Vaccines themselves have become a flash-point issue. This is a REAL sore point among many parents, because mandates comingle government coercion and conflicting scientific views with dramatic lifesaving potential.
It is easy to forget that vaccines were introduced at a time when people widely feared contagious diseases, revered science, and trusted government.
To say the least, the corruption of science by the central authorities, the self interests of vaccine manufacturers, and abuses of power by state governments as well have radically changed the choices that all parents must now weigh.
It’s Flu Season
and Shots Are Being Peddled Everywhere
Whether or not you’ve gotten an annual flu shot, we want to offer you a refresher on the pros and cons of the flu vaccine, plus other steps you can take to bolster your immunity for the upcoming cold and flu season.
With flu season just around the corner, drugstores and grocery stores alike have put out their “Flu Shots Available” signs, so it’s a perfect time to take a closer look at this issue.
The Upside of Vaccination
Vaccines can play a valuable role in being ready for anything, but you need to ask some careful questions before acquiescing to every vaccine your doctor recommends.
We live in uncertain times. Local disruptions in services are a growing threat. Our medical system is crumbling under the weight of heavy regulations and crippling bureaucracy. It’s a responsible step to practice preventative medicine, and vaccines do provide an option.
Vaccines reduce the risk of disease. When you’re vaccinated against a specific disease, the likelihood of you contracting that disease drops dramatically. If you do contract a disease after being vaccinated for it, you will likely experience milder symptoms and recover more quickly than if you hadn’t been vaccinated.
It’s certainly important to consider getting vaccinated against diseases that might be life threatening, particularly if you don’t have ready access to health care. For example, many people in the U.S. don’t have health insurance and may put off seeking medical care because of it. Under those circumstances, it may make more sense to get vaccinated than not.
There’s also a convenience factor to vaccines. It’s a lot easier to get a vaccine and avoid getting sick in the first place than it is to deal with taking time off work to recover or to care for a sick family member.
While there are a lot of good reasons to get a vaccine, there are downsides, too, and it’s important to weigh the risks.
Worrying Facts about Vaccines
You Should Weigh and Consider
Getting every vaccination that your doctor recommends may be short-sighted. All diseases are not created equal. Measles is more dangerous than chicken pox, for example.
And, all vaccines are not created equal. The vaccination for tetanus has almost zero in the way of allergic reactions and is very effective, while the pertussis vaccine has a higher rate of bad reactions.
The human immune system is incredibly complex. Modern-day medicine has a growing understanding of the immune system, but it’s in no way comprehensive. When you vaccinate, you’re tampering with the immune system, plain and simple. And, the long-term consequences aren’t well-understood.
Some ingredients used in vaccines may contribute to the development of cancers later on. For example, many vaccines contain aluminum and there is a growing link between aluminum and breast cancer and between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease.
Vaccines may compromise health in other ways. While they may prevent acute diseases in the near-term, over the long-term, some believe that vaccinations contribute to chronic diseases and disorders. This is an area that is not well-researched, but there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence linking vaccines with chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, and other long-term health issues.
If you’re making a decision about whether or not to receive a vaccine, make sure you ask about common allergic reactions, preservatives and chemicals in the vaccine and associated health risks, and common side effects triggered by the vaccine. Also, ask about how long the vaccine will be effective. Some vaccines offer enduring protection. Others wear off after a couple of years.
Is a Flu Shot Right for You?
Let us start by saying, the flu is no picnic. People toss the word “flu” around as this great big catch-all. You’re feeling a little under the weather… you must have the flu! True, the flu can be mild, but when you get a severe, full-on case of influenza, it’s miserable. It can last for a week or more, causing headaches, body aches, fever, nausea, and general malaise.
Full recovery can take weeks or even months. You may be back on your feet, but you’ll fatigue easily and run low on stamina.
The flu hospitalizes more than 200,000 people every year in the U.S. and kills anywhere from 3,000 to as many as 49,000 people in bad years. Flu can be a very serious illness, so considering a shot is worthwhile – especially if you don’t have easy access to top-notch medical care.
The biggest problem with the flu shot is that the protection it affords is hit and miss. There are many strains of the influenza virus, and the one that causes most illnesses during flu season changes from year to year. Medical scientists do their best to predict which strains will be the biggest problem and formulate the annual vaccine accordingly, but there’s no guarantee they get it right. That’s why many people who get the flu shot still get the flu. It’s also why people get a new flu shot every year.
The most common side effect of the flu shot is flu-like symptoms. Many people develop a mild fever and aches after getting their flu shot. You should not get a flu shot if you’re already sick or if you’re allergic to eggs.
And then there are some other interesting facts. For example, did you know that deaths because of influenza in children under 5 years of age have actually GONE UP since the government started pushing the flu vaccine in children 5 years old and younger? And did you know that your body is actually more susceptible to any strain of the flu for at least two weeks after a flu shot?
Ultimately only you can decide if a flu shot makes sense for you. Whatever you decide, you, not your doctor, have to live with the consequences of your decision. So ask lots of questions and weigh answers carefully before deciding.
Yes, There Are Alternatives to a Flu Shot
Fortunately, a flu shot is not your only option for weathering the flu season. And as we said, your flu shot may not be formulated for the strain of flu that becomes the most common this year, so even if you do get a flu shot, it’s a good idea to be prepared to fight off the flu, just in case.
Build Your Immune System: The first step to warding off the flu and other illnesses is to give your immune system good support. Several supplements can help, most notably vitamin C. Many people take vitamin C when they feel an illness start to come on, but you can help keep your immune system primed and ready to fight off the flu by taking 1 gram (1,000 mg.) of vitamin C daily.
You should also consider a daily zinc supplement, up to 30 mg. A review of studies shows that people who supplement with zinc and vitamin C get sick less often and recover faster when they do get sick.
A third immune boosting supplement is a good pro-biotic blend. Pro-biotics are healthy bacteria that live in your digestive tract, where the immune system starts. By taking a pro-biotic, you give your body the tools it needs to keep your immune system strong.
Act Fast When Symptoms Start: Boosting your immune system may get you through the whole cold and flu season without illness, but if you do feel symptoms coming on, it’s important you act fast.
Traditional home remedies can be effective in relieving your symptoms while fighting off the flu. Drink lots of fluids – at least eight cups of water each day. This helps to keep you hydrated, which helps your entire body work more efficiently and can also help reduce the build up of mucous in your lungs. Hot water with lemon and honey can be especially soothing when fighting off the flu. Get lots of rest. Your body makes its best repairs when you’re sleeping, so give it the chance to work. And, turn on a humidifier. It will help you breathe and sleep easier.
Cold and flu season is right around the corner, and whether or not you decide to get a flu shot, you can greatly improve your odds of coming through the season unscathed as long as you give a little thought to preparations. Avoiding the flu is just one more great reason to be ready for anything.