The arrival of autumn brings with it the annual advertising campaign for flu shots. Walk into most pharmacies and grocery stores and the signage is everywhere. It seems incredibly easy to get the vaccine to protect yourself from the dreaded flu. With such a preponderance of ads, we believe it is a necessity in order to stay healthy during flu season. And that is the intention behind the campaign – we need it! However, the reality we find, if we dig a little, tells us that we may want to skip the flu shot.
So, what is this reality as it relates to the flu vaccine?
- On average, approximately 5%-20% of the U.S. population get the flu each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Statistics on those who receive the vaccine, but do not get the flu, are only high when the “match” between the vaccine and the circulating strains is close. This means if a statistic reads “70-90% of people 65 and younger who receive the vaccination don’t get the flu” that the vaccine actually matched the particular strain of flu that year. Every year researchers make a prediction as to what strain will arrive during the flue season. Yes, that’s right, a prediction. So what happens if the researchers are wrong? That 70-90% drops substantially. In fact, last year the CDC was wrong in predicting the flu strain. It was only 23% effective, at best.
- The flu vaccinations still contain mercury, a preservative used to prevent contamination, which has been linked to autism, neuro-development disorders and heart disease.
- There are better ways to protect yourself against the flu that does not require a vaccination.
Our goal in life is to remain healthy, so we can fully enjoy each stage of our life. If we are healthy, then our body is able to do its job and prevent illness. Protecting ourselves from getting the flu, without a vaccination, simply means doing the things that keep our body working as it should. Things like:
- Getting plenty of sleep each night.
- Staying fit with regular exercise.
- Ensuring our body receives the proper nutrition each day.
- Managing the stress in our lives.
This healthy approach keeps our foundation strong so our body can fight infection and disease. So the next time you see a sign or advertisement for the flu shot, continue on and instead provide your body with the resources it needs to keep you well.