Should you have a flu shot? Honestly that’s a personal decision, but for myself, I never get them, nor does anyone in my family other than my elderly mother.
But in the 2003-2004 flu season the CDC began trying to track children under the age of 18 who died from complications of the flu. Since that time they have confirmed anywhere from 45 to over 200 deaths per year depending on the flu strain. You can see the CDC report HERE. Based on that statistic the CDC recommended that all children 6 months of age and older. There have been no long-term safety studies done & there are several additives that are of concern.
The number of those die from complications of the flu is quite a bit higher for those over 65 years of age. However for most, the flu is an inconvenience and usually require no medical intervention. To see the CDC statement regarding this you can see their report HERE.
So what might you need to know in order to make an informed decision for yourself or your family. There are over 200 strains of the influenza virus that circulate, however there are only a few strains in a flu vaccine. What goes into the vaccine is determined almost a year ahead of time. It’s kind of like throwing a dart at a board, sometimes they are way off and occasionally they hit a bull’s-eye. Back in 2008, the B strains of the virus didn’t even match the vaccine.
Flu vaccines contain either a dead virus or a weakened strain. Usually with the dead virus there will be some soreness at the injection site and you may feel as if you have a mild form of the flu, but it’s not. Sometimes serious allergic reactions may occur.
With the weakened live virus may actually cause all of the flu symptoms, runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, cough and fever. This vaccine has been deemed “safe” for children 2 years and up.
You are probably wondering how well does the flu vaccine work. According to the CDC “During years when the flu vaccine is not well matched to circulating viruses, it’s possible that no benefit from flu vaccination may be observed.” They do also admit that while they may get it right on occasion that the benefits will vary depending on the population, the circumstances of the individual and even which vaccine was used.
Last year in February 2015 the CDC rated the effectiveness of the flu vaccine at just 18%. Add to that, it was the 2nd year in a row that the Flu Mist designed mostly for children, ages 2-8, didn’t work at all. On average the effectiveness sits at about 6-29% according to Brendan Flanery PhD of the Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC. In a good year when the target is actually hit, those numbers may soar as high as 60%.
Ultimately you really want to know is it going to help? It really depends on your age, your health and whether or not they hit that bull’s-eye this year and included the correct strain that you were exposed to. So yeah, it’s pretty much a gamble.
Something most of us don’t consider but should is, your own immune system and it’s capabilities when strong. Now is the time to begin strengthening your immune system.You can’t wait until flu season is underway. How do you do that? Get enough rest, most of us do not sleep the 8-10 hours needed even for adults.
Get your Vitamin D3 levels up. Ideally get your D3 from the sun itself is the beat form. A few minutes every day will be very helpful. If that is not possible, a D3 supplement is advisable. Adults need about 8,000 IU per day.
Get plenty of exercise which increases blood flow better circulating components of your immune system. The more those components flow through your system, the better the chance of finding illness before it spreads.
Reduce your stress levels. When our body becomes overwhelmed with stressors it has a more difficult time of fending off illness. Stress does not always come in the form of a bad day at work or dealing with rush hour traffic. We can carry many internal stressors and these can be devastating to your health. You need to work these kinks out, sometimes that requires getting some outside support.
Eat right! I can not say this enough, you must avoid refined sugars and processed foods. Your body can not defend itself if you don’t give it the proper tools to work with.
Wash your hands and I am not talking about with antibacterial soaps. They are unnecessary and do more harm than good. Same goes for those antibacterial hand sanitizers. Consider what you are putting on your skin.
Use natural antibiotics. There are some very powerful options found in nature. Colloidal silver, oregano, thyme and garlic are just a few.
So you have some things to consider here and now the choice is up to you. Hoping for a healthy and happy season ahead.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
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