It’s that time of year again folks, where promotions for flu shots are more prevalent than pumpkins! There are so many things to consider when deciding if the flu shot is right for you, so we have decided to lay out some facts to aid in your decision.

The flu shot doesn’t work that well. On average between 2005 and 2015 it has been less than 50% effective per the CDC. That is because each year an educated guess is made about what exact strain of influenza is going to be going around. You can still get the flu if the strain in your vaccine does not match the strain you caught.

A study in the Clinical Infectious Disease Journal in 2014 found that protection seems to diminish with each successive flu shot. The study found that the flu shot affords the MOST protection to those who haven’t gotten one in the previous 5 years.

Flu vaccines in multi-dose vials contain mercury, a neurotoxin, to safeguard against contamination of the vial. Most single-dose vials and pre-filled syringes of flu shot do not contain a preservative because they are intended to be only used once. If you decide you want to get a flu shot, make sure to get the shot in a pre-filled syringe or in a singe dose vial as they do not contain thimerosal, a mercury derivative.

Research by Dr. Fudenberg showed that those who had gotten a flu shots 5 consecutive years in a row were at 10 times increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease than if they had 1, 2, or no shots. The buildup of aluminum and mercury are likely to blame for this as they cause cognitive dysfunction.

The flu vaccine is immunosuppressive, meaning it suppresses your immune system for weeks after the actual shot is given. This can trigger chronic illness and allergy.

While it is our opinion that the generally healthy population does not need an annual flu vaccine, there are some people who may benefit from the flu shot, including those who are at risk for death or severe complications if they got the flu virus, those with respiratory problems like asthma, and immunocompromised patients like those with cancer or diabetes.

Whether or not you decide to get the flu shot, the most important piece of advice we can give you is to strengthen your immune system naturally so that you are at low risk for contracting the virus in the first place. Here are some simple steps that you can take to boost your immunity:

  • Get adequate sleep and rest
  • Maintain adequate hydration
  • Avoid processed foods and sugar
  • Exercise
  • Reduce stress
  • Take immune boosting supplements like vitamin D3, Omega 3’s, and probiotics.
  • Wash your hands

Feel like you are coming down with the flu or a cold? See our previous post: Top 7 tips for Cold and Flu season for specific recommendations.