I'm 68 years old and have been faithfully getting flu shots for years including getting one shot last year for swine and a second for seasonal flu. It is that time of year, but this year I am seriously considering not getting the shot which will cover three different flus. I don't trust the process of making the serum or that taking a shot that covers three different flus will be helpful. What do others on this blog think about taking flu shots?
IMO, the answer is NO.
I have experimented with getting flu shots and not getting them. I noticed no difference at all in health levels either way. I suspect the benefits of flu shots are minimal Flus are constantly mutating and by the time they manufacture the flu shots, most of the current flus have already mutated away from what the shot protects against. Also, some research suggests no sickness reduction from flu shots. Here is a link that explains it better: http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howthingswork/a/aa011604a.htm
Also to consider, flu shots have side effects. SOme people experience an immune response and signs of sickness from shots.
Another thing, research in pets show that vaccinations actually make them more likely to be sick. Vet visits in the month after vaccinations are much higher than normal. Cats sometimes develop malignant cancer at the location of vaccines and this cancer has been directly linked to vaccines. Some pets die from negative reactions to vaccines. I know one who died and I've seen my own cats have very bad weird psychological behavior after vaccines. Sickness due to vaccines is called vaccinosis. Vaccines are not totally safe in animals and while side effects may be less obvious in humans, I do not feel they are likely totally safe in humans either. Here is a link discussing some possible healthy concerns for humans and some links with alzheimers: http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/475564.aspx Here is another discussing lack of scientific evidence that flu vaccines have any benefits for lessening sickness: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1967306,00.html
I would rather eat and live healthy and trust my immune system than to trust big Pharma's expensive flu shots. I will only take shots for diseases that are often dangerous and for which shots have some kind of evidence for actually working. I no longer get shots with proven side effects but no proven record of actually doing any thing good.
I'd like to see some good evidence that a paleo diet will protect agains influenza infection. The most famous flu pandemic of 1918 severly affected many aboriginal communities, often harder than industrialised populations.
In 1918 the influenza pandemic reached the small isolated Inuit village of Brevig Mission on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska. The popluation of the village was 80 people when the virus arived, 5 days latter 72 of them had died from the flu. Only 8 members of the village survived the pandemic (link). Similar stories of 1918 are found from Iniut communities, many of which were decimated, right across the arctic (link).
In the islands of the Pacific the 1918 influenza also hit hard. In Western Samoa the virus killed 30% of adult men, 22% of women and 10% of all children (link). Other islands also suffered high death rates. These people probably got plenty of vitamin D and stil ate a traditional polynesian diet at the time.
While there are other reasons why these isolated groups can be more at risk from epidemics I do not see any evidence that these peoples diet protected them in any way.
There are good arguments for and against flu vaccines for different groups in the population however I don't see diet as one of them.
For anyone who thinks human nutrition and metabolism is complicated they should try studying immunology and epidemiology. Working out the effectiveness of the flu vaccine is a difficult task as it does not provide 100% protection and most people do not get the flu anyway in non-epidemic years. The current vaccine also varies each year as virologists try to predict which strain of flu will be the most common next year, they usually get it right but not always. The CDC has a good overview on Flu Vaccine Effectiveness. It is important to remember than even a 30% reduction in risk of catching the flu can have a large impact over the whole population.
Unfortunately the vaccine is least protective in those most vunerable to flu, over 65's and very young children due to their weaker immune function. There is more of a benefit in places like nursing homes when everyone is vaccinated. Efficacy of influenza vaccine in the elderly in welfare nursing homes.
I think there is benefit for adults with conditions such as asthma and front-line health care workers. It is also possible that the best way to protect vunerable elderly and babies is vaccinating young adults and school age children, who get most protection from the vaccine, and who are responsible for much of the spread of the virus. Seasonal Flu Shot Effectiveness.
I can't really give advice about whether to choose to have a flu shot or not. The evidence for flu vaccination is less certain than for most other vaccines.
Edit: Another interesting link from Science-Based Medicine - Flu Vaccine Efficacy.
