Have you ever really stopped to consider the expression “flu season?” Flu season is virtually synonymous with winter. Yes, we spend more time indoors exposed to breathing each others’ germs, and yes, less time outside = less vitamin D = lowered immunity, and yes, the flu virus thrives in colder air.
But perhaps there is yet another plausible explanation for why more people get sick in the fall and winter: because we are bombarded annually with reminders that it is time to be sick. Given the influence thought and emotion have on our health, it stands to reason that we are more likely to get sick if we accept the alarmist mainstream media messages, leading to an expectation (consciously or subconsciously) that we are likely to become ill.
Anyhow, ‘flu season’ is upon us, and with it arises the perennial question: “Flu shot or not?” As a conscious consumer, one should immediately question where this annual push comes from and the intention behind it. December 2-8 is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a creation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that began in 2005 “to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.” The CDC website goes on to say that “… few people get vaccinated after the end of November. CDC and its partners choose December for NIVW to remind people that even though the holiday season has begun, it is not too late to get a flu vaccine,” and “Even if you haven’t yet been vaccinated and have already gotten sick with flu, you can still benefit from vaccination.” 1
But this unabashed marketing-disguised-as-awareness is just the beginning. The CDC grossly over exaggerates influenza death statistics. In a September 27, 2018 press release the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases stated that in the 2017-2018 flu season there were more than 80,000 influenza deaths in the US, a completely unsubstantiated claim. The agency states that it relies on death certificate data. However, members of the Cochrane research community have observed that “when actual death certificates are tallied, influenza deaths on average are little more than 1,000 yearly.” 2
A CDC presentation by Glen Nowak, PhD, who at the time was the CDC’s Acting Media Director, includes a ‘Recipe for Fostering Public Interest and High Vaccine Demand’ and states: Fostering demand, particularly among people who don’t routinely receive an annual influenza vaccination, requires creating concern, anxiety, and worry (emphasis added). 3
As conscious consumers, we need to also look at the efficacy of flu shots, as well as examine other added ingredients to determine if the benefits outweigh the risks. The 2014-2015 influenza vaccine had an efficacy rate of only 19 percent. 4
Not only are there serious questions about the efficacy of the flu vaccine, there is evidence to suggest that getting the vaccine every year may cause damage to the immune system. 5
Common ingredients of flu shots, in addition to the influenza virus, include:
• Formaldehyde – a toxic chemical used in industrial disinfectants and for embalming
• Aluminum – a neurotoxin that can trigger brain inflammation and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s
• Thimerosal – a mercury-based preservative that has been linked to attention disorders, speech delays, language delays, Tourette Syndrome, misery disorder, seizures, epilepsy, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, narcolepsy, heart disorders, neurological disorders, asthma and allergies. 6
Here is some more food for thought: In 2017, sales for GlaxoSmithKline’s flu vaccines jumped 12% to $677 million. All told, the company’s vaccines pulled in $7.16 billion for the year. 7 And that is Just. One. Company.
Exposure to the flu virus does not mean you will contract the flu. For the majority of people the best protection against the flu is a healthy immune system. A healthy immune system is a function of a strong microbiome, proper nutrition (including a nutrient-dense, organic diet that eliminates refined sugar), adequate sleep, exercise and hydration. Check your vitamin D levels and supplement if necessary. Vitamin D has been shown to cut the risk of flu by 50%. If your body needs an extra immune boost, increase vitamin c intake and eat immune boosting foods such as blueberries, broccoli, spinach, garlic, salmon and bone broth. Zinc, elderberry syrup and Echinacea have also been proven to aid immune function. And for goodness sake, don’t forget to wash your hands!