There are good and valid reasons to get the annual seasonal flu shot, especially if you have an underlying medical condition such as asthma, heart disease, or a weakened immune system.
the vast majority of healthy people (under the age of 65), there are
also good and valid reasons NOT to get the annual influenza shot.
Although some are distrustful of all vaccines, there are specific
reasons to be wary of the influenza vaccine;
• Complications related to the flu shot. Many people report feeling sick after getting the flu shot, and children have been reported to suffer from febrile seizures. Reports of narcolepsy and adverse reactions to the flu shot appear to be on the rise.
• The flu shot is not entirely effective.
You can still get the flu, even if you are vaccinated. So, while you
incur the risks for adverse side effects you may still get the flu.
* The effectiveness of the anti-flu treatment Tamiflu has been called into question,
and it appears that it does not lessen hospital stays. Further it
appears some of the results of the trials were intentionally withheld
when they painted a picture of doing exactly the opposite of the
intended affect. There was one trial that seemed to suggest that
Tamiflu lessened the ability of the immune system to fight influenza.
• Lack of legal recourse (civil) especially in the US if you are harmed by the flu shot. A
US Supreme Court decision (BRUESEWITZ et al. v . WYETH LLC) sided with
vaccine makers in a case involving a Pennsylvania girl who was denied a
claim in vaccine court and was not allowed for file a claim in civil
court. The fact is that if you lose your case in “vaccine court” you
will have no further legal recourse. Some, including Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor,
argue that there are now no serious consequences for vaccine
manufacturers if they produce a faulty product and that no other
industry in America has such a comprehensive “get out of jail free”
• Most healthy people do not require hospitalization for the flu, even though suffering from the flu is uncomfortable.
• Washing your hands frequently, eating healthy, and getting plenty of sleep are very good ways to avoid getting the flu.
• The majority of health care providers (approximately 60%) choose NOT to get the flu shot every year. Even
the risk of termination of their job is not great enough of a threat to
convince them to risk getting the flu shot. [ Edit note: in 2012, the
numbers have improved. One study shows that 60% + of health care
providers are now getting the flu shot. But, this improvement has
happened after employers threatened termination for non-compliance.
The fact that so many health care providers are still leery of getting
the flu shot speaks volumes. ]
• Recommendations for getting the flu shot vary widely from country to country. For example, most countries in Europe only recommend those aged 65 or over get the flu shot (with no underlying medical condition).
• The odds of dying from the flu are minuscule.
The CDC’s numbers for mortality are suspect, at best. Influenza is
grouped with pneumonia statistics, thus blurring any meaningful
comparisons. But, even the CDC admits that most deaths occur among the
elderly population, yet still insist that everyone (over 6 months of
age) get the flu shot. The is especially at odds with reality, given
that pediatric deaths associated with flu are now at historically low levels.
reasons to mistrust government and pharmaceutical pronouncements,
including the influence of money in the political process. The recent case of trial tests of the antibiotic drug “Trovan” on African children,
allegedly without parental consent, illustrates problems with the
industry. Recent news reports about past horrors amplify the point. *
• Valid reasons to mistrust media outlets.
Many newspapers, web sites, and television news programs are beholden
to vast pharmaceutical advertising dollars. Anyone who questions the
necessity of flu shots is instantly branded a kook or “dangerous.” An
outlet that does not follow the party line risks losing advertising
dollars to other programs that are not so choosy about what they
• Not all flu shot formulas are the same. Risks vary by formula. The nasal flu shot, Flumist, contains a live, albeit weakened, influenza virus.
we will continue to remain skeptical of the CDC's blanket
recommendation that everyone over the age of 6 months get the flu shot.
As with all medical decisions, you should ask your doctor if you should get the flu shot. But, also ask him/her if they have gotten the flu shot themselves.
Hopefully they will be honest with you.
See also: Flu Shots: Panacea or Propaganda? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/flu-shots-panacea-or-prop_b_831696.html
*AP IMPACT: Past medical testing on humans revealed
Friday, August 16, 2013
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control continues to advise that only older adults and people with pre-existing conditions get the flu shot.
Unlike the US CDC which recommends blanket immunization of the population, the Europeans take a much more measured approach.
There are various reasons for this, but the most likely reason is that there is not as much pressure from the pharmaceutical industry or they are better able to resist the pressure compared with the US regulators.