Should You Get A Flu Shot?

is the flu shot safeWe’ve all heard the stories of people having horrible side effects after receiving the flu shot, but how common are they?

Maybe you’ve read mommy blogs where the author, and all of the commenters, curse the flu vaccine — claiming those who receive it are doomed.

But is there any truth behind any of the negative claims you hear about the flu shot being bad for your health? Should mothers be wary about getting flu shots for their children, or themselves? Should you get a flu shot?

I had researched vaccinations once before, but recently decided to get as much info as I could on the flu vaccine and then formulate an accurate opinion. What I eventually decided (after weighing all the pros and cons) was that I personally am not going to get a flu shot this year, or any year in the near future.

It simply does not seem worth it to me, but who knows; I’ll probably get some radical strain next week and die. Oh well. Here’s why I decided against it and maybe it will help you and your family make an informative decision as well.

Each year, millions and millions of Americans receive the flu shot, which equals to about a third of the population receiving the vaccination. The flu hospitalizes around 200,000 Americans each year and 40,000, or so, are killed by it (more specifically, its complications like pneumonia & heart failure).

Without a doubt, the threat of the flu virus is very real and the CDC recommends everyone get the flu vaccine each year, but how effective is it? If you received the vaccine this year, you (according to CDC claims) are protected by up to 90-percent from being infected by the flu virus.

However, last February (and every February) a group of vaccine researchers, from across the globe, meet up and choose 3 strains, which they think are most likely to produce the highest amount of infections the following flu season. Therefore, the vaccine only protects you from 3 (of the many) strains floating around and the typical flu shot does not include protection from avian flu.

Secondly, the results that are used to measure how safe the vaccines are, are only based on short-term side effects reported by the patient between 2 and 14 days after receiving the vaccine.

So any long term, and potentially serious, side effects that occur after the two-week window are not attributed to the flu shot, but other natural and environmental factors. This was brought to the attention of many by Sherri Tenpenny, who is an osteopathic doctor and a flu vaccine critic.

should you get a flu shotWhy I believe this is important to note is because most flu vaccinations contain the preservative thimerosal.

Which happens to be 49% mercury. You know, that dangerous neurotoxin that can cause major health problems years after exposure (long-term).

Yesterday, while I was at Walgreen’s getting a prescription, I asked the pharmacist whether or not their vaccines included thimerosal. He gave me a perplexed look and asked why I was asking about it and if I was allergic to certain preservatives. I said that I wasn’t, but happened to be curious about Walgreen’s vaccines and if they contained mercury.

The pharmacist said that they do contain thimerosal, which included mercury. Before I left, I decided (mostly out of curiosity) to ask if he had received the flu shot, or planned to. He smiled and said, “Nope.” These reasons (along with a few other) are why I have opted out on getting the flu shot, but everyone should make this decision on their own and it completely depends on your situation.

If you’re at a high risk for infection — between 6 months to 5 years, you’re pregnant, over 50, and anyone with asthma, diabetes and heart, immunosuppressive diseases, or blood disorders — you probably should get the flu shot. But definitely talk to you doctor about your concerns and then make a decision from there.

Maybe I’m just a ridiculous, paranoid 20-something, but I just don’t see that the flu shot is worth it and don’t like the idea of having (even a small amount) of mercury injected directly into my body. Happy flu season everybody, it’s here till march, so watch out!

Resources:

www.cdc.gov/flu

Read This Before You Get a Flu Shot: By Sarah Clachar (health.com)

Should You Get A Flu Shot?

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Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this about the flu shot! I’ve been telling people that’s why I don’t get it and nobody believe me! Now I will just refer them here! :)

  2. Thanks for this! It helped me decide NOT to get the flu shot. Love your site :)

  3. The amount of mercury in a vaccine is less than the total amount in a can of tuna. Our bodies are able to process a certain amount of many things considered dangerous. Dosage is what is important. Most substances can be toxic at high levels, even water. While things like formaldehyde, which our body produces naturally, and arsenic are safe at certain low levels. For the elderly do you really think the very, very small amount of mercury is more of a risk to their health or lives than catching the flu?

    • If you’re at a high risk for infection — between 6 months to 5 years, you’re pregnant, over 50, and anyone with asthma, diabetes and heart, or blood disorders — you might want to talk to your doctor about it, which he will probably, and enthusiastically, tell you to get one.

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