Flu shot merits?

Tissue box
Quite honestly, I'm not sure that it has many.

As always, the topic of vaccination is a touchy one. Many will disagree, some quietly, some loudly (and I don't mind being disagreed with, so long as you keep it polite).

I was asked a while back what I thought of the flu shot, and seeing how flu season is upon us, I thought I would just briefly give the reasons why our family won't be immunized this flu season (or any other).

1) Flu vaccines, just like all other vaccines, have very sketchy ingredients. To name a few:

  • Mercury (seriously, straight out, there is mercury is some- though not all- vaccines. Mercury is a severe neurotoxin!!!)
  • Thimerosal (a fancy name for mercury, still in many, many vaccines)
  • Formaldehyde (you know, the stuff you used in high school science class? It is a serious irritant to skin, eyes and the respiratory tract, as well as being carcinogenic, among other effects)
  • MSG (neurotoxin)
  • Antibiotics (several different kinds- these weaken the immune and digestive system)
  • A whole gamut of other nasty chemicals you really don't want in your body (or your kid's bodies!)

(To view the ingredients in other vaccinations, check out this excellent site)

2) It's not highly effective, nor do I believe it to be necessary.

Part of the gamble of the flu shot is that each year, doctors and scientists must try to make a guess (albeit an educated one) and outsmart the viruses, by selecting the correct 1 or 2 that will happen to be the "biggies" that year. Some years, they do this fairly successfully, and the viruses are slowed down significantly. Other years, they miss the boat, choose the wrong flu strain and the flu spreads like wildfire anyways, meaning all those people just risked themselves by being vaccinated for nothing.

Not to mention, this quote from a CBC (Canadian) news article:

While the flu shot is becoming increasingly important, critics note
that it doesn't work all the time. It's 70 to 90 per cent effective in
healthy adults. The success rate is somewhat lower in children and

Proponents of the flu shot cite one of it's major benefits as being the fact that it helps to protect vulnerable parts of the population, in particular seniors and children. If it's efficacy level is only 70-90% in healthy adults, and they're not even willing to quote the success rate (only that it is "somewhat lower"- whatever that means) for children and seniors, then truly, how effective is it in it's stated goals?

One of the most effective ways to avoid getting the flu is to focus on strengthening the immune system, so that it is more capable of fighting off infections when it comes in contact with them. In fact, one of the common complaints of the flu shot (this is not scientific, but merely anecdotal) that I have heard and read is that those who receive the shot often develop a worse case of the flu than they usually would. Why, I'm not exactly clear on, though I would suspect that it could be weakening their natural immune response in the process of "vaccinating" them (does anyone have any thoughts on this?).

3) Lastly, the shot itself can have serious effects.

Consider this preposterous paragraph from the above quoted CBC article:

Still, flu awareness campaigns are helping Canadians stay healthier.
Flu drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza are easily available, although
they can have their own dangers: 10 Canadians have died after taking
Tamiflu, while at least 84 more have reported adverse reactions to the
drug. On Nov. 29, 2006, Health Canada issued an advisory about reports
of hallucinations and abnormal behaviour — including reports of
self-harm — in patients taking Tamiflu.

Edit: Thanks to a commenter for pointing out that drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza are not actually vaccines, but intended for once you have already contracted the flu. I stand corrected. :)

Additionally, the flu shot can cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome in approximately 1 in 100,000 people who receive it. This is an inflammatory condition where the immune system attacks the nerves outside of the brain and the spinal cord, which can lead to weakness and tingling and even to severe paralysis.

If these are some of the things that are being observed and reported on, then could it possibly be doing harm within our immune system or other parts of the body that we are not even aware of, causing unknown or long-term effects that may not be immediately evident?

Final thoughts

All that said, the flu is inconvenient, uncomfortable and fortunately only temporary, very rarely causing long-term or more serious results in most people (yes, I know there are exceptions- there are ALWAYS exceptions to every generalization).

Why would I want myself (or my family) to receive a vaccination that includes dangerous and highly toxic ingredients (and if we want to talk small doses of toxins, let's review this video), is less successful than the government and health organizations would have us believe, and is a risky shot in and of itself? Thanks, but I'll pass.

Next week, I'll go a bit more into the best way to truly avoid things like the flu, by building a healthy immune system and taking extra precautions to boost our immunity during the winter months when viruses abound!

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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  1. I’m rather late to join in the discussion but thought I’d go ahead anyways. The past two years in a row I experienced a reaction to the flu shot. My lower back (base of my spine) and legs, all the way down to my knees, became numb and extremely fatigued. It was scary! This year I reported it to my local clinic who then passed the report on to the “powers that be”; their recommendation was that I avoid the flu shot in the future. This may be surprising, but I’m still somewhat torn about what to do for my kids. They really have fared well with the flu shot. Certainly, they’ve still had bouts of illness through the winter but… I’ll probably opt out now, especially that my youngest is four and that little bit stronger to fight things off.

