I t’s flu season and everywhere I go it seems that the flu vaccine is being pushed. From radio spots, news reports and magazine articles, we are reminded continually to get a flu vaccine. And you can now receive the vaccine in public places such as grocery stores and airports or even your workplace. Next thing you know Big Pharma will be going door to door selling in-home innoculations! The influenza vaccine is beyond readily available and I have to wonder why? I guess the obvious answer that pharmaceutical companies and the medical community would like us to believe is that it prevents complications, hospitalizations and fatalaties that can arise as a result of this disease, however based on my research some of the claims made are not necessarily true. Here is some information to ponder before you elect to vaccinate yourself or your family against influenza (from Dr. Mercola’s website):
A recent study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu appeared to have no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons.
a Group Health study found that flu shots do not protect elderly people against developing pneumonia — the primary cause of death resulting as a complication of the flu. Others have questioned whether there is any mortality benefit with influenza vaccination. Vaccination coverage among the elderly increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now, but there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza or pneumonia.
Now if you opt to get the flu shot for yourself or family, Dr. Sears provides a 2008-2009 guide so that you can ensure to get a mercury-free flu vaccine, as follows:
FLUZONE Shot This is the only brand approved for all age ranges, from young infants to adults. It comes in four different formulations:
Pre-filled syringe for infants 6 through 35 months – NO mercury.
Pre-filled syringe for children 3 years and older and adults – NO mercury.
Single-dose vial for children 3 years and older and adults – NO mercury.
Multi-dose vial for infants 6 months and older, children and adults – contains the full dose of mercury.
FLUZONE is the only brand of flu shot approved for young infants and toddlers. BEWARE – the multi-dose vial has the full dose of mercury. You have to make sure you are getting a single-dose pre-filled syringe or vial, NOT the multi-dose vial.
FLUMIST Nasal Spray An alternative to the flu SHOT for young children is the FLUMIST nasal spray. There is no mercury in this formulation. It is approved for children 2 years and older and adults through age 49.
FLUVIRIN Shot This shot is approved for children 4 years and older and adults. It comes in two formulations:
Pre-filled syringe – has a trace of mercury (see below)
Multi-dose vial – has the full dose of mercury
FLUARIX Shot This is only for adults 18 years and older. It only comes as a pre-filled syringe with a trace amount of mercury.
FLULAVAL Shot This is only for adults 18 years and older. It only comes as a multi-dose vial with the full dose of mercury.
AFLURIA Shot This is only for adults 18 years and older. It has two formulations:
Pre-filled syringe with no mercury
Multi-dose vial with the full dose of mercury
I have opted not to vaccinate my girls against the flu vaccine and instead ensure that they get extra Vitamin C, plenty of sunshine and wash their hands regularly. It’s worked for our family for 3 years, however if you feel your kids should get a flu shot, please make sure it’s mercury-free!