Why I'll Never Get a Flu Shot

Dear Health Conscious Reader,

I’m 54 years old, and I’ve never gotten a flu shot. Here’s why.

The effectiveness of the flu vaccine is exaggerated. The strains for the vaccine are selected a year in advance. That’s important for you to know because researchers guess on what strain will prevail each flu season. They have no other way of knowing. And if they guess wrong, the vaccine is useless.

So, many people who get the flu vaccine wind up getting the flu anyway. But it’s worse than that because the flu vaccine comes with some pretty significant toxins, like:

  • Thimerosal – a preservative used in multi-dose flu vaccines. It contains 49.6% mercury by weight.1 Mercury has been linked to brain injury, organ failure and muscle weakness.
  • Triton X-100 – a detergent and mercury derivative
  • Polysorbate 80 – a potential carcinogen
  • Formaldehyde – classified as a human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency

What’s more, it really isn’t good for the very young or the very old – the folks who are supposed to need it most. For example, more people than ever age 70 and older are getting flu shots.2

Meanwhile, the University of Alberta did a study in which one group of people got a flu shot, and one didn’t. More people died in the group that didn’t get the vaccine … but when researchers looked more carefully and adjusted for other factors like existing health conditions, there was no difference between the groups.3

Children as young as six months are being recommended for flu shots, too. But get this: One study presented at an American Thoracic Society conference in San Diego revealed that children who took the flu vaccine had three times the risk of being hospitalized soon after taking the shot, compared to those who didn’t. For

children with asthma, the number was even higher.

But this isn’t the only side effect of the flu vaccine. It can cause everything from headache, vomiting, fever and muscle aches to encephalitis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome4 and neurological disorders.

Here are some easy ways to avoid the flu without taking a shot:

  • Get a boost of Vitamin D. A study published in Nature Immunology this year found that T-cells – your body’s major infection fighters – don’t mobilize against viruses without vitamin D.5 Vitamin D essentially activates these cells and supercharges your immunity. So soak up at least 20 minutes of sun a day. And eat vitamin-D-rich foods like cod liver oil, eggs, milk and orange juice fortified with vitamin D, sardines, tuna, beef liver and Swiss cheese. Or you can supplement. I recommend at least 2,000 I.U.
  • Eat foods rich in Vitamin C. Eat plenty of citrus fruits, broccoli, beef steak and oysters. This will help you maintain a super strong immune system. You also can take supplements. I recommend 2,000 mg daily.
  • Add some immune-boosting herbs
  • Garlic is one of nature’s best germ killers.
  • Oregano oil and turmeric help prevent viruses and ease cold symptoms.
  • Green tea contains anti-bacterial properties.
  • Get plenty of rest. You need eight hours of sleep each day. By losing sleep, you rob your immune system of the energy it needs to fight infection,6 and you’ll catch more colds and flu viruses.
  • Exercise. Get some each day but don’t go overboard. Too much exercise can actually stress the body and weaken your immunity. Twenty minutes a day of varied intensity exercise is all you need.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

1 “Thimerosal in Vaccines Questions and Answers,” Food and Drug Administration
2 “Flu shot does not cut risk of death in elderly.” Reuters, August 29, 2008
3 Eurich, Dean T., et al, “Mortality Reduction with Influenza Vaccine in Patients with Pneumonia Outside ‘Flu’ Season,” American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2008; Vol. 178: 527-533
4 “Preliminary Results: Surveillance for Guillain-Barré Syndrome after Receipt of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009-2010
5 Kongsbak, Martin, et al, “Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells,” Nature Immunology 2010; 11: 344-349
6 Palmblad, J., Petrini, B., Wasserman, J., Akerstedt, T., “Lymphocyte and granulocyte reactions during sleep deprivation,” Psychosom Med. June 1979; 41(4):273-8

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