I'm Spiritual, Dammit

More evidence against getting the flu shot

It's flu season, and you know what that means- everyone is scared and clamoring to get their shots.  But in addition to concerns about flu shot ingredients, Tamiflu is so risky, it's banned in Japan.  So why are we lining up to take it here in the U.S.?

Weekly German Cabinet Meeting
Yesterday, my post about removing dyes and processed foods from my son's diet to improve his behavior started a "battle" of sorts on my facebook page.  What began as a fight over the use of sugar with kids turned into a heated debate over vaccines.  Well today, I'm stirring the pot again- and this time, it's to tell you that taking Tamiflu to fend off the flu is not only a health risk, it's a waste of money.

I am a subscriber to the website Mercola.com, which I find to be incredibly enlightening and full of useful information.  A lot of scientific studies from Europe and overseas don't find their way to the front pages of our newspapers or the mainstream media, but they are always on Mercola.com.

The other day, I got an email from Mercola entitled "Half of Kids Given Flu Drug Have Side Effects", so I clicked and read on. 

Marathon Sneezer Tamiflu is what everyone takes to shorten the duration of the flu.  But what many don't know is that research shows it only reduces flu duration for 1 to 1.5 days and often causes side effects that are, well, FLU-LIKE...nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness.  The U.S. F.D.A. reviewed reports recently of abnormal behavior and other brain effects in more than 1800 children who took Tamiflu.  Japan, as I mentioned earlier, banned the use of Tamiflu for children in 2007 because it was too risky.  Yet our government spent 7 BILLION on the drug to stockpile for a pandemic.  SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS!!!

Now, I also learned that the flu vaccine contains ingredients such as ethylene glycol (anti-freeze) and formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde is for disinfecting tools, okay- it's not to be injected in our bodies!!!  I know the point of a shot is to boost our immune system, but FORMALDEHYDE??  

There is a conference coming up in Reston, Virginia called the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination.  It takes place October 2-4, 2009.  Their tag line is "Show us the science, and give us a choice."  I wish I could go.

So- with all the swine flu fears looming, many of us are thinking of taking Tamiflu to fend off symptoms, in addition to getting shots.  According to Mercola, The British Medical Association lead expert on swine flu, Peter Holden, has said Tamiflu is being overused and should NOT be handed out to everyone with mild symptoms.

So you'll be putting anti-freeze and formaldehyde into your system, while getting nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness.

Great     

So what do we do???  Mercola has a list of "do's" to avoid the flu.  They are pretty much common sense things, like washing hands and getting exercise.  But he also says to increase your Vitamin D, because it helps avoid infections, and to remove sugar and processed foods from your diet whenever possible because those decrease the functions of your immune system.

So as we gear up for the cold weather filled with germs- is it worth it to spend 100 bucks on a drug we hope will PREVENT us from getting sick, when it might make you violently ill regardless?  Not to mention, if it DOES work, we're only talking about 36 hours of relief? 

Personally, I'm gonna keep feeding my family the "garlic and Purell" diet- and hope for the best, dammit!

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7 Comments

elly said:

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I've never had a flu shot. When I was a teenager I had some kind of flu, and my body developed its own immunity against it :) I wonder how long that lasts...

Nobody said:

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You need to clarify this article. To a lay person it would sound like flu vaccines are dangerous. The dangers lies with Tamiflu which is a medication, not a vaccine. While it can help with preventing infection, the mechanism is very different.

Vaccines forces your body to develop long term immunity. These are relatively safe and should be taken by at risk individuals. "flu shot" usually refers to vaccines.

Tamiflu tries to prevent infection by making it difficult for the influenza virus to replicate in your body. With Tamiflu it is very likely you will not develop long term immunity.

Jen Weigel said:

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clarification has been added to post- thanks for the comment

Nobody said:

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I should point out that flu shots benefits more than just the individual that get the vaccination.

Herd immunity (how resistant an entire population is to disease) is essential to reduce the severity of an influenza outbreak. (The reason the swine flu is so dangerous is that there is minimal herd immunity to the virus. Current data suggests it is not a particularly lethal strain).

By getting the flu shot, you help improve the herd immunity. This makes the biggest difference for sub-populations that are at greater risk (children, elderly, deficient immune systems). If the people they are around the most (normal healthy individuals) have immunity to particular strains, the at-risk individuals are less likely to get infected.

I tend to travel all over the country during the flu season for work. For that reason alone, I consider it to be my responsibility to the rest of the world to get the flu shot so I personally don't contribute to the spread diseases over a large geographic area. The overall gain greatly outweighs the minor impact of ethylene glycol and formaldehyde entering my system.

BTW, - formaldehyde is created in the human body as a normal waste product. It's a nasty chemical, but nothing the human body isn't able to handle in small doses. (Smokers can't use formaldehyde as an excuse as smoking generates a significant amount of formaldehyde).

Healthy adults shouldn't immediately dismiss using flu vaccines over trace amounts of chemicals.

elena said:

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I think the distinction should be made between Tamiflu and the flu shot. The title of this post says it's about the flu shot, but the post itself discusses Tamiflu.
I have heard bad things about Tamiflu, and in addition to everything you say here, it is expensive. Also, as I understand it, one starts taking Tamiflu only after contracting the flu, and within 24-48 hours of symptom onset.
The flu shot, in my humble opinion, does not deserve all of this bad press.
It is administered prior to the start of flu season. Especially for those who are considered high risk, such as people with asthma, the elderly and children, the shot can be a life saver. It is true that some experience side effects, but these are generally for a day or two and quite mild compared to the flu. I'd much rather that than be sick with the flu for 2 weeks, or worse, develop pneumonia and spend time in the hospital.
I have had a flu shot every year since I was diagnosed with adult onset asthma. I have avoided contracting the flu in those years, even when people around me got really sick. While it doesn't prevent all strains of the flu, and I usually do suffer a bad cold every season, I am grateful not to worry as much about getting the flu.

Susan Blumberg-Kason said:

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Donald Rumsfeld Rumsfeld used to be chairman of Gilead Sciences, Inc., the company that holds the patent on Tamiflu. He still owns Gilead stock valued at between $5 million and $25 million. Cool!

Susan Blumberg-Kason said:

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Sorry, didn't mean to post his last name twice.

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