It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and unfortunately, the most contagious time of the year. If you’ve ever been hit with the flu – and I’m sure you have – you know it can be a miserable experience. Every doctor and pharmacy will have you believe that the flu shot is the best way to prevent getting the flu, but the reality is that the flu shot isn’t as effective as the advertising suggests.
Should you get a flu shot?
First and foremost, I want to be clear that I’m not in any way anti-vaccine (of any kind) or Western Medicine. But when I make decisions about my health and what I choose to put in my body, I want to make be informed and I know my readers do too, which is what inspired me to research this topic further and write this post.
For the past10 years, I’ve chosen not to get a flu shot. In all those years, I contracted the flu only once. Earlier this year, the CDC reported that the flu vaccine was less than 50 percent effective in 10 out of 14 flu seasons between 2004 and 2018. Last season’s flu vaccine was only 10 percent effective.
Why not more effective? The contents of each year’s vaccine are based on the predictions that public health officials make pertaining to which flu strains will be circulating in any given year. Also, viruses undergo genetic changes.
Still, some protection is better than none. But if you consider the propensity for human error and the changes that viruses undergo along with some of the ingredients in the vaccine, it’s easy to question whether the vaccine is necessary for a healthy individual.
According to the CDC, the flu virus contains the following ingredients:
- Three strains of the flu virus (two A strains and 1 B strain)
- Small amounts of formaldehyde
- Small amounts of aluminum salts (aluminum-free flu shots are available)
- Thimerosal, a preservative (for multi-dose vials only)
- Chicken egg proteins
Most doctors and members of the medical community recommend getting a flu shot. They take the “better safe than sorry” approach and although the vaccine doesn’t provide complete protection against the virus, they say it’s still worth getting as soon as flu season strikes in early November.
Those for whom the flu shot is strongly recommended: young children, older adults, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system or chronic medical conditions. Keep in mind that the flu can be fatal.
Whether you choose to get a flu shot or forego it, there are many ways to keep your immune system strong and naturally protect yourself from the flu.
- Wash your hands regularly
- Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables
- Take vitamins and probiotics to strengthen your gut and immune system
- Get plenty of sleep
- Supplement with Vitamin D
- Reduce sugar and alcohol consumption
- Disinfect surfaces
- Incorporate bone broth into your diet
- Exercise regularly
- Make regular visits to a salt cave
Educate yourself, speak with your doctor and make the decision that’s right for you and your family.