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Flu Vaccination: Helpful or Harmful?

Vaccination protection influenza PhotoAutumn is fast approaching and with the change in weather comes the dreaded flu season. Flu vaccination is the primary method used to avoid the flu and its characteristic symptoms of fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches and nausea. But is it truly the best way?

How effective is flu vaccination?

No one has ever claimed that vaccinations are perfect, but just how effective is this one? Studies measuring the effectiveness of  flu vaccination are ongoing throughout the world. Many of their findings contradict continued government/public health recommendations that all people 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against flu every year.

The evidence:

  • Influenza vaccinations have increased from 15 to 65 percent among the elderly in recent decades, yet there has not been a corresponding decrease in the rate of flu related hospital admissions or death.
  • An American study in 2003 estimated a vaccination effectiveness of 52% for healthy adults aged 50 to 64 years, and of only 38% for those with at a high-risk for contracting the flu.
  • Another American study in 2008 found that the effectiveness of the flu vaccine in 5 to 6 year olds ranged from 52% to as low as 7%. The researchers concluded that there was no demonstrable benefit in children younger than 5 and "significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting" examined.
  • A Canadian study, also from 2008, found that previous observational studies had overestimated the effectiveness of the flu vaccination in preventing death.
  • In 2010 a Canadian study concluded that “there is no evidence that vaccinating healthcare workers prevents influenza in elderly residents in long term care facilities.”

Is flu vaccination safe?

In addition to being unhelpful in preventing influenza infection, flu vaccination can sometimes be harmful in causing other adverse health effects.

Short term side effects:

  • Flu vaccination can weaken your immune system, which increases your risk of getting sick.
  • After receiving  flu vaccination, some people immediately suffer from a low-grade fever and/or cold-like symptoms for one or more days.

Long term side effects:

  • Flu vaccination has a long list of hazardous ingredients linked to long- term health problems, including formaldehyde, mercury, ethylene glycol (antifreeze), aluminum, and squalene (which is not harmful when taken orally and can benefit you in other ways). Altogether, exposure to these toxins can lead to acidosis, permanent nerve destruction, fatal kidney, liver and blood disorders, Gulf War Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Motor Neurone Disease, and Parkinson’s, as well as autism and neurological disorders in children.
  • In 2010 more than 1000 adverse responses to the flu vaccination were reported in children under 5 in Australia, including nearly 100 instances of seizures sometimes associated with long-term adverse health outcomes. Young children were more likely to be admitted to hospital due to side effects from the flu vaccination than they were from the flu itself.

More healthy news on this subject...

The flu vaccination has a low rate of effectiveness and a long list of risky side effects. Thankfully, there are many effective and risk-free ways to prevent yourself from getting the flu. Read Part Two of our investigation and learn how to build your immunity to avoid the flu and how to make sure it is short lived if you do succumb.