I’ve had many clients have come into the office with sore arms and shoulders. A brief history revealed that these people had just come from getting their annual flu vaccine. Certainly the soreness will pass. However, there are numerous changes going on with the annual flu shot and I believe it’s a good idea to be informed and know what you are injecting into your bloodstream and what other avenues you can pursue if you don’t want an injection.
In the past, I’ve reported on the Center for Disease Control’s data that showed a link between three consecutive yearly flu shots and a 10-17 times greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life (depending on which study you subscribe to). Although the ultimate source was never confirmed, the consensus was that this risk was related to the Thimerosol. This is a form of mercury that was used as a preservative for the live virus and has been found to be a powerful neurotoxin. Most of today’s vaccines do not contain Thimerosol. However, many still do contain chemicals which can be toxic or trigger allergic responses including: formaldehyde, egg protein, MSG, aluminum, and ethylene glycol. The other problem with the vaccine is its efficacy. To date, the normal flu shot contains about three or four strains of influenza. Unfortunately, there are over 200 different viruses known to cause flu and flu-like symptoms. As a result, the CDC reports, “During the years when the flu vaccine is not well matched to circulating viruses, it’s possible that no benefit from flu vaccination may be observed.” Even when the match is good, results can be questionable. For instance, in the 2012-2013 flu season, vaccines were only nine percent effective against type A influenza in people over 65 and around 56% in all other age groups. This has caused many to question the benefit of the shots over the risks. As a result, researchers are scrambling to develop what they refer to as a universal flu vaccine. This new brand of flu shot will attempt to stimulate the virus-killing immune cells known as CD8 T-cells. Studies have shown that people with higher percentages of these cells do not get the flu or experience only mild symptoms.
If you decide to get the shot, I encourage you to do some research before you inject anything into your blood. You can go to www.nvic.org and check the ingredients, contraindications, and warnings of all 12 flu shots that are out there this year. If you decide not to get the shot, but you still want to boost your immunity, I recommend regular exercise, adequate sleep, chiropractic adjustments, and a diet low in sugar and trans-fats. There’s plenty of evidence to show how this approach works to boost your immune system and it’s allowed me to only miss one day of work due to illness in the last 17 years. Vitamin C also helps to boost the immune system and decrease the nasty effects that sugar has on immunity. Probiotics are critical for providing the healthy bacteria in the gut that will help fight off any bad germs that we might ingest. Lastly, these CD8 T-cells that scientists are attempting to stimulate with a universal vaccine; these cells are increased in people with adequate vitamin D and they are lacking in those who do not have enough vitamin D.