Every year we get a lot of inquiries at Logos Nutritionals from customers about whether or not they should take the flu shot. We cannot and do not dispense medical advice, but we can help educate the public as to the known relative risks and benefits of flu vaccines so they can make informed decisions. I am also free to disclose that I would not personally take a flu shot under any circumstances… nor would I allow any of my family members to.
Flu Shot Risks and Rewards
Taking a look at the potential risks and rewards of flu vaccines, lets review what we know about them:
Flu vaccines are made by growing known strains of flu virus in various embryonic animal or human tissues (monkey kidney tissue, guinea pig, calf serum or human diploid cells from aborted fetuses are commonly used)and then combining small amounts of dead or weakened viruses with a concoction of toxic chemical preservatives and antibiotics that are intended to discourage the growth of unwanted microbes in the medium. The supposed shortage of flu vaccines in recent years has been blamed on vast numbers of tainted dosages having to be destroyed. The concoction is then injected into the body, producing a subclinical infection that causes the immune system to mount an antibody response to, presumably conferring the host protection from those particular strains in the event of subsequent exposure.
Dealing with the ongoing flu challenge with vaccines is a daunting task. There are countless known active influenza strains in the world, and each of them is quite capable of mutating into a new and different superstrain that could wreak havoc on entire populations. A group of international researchers convenes each year to make an “educated guess” about which three strains are most likely to proliferate in the coming year, and those strains are included in this year’s batch.
Do Flu Shots Save Lives?
Given the massive number of doses administered each year and the generous financial and marketing support given to flu vaccines by the government, you might expect that a large body of solid research would back up these products… however, according to vaccine researcher and educator Dr. Sherry Tenpenney, that is not the case.
For years, flu shot advocates have claimed that flu shots are most effective in saving the lives of seniors, because they are more susceptible to serious complications when they contract the flu. But a recent study highlighted in The Lancet Medical Journal stated that it is not true that elderly lives are actually being saved: “No studies have conclusively proven that influenza shots prevent flu-related deaths in people over the age of 65, and some of the arguments that have been used to support this idea are based on faulty data.” (Reuters, September 27, 2007)
Flu Shot Safety
Opponents of flu shots question the need for special protection that the government gives vaccine manufacturers which shields them from liability when their products inflict irreparable harm on a trusting and naive public. When entire countries move to protect their citizens by banning a flu vaccine like Australia did earlier this year, there are obviously serious concerns about safety.
Ironically, according to flu vaccine opponents, it is not the viral components of the vaccines that pose the major threat, but the adjuvants or additives that are included to enhance the body’s immune response. The adjuvants were blamed for the many cases of seizures and convulsions in children that prompted Australia’s ban. Among other things, flu vaccines are known to contain the following harmful ingredients:
1. Thymerosol – A mercury derived preservative that has been linked to brain damage and autoimmune disease.
2. Phenol – Or carbolic acid, a common component of dyes and disinfectants.
3. Ethylene Glycol- Otherwise known as anti-freeze.
4. Formaldehyde – Yep, that’s the stuff they pickled the frog you dissected in Biology class with.
5. Aluminum – added to promote antibody response, it is associated with Alzheimers and seizures and has been known to cause cancer in lab mice.
6. Neomycin and Streptomycin – antibiotics to retard growth of contaminating bacteria, responsible for allergic reactions in some patients.
Even the most avid supporters of flu vaccines readily admit that taking the shot is no guarantee of avoiding the flu, and although consumers never see them, the vaccines are supposed to be accompanied by an information sheet that presents the many known side effects that are associated with them.
Natural Alternatives to Prevent or Treat Flu
There are many natural alternatives to prevent or even treat the flu, but suffice it to say that building up natural immunity with whole foods and supplements, managing stress and getting adequate rest and exercise is a great place to start. The Burgstiner Wellness Protocol offers comprehensive nutritional support to every organ system and every aspect of human metabolism, including those most critical nutrients to helping you avoid or endure the flu – vitamin C, vitamin D, omega fats and thymus gland support.