peek behind the curtain, we discover that these “experts” are not giving us the full story about flu vaccines. So, let’s do peek behind the curtain and ask a few questions to see what we find.
First question: are flu vaccines safe? As it turns out there are numerous reasons to question the safety of flu vaccines; this space is inadequate to fully discuss flu vaccine-related risk but we can look at some examples. For instance, flu vaccines are commonly contaminated with mercury and aluminum, both of which are toxic to the nervous system. A June 2011 report in Current Medicinal Chemistry noted that aluminum in vaccines has “a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum (in vaccines) carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and thus may have profound and widespread adverse health consequences”.
Since “experts” recommend flu vaccines even for babies from the age of 6 months, we should consider an article from the August 2012 issue of the Cochrane Summaries. This review of research regarding flu vaccination of children noted that “very little information was found on the safety of inactivated vaccines, the most commonly used vaccine in young children” and that flu vaccines “were associated with serious harms such as narcolepsy and febrile convulsions”.
In November 2014, the Associated Press published an expose’ entitled “Vaccine Court Keeps Claimants Waiting”. To protect pharmaceutical companies, the federal government created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program; the purpose of this program is to shift liability for vaccine-related injuries from the pharmaceutical companies to the United States government (i.e. tax-paying citizens). Funny, I thought the government was supposed to protect the citizen not corporate profit … but I digress. In any case, why do pharmaceutical companies require this protection if vaccines are so safe? In preparing its report, the Associated Press (AP) reviewed 14,500 claims of vaccine-related injury from a government database which was current through January 2013 (the government subsequently refused to provide the AP with a more updated version). Largely due to claims related to flu vaccines, the number of new cases in “vaccine court” has increased and is averaging more than 400 cases annually in recent years. The government admits to paying out at least $2.8 billion to compensate victims of vaccine injury since 1988. The AP reports that the government apparently prefers that cases be resolved through pre-trial settlement (rather than court trial) because: a) some claimants settle for lowball offers because they need money immediately; b) the government does not have to admit that the vaccine caused harm and; c) claimants who settle are slapped with a gag order and cannot discuss their vaccine-related injury publicly. If you’re like most people, you are surprised to learn that a “vaccine court” even exists. Failure to advertise the “vaccine court” is purposeful; the AP reports the concern expressed by a government attorney that they “would not want a settlement to be perceived as an admission that vaccines are dangerous, which could lead to a reduction in the vaccination rate”.
Even if you’re willing to accept the risk associated with flu vaccine, what about efficacy? Isn’t it interesting that there has never been a study comparing the medium or long-term general health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations? If vaccines are so effective, wouldn’t such a study be a good investment for the CDC or the pharmaceutical companies which produce vaccines? In any case, if you get a flu vaccine, can you at least be confident that you are protected from suffering with flu? Well, not so much. Again, from various issues of the Cochrane Summaries from 2012 – 2014:
*At least 71 people would need vaccination to avoid one case of actual influenza
*At least 40 people need vaccination to avoid one case of ILI (influenza-like illness)
*Vaccination shows no appreciable effect on working days lost or hospitalization
*In children under 2 years of age, efficacy of inactivated virus was similar to placebo.
*At best, vaccines might be effective against only influenza A and B, which represent only about 10% of all circulating viruses.
Ultimately, you are responsible for your health; you must decide whether potential benefit of a flu vaccine outweighs the risk. I strongly recommend that you research the issue for yourself before submitting to the vaccine. One excellent resource is the National Vaccine Information Center, www.NVIC.org.
Whether or not you choose to get a flu vaccine, there are several natural strategies you should employ to protect yourself and boost your immune system:
*Vitamin D is critical for healthy function of the immune system but many people are deficient in this important nutrient. For disease protection, the optimal Vit D range is between 50 – 100 ng/mL. Vitamin D levels can be obtained with an inexpensive blood test. A 2010 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that children taking 1,200 IUs of Vitamin D3 per day were 42% less likely to get the flu.
*Supplement with other natural immune-boosting agents including probiotics, high-quality omega-3 fish oil, garlic, oil of oregano, and Lauricidin.
*Chiropractic care stimulates the immune system and improves the nervous system’s ability to coordinate and protect all other organ systems.
*Get regular exercise and plenty of rest.
*Reduce or eliminate consumption of processed food and food with added sugar. These foods impair the function of your nervous system and promote inflammation.
*Use gum, mints and toothpaste sweetened 100% with Xylitol can help reduce harmful immune-challenging bacteria in the throat, mouth, nasal passages and the canals which run from the back of the throat into the ears. 6 – 10 grams of xylitol daily has been shown to help reduce the incidence of upper respiratory infections
*Wash your hands (but do NOT use anti-bacterial soap) and employ common sense hygiene practices like covering your mouth if you cough or sneeze, thoroughly washing dishes in hot soapy water, and disinfecting & regularly replacing toothbrushes.