A study from Rice University predicts the flu vaccine for 2018- 2019 will have only a 20% effective rate. (1) That means if 10 people were going to get the flu and they were all vaccinated the number would be reduced to 8 people. Here’s the catch though, there are over 200 different types of viruses and bacteria that cause illness during the flu season that in all are known as influenza like illness (ILI) and less than 10% of the total illness is caused by the actual flu virus. So, in essence, one would be getting a 20% effectiveness against 10% of the total illness’s during this “flu season.” That’s .02% less chance of getting sick if you look at it that way. There is a lot of potential harm for a .02% lowered risk. Is the flu shot worth it?
How do you feel about them odds when stacked up against the contraindications and additives that you find in the flu vaccine? NO! That flu shot effectiveness is not worth it! Have you read our article on 5 research-based reasons not to get the flu shot? There are numerous reasons not to get the flu shot. When you get the flu shot they’re potentially injecting cell DNA, formaldehyde, and thimerosal (mercury) right into your blood along with egg proteins. I hope you aren’t allergic to eggs! You should also know some of the additives can weaken your immune system, damage the nervous system, and mess with your gut, leaving you at risk for a wide range of illnesses. But maybe you will be one of the 2 people out of 10 people who were going to get the flu who don’t get the flu. Does it seem worth it?
Why Is the Predicted Flu Shot Effectiveness So Low?
Why aren’t they getting better at making a flu shot that works? Well, you have to understand how they mass produce the flu shot to understand what could go wrong. The majority of flu vaccines are made using an egg-based manufacturing process. The vaccine virus is injected into fertilized hen’s eggs and then they incubate for several days so the virus can replicate. (2) While the virus is being produced in the eggs it must adapt to the environment it is growing in which can result in mutations that lower their effectiveness in humans.
A virus is very adaptable that’s why it can spread so fast. So, it grows different in eggs than it would in a human. The recent study found that changes in just two amino acids out of 300 could result in reducing the effectiveness of a vaccine by 50%. That can happen a lot in the days those vaccines are growing in eggs and happens to some strains of flu more than others. The study found those mutations impacted a strain of influenza that has reduced the vaccine’s effectiveness and is predicted to be circulating again this year which leads to their prediction of only a 20% flu shot effectiveness rate. (1)
Vaccines are horrible for your immune system and your neurology. With what we know, and their low efficacy, why would people continue to go get the shot? Don’t be fooled by how easy it is to access. It doesn’t mean you should take the risk, especially, when there are easier and safer ways to reduce your risk of getting the flu!
Choices for a Better Defense and Better Percentages
1 – Vitamin D Supplementation
It’s no coincidence that flu season hits when we are getting less sun because it means we are getting less Vitamin D, a hormone the body critically needs. Yeah, not many people know it’s a hormone not a vitamin! You can learn more in our article on Vitamin D. 75% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient because of all the time we spend inside. (3) One study found giving school children 1,200 IUs of Vitamin D3 reduced their risk of getting the flu by 42% compared to a placebo group. (4) Get outside and take a good supplement to really lower your risk!
2 – Power of Green Tea
Green tea is full of antioxidants and has been shown to kill the flu virus on skin. They also found drinking green tea can help prevent influenza. A study followed Japanese school children and found drinking 1-5 cups of green tea daily could reduce the incidence of flu by 40%. (5) Tea sounds better than a shot! Children who drank more tea were the least likely to come down with the flu. Drink up the tea!
3 – Regularly Seeing Your Chiropractor
Getting an adjustment is proactive support for your immune system. It helps to reduce stress by removing interference in the nervous system. Your immune system is directly connected to your nervous system, so making sure there is no interference is crucial to a strong defense to illness.
If your body has stress it’s fighting that instead of the virus you’re exposed to. Studies show that just 15 minutes after an adjustment white blood cells are increased. One study showed patients who received regular chiropractic treatments had a 200% immune aptitude over those who had never had chiropractic care. (6)
4 – Good Sleep
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you are increasing your chances for getting the flu. Those aren’t odds you want to increase! When you you’re sleep-deprived your t-cells go down and your cytokines go up setting the stage for you to be more susceptible to getting sick. Luckily, some people were willing to go the extra mile to show how this works. 153 men and women volunteered to participate in a unique sleep study that tells us a lot about the importance of sleep. For 14 days they reported their sleep patterns and then they were administered nasal drops containing the rhinovirus. Yeah, who signed up for that study!?! Participants who got less than 7 hours of sleep were almost 3 times more likely to come down with a cold than those who got 8 or more hours! (7)
5 – Try Echinacea
Echinacea doesn’t taste very good but it’s great at enhancing the immune system to help prevent of fight off flus and colds. One study analyzed 401 children who had an upper respiratory infection who were then treated with echinacea or a placebo over a 4-month period. The children who were treated with echinacea had a 28% reduced risk for another upper respiratory infection. (8)
6 – Cut the Sugar
The average American consumes 126 grams of sugar daily which is way more than the recommended cap of 25 grams. Why is this important? Sugar greatly suppresses your immune system by keeping white blood cells from doing their job. It has been shown that ingesting 100 grams of sugar (or a 1-liter bottle of soda) can reduce the ability of the white blood cells to kill germs by 40%. Sugar is everywhere, and it can help you get sick. To reduce your risk of getting sick find some tips to avoid sugar in our article, Sugar’s Bitter Aftertaste.
More Effective than Flu Shot and Less Risk
Are you still thinking of getting a flu shot this year? The risks associated with the flu shot don’t make it worth it. It’s not good when it’s really effective at 46% and it sure isn’t good with an effectiveness rate of 20%!
There are more effective ways to prevent the flu this year than the flu shot. This is just a sample of some of the ways you can boost your immune system. I also like medicinal mushrooms, garlic, silver hydrosol, essential oils, washing hands, and avoiding inflammatory foods. These are easy ways and washing your hands doesn’t even cost you anything!
There are many ways you can support your immune system to reduce illness. Adding 2.5 hours of vigorous exercise will reduce your chances of getting flu by another 10% according to an online poll. (9) Taking good care of yourself to avoid the flu and that doesn’t mean getting a flu shot. It’s not worth getting stabbed for a flu shot!
Written by Dr. Patrick Flynn
Want to learn more about the dangers of flu vaccines? Check out this video from one of our Wellness Way affiliates, The Wild Doc!