Paleo is no defense against viral infections. It may make our immune systems stronger because we aren't constantly challenging them with inflammatory foods, but nonetheless, when an unfamiliar virus comes along, it's likely to make us sick until our immune system can take charge and eliminate it.
Most modern diseases arose when agriculture allowed humans to live in dense communities. We can alter our diets and some other aspects of our lives to be as paleo as possible, but we are paleo people in a neo world. We are exposed to neo diseases, but our immune systems evolved prior to those diseases becoming a part of our normal lives.
I opt for the flu shot because getting the flu sucks.
Robb Wolf's new book The Paleo Solution actually has a little blurb on H1N1 which caused so much hysteria last season. He says that epidemiology has shown that low Vitamin D is a risk factor for contracting H1N1 (and I am guessing all flu/colds). Epidemiologists found that 50ng/dl or higher appeared to decrease the chances of getting the flu. Also those with elevated Vitamin D who did get the flu were less likely to suffer the death-causing effects of the virus because they were more protected from inflammation. Guess what kind of diet helps protect you against inflammation?
Now is that an argument against getting a shot? I am not going to make that choice for you. There are risks associated with getting one and not getting one. I've chosen not to get them over the last couple years even before I was Paleo. I do think Paleo helps lesson the symptoms of a cold but I don't think its all powerful.
Here's an interview with an infectious-disease specialist who says that the evidence is just not there, either way, so he remains a skeptic about the efficacy of flu shots, even for the elderly.
I am happy to trust in the Paleo lifestyle. Fermented Cod liver oil (for Vit D) and Kakadu juice. Kakadu is a range of Australian native wild fruits, plus barley grass, goji, grape seed, etc. I have been reading all the info i could on vaccinations in general for quite a while now and for me, the evidence to take and trust vaccinations just don't add up. I don't feel the vaccine industry has come up with enough irrefutable evidence to trust my body to these foreign invaders. I also have enough faith in the nature of our bodies that it will deal with most problems with the right fuel. I treat vaccination just like i do vitamins, meaning that nature has many synergistic events occurring between the vitamins, antioxidants, and other components of just one fruit. How can a vaccination or bottled vitamin compete with that? Vitamin D is a classic example. I fell for the whole D supplementation.. i took if for a while, but i started to become curious when Shane Ellison, Dr. Harris, I think Mark Sisson too.. weren't too keen on taking a capsule. It appears according to Shane that supplemental Vit D was used to kill rodents and is toxic when taken long term. Again, when we get D from the Sun, we just don't get D3 or one component. We get a whole range of things. Like an earlier poster, i work in an office.. and i have watched for a couple of years now, all my colleagues fall victim to some flu, bug or virus. I may get a symptom, but it will last but a few hours. I'm more than happy with my lifestyle choice.. I'm afraid i just don't trust the white coat brigade any longer, i made the choice to take responsibility for my own health.. I believe i am reaping the rewards.
Depends on how serious the consequences would be for you. I get asthma, and have developed pneumonia quite often because of flu and am out for two weeks to a month. So for the last few years I've been getting shots religiously. That was a pretty good decision then.
However since I changed my diet, I'm missing a lot of colds that have been going around. And what's more, because of logistics and money problems in my country, I got the swine flu before I got the shot, and I didn't get any complications. So maybe I'm off getting shots now.
I haven't been sick at all on this diet. I work in a closed environment of office cubicles and shared air with people who are regularly sick.
I do not get flu shots. I don't trust or believe in them
I'm so against Big Pharmacy I wouldn't dare give them a penny I didn't feel wasn't required for life continuance
Dr. Kurt Harris has written an article on this topic:
And here's one more focused on Vitamin D:
Personally, I will be passing on the flu shot again this year...
I have not gone to get flu shots since I was a teenager. Don't plan to ever get them again. Don't plan to give them to my kids. I plan to wait until my kids are off breast milk to get them the typical vaccines. But after that, we're eating mud for our vaccinations. Seriously.
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