  2. “:A typical 0.5 milliliter flu shot contains 25 micrograms – or 50,000 parts per billion – of mercury.

    The EPA classifies a liquid with 200 parts per billion of mercury as hazardous waste. The limit for drinking water is 2 parts per billion.

    Using the standards set for methyl mercury consumption – the kind that’s in fish – an average 130-pound person getting the flu shot would exceed the daily limit by more than four times. A 22-pound baby would get more than 25 times the amount of mercury considered safe. And doctors are recommending that many babies and children get two flu shots this season.”


  3. I wouldn’t call the CDC exactly without agenda. They receive money from vax manufacturers so take what they say with a grain of salt. There’s corruption everywhere and with something as monetarily valuable as vaccines, BigPharma and the FDA/CDC etc. aren’t going to slam the door in the vax makers faces. They’re being handed wads of cash.

    “I do know that in the US the flu shot does NOT contain mercury or thimersol anymore, and hasn’t for about ten years.”

    I read that mercury/thimerosal was removed from the DTaP and other childhood vax’s but NOT from the flu vax. Also, I read that any doctor who still has vax’s containing mercury is allowed to dispense them until their stock is depleted. DOesn’t make me feel so safe at all.

    My baby had a big allergic reaction to her 2 month shots so we never got any more. We claim religious, philosophical and medical exemptions. After her reaction I can not with clear conscience give her any more. The insert to the Pediarix she received also said that if the baby has a severe adverse reaction, they should not be given any more doses.

    I don’t believe in herd immunity. If a vax worked as “they” all insist it does, anyone who got the vax would be IMMUNE. No need to worry about those who were vaxed from that point on. My not vaxing has nothing to do with anyone vaxing. My child is NOT a threat to anyone who is vaxed, unless the manufacturers of the vaccines are oh I dunno, LYING and just taking us all for fools to make money.

    On top of that, the insert that comes with the vax’s has to state that it isn’t 100% i.e. vaccination does not equal immunization. A pediatrician even told me his personal story of getting vaxed and tested for antibodies. No antibodies. He had to be vaxed again. So you can get shot up all you like but how do you know you’re actually immune unless you get tested for antibodies? People who’ve had vaxes act like they’re God’s gift doing their “civic duty.” Your civic duty would be to get yourself in to check and see if you’re immune to anything and if you’re not, pay to get more shots. Over and over. Check on a regular basis. Some vax’s aren’t even MEANT To last long (wonder why? Maybe it has to do with each dose putting money in someone’s pocket.)

    “The flu shot, like most vaccines, works on the principle of herd immunity. If most of the people are mostly immune, it’s harder to build up an effective reservoir of disease for the virus to keep replicating itself.”

    The question here is, how can you know if a person who is vaxed is actually immune? You are assuming they are with no actual proof.

    The statement that there isn’t any thimerosal in the flu vax’s is wrong, wrong and wrong.
    Does the influenza vaccine contain thimerosal?

    “Yes, the majority of influenza vaccines distributed in the United States currently contain thimerosal as a preservative.”

    (NOt that I fully trust the CDC because they then go on to say how small an amount it is.)

  4. I just was directed to your blog when searching for info on sprouting for my blog. Great resources! I did an entry on vaccinations, and ooh, it got touchy! It’s such a difficult subject.

    Above all (we’re not-vax family), I wanted to also add that unfortunately there is not a ton of medical/ scientific info out there for us to defen our views because vax-related problems are rarley reported. Also, the medical community and pharm companies are so wrapped up in making money, they casually forgot about health.. anyway, enough of that. I wanted to post a great article on what to do with your children when the cold/flu hits them.

    It’s great information and again, supports natural healing: http://mockabeenews.blogspot.com/2009/03/mute.html

  5. I read this article just a few weeks ago and recently found out that my cousin-in-law’s best friend just got the Guillain-Barre Syndrome from the flu shot. She literally began to become paralyzed from the legs upward and right now the doctors are saying the recovery period will be up to a year…assuming she is able to fully recover. I just cannot understand risking that kind of side effect to avoid the flu. It is just so sad to me. I’m glad that you take the time to help people learn these things.

  6. I have never had a flu shot and will not be getting my kids vaccinated with one either. It is so nice to find people who have the same views re: vaccinations!

  7. I for one will the flu shot as will my whole family. last year my husband didn’t have one and he wound up going to the ER by ambulance because he had a fever of nearly 104 degrees and passed out from it. He then had to spend nearly ten days on complete bed rest. All the doctor allowed his to do was the bare neccessities.

  8. Yay, thanks Holly for all the info– I didn’t want to go trolling through vax manufacturer websites for all the info myself. :)


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