To Flu Shot or Not To Flu Shot - That Is The Question

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With Avian Flu in the news, parents, seniors, healthcare providers are exploring the question of whether Flu shots are appropriate, and if they should be mandated to protect us all from the risk. The fact that many doctors can not get the shots should not be a deterrent for those who are convinced of the benefit. Most drug stores still have stock available. Flu shots are not a slam dunk. They are controversial. Here are some of the reasons why:

Flu shots are preserved with thimerisol as the primary preservative. Thimerisol is a nerve toxin, a form of Organic mercury. Mercury poisoning is deadly and cause a range of health issues that stay with the patient for life. The effect is cumulative, and if annual Flu vaccines become required, the toxic load is sufficient to cause Autism-like symptoms, fibromyalgia like symptoms and more. Thimerisol has been banned in many European countries, because of its negative health impacts. I repeat, mercury is a neural poison. Do we really want to inject it directly into our blood streams?

Flu shots have a more concentrated dose of mercury, than the EPA indicates is safe for a 250-pound man. We give these shots to babies and school children. And we wonder why learning disabilities are rising at alarming proportions in this country?

Flu shots have viral elements based upon the prior Flu season in the southern hemisphere, typically Australia. There is no guarantee that the strain of Flu that the vaccine builds resistance to, will be what is needed in the US the following season. There is no double blind, scientific testing with Flu vaccines. The more a virus mutates, as a result antibiotic overuse, or a result of genetically modified organisms gone wrong, or as a result of the process of making the vaccine, for example, the more likely the vaccine will be ineffective.

�When Flu vaccines were first developed they were determined inappropriate for people in fragile health, the elderly and for people with certain reactions, Allergies to certain drugs and foods. Unfortunately when these populations were eliminated, the market for these vaccines was less than 20% of the population. Thus these concerns were removed from final warnings for these vaccines.

�While Flu vaccines were added the government�s list of mandatory vaccines for school children under the age of 18 and are recommended for elderly, parents can opt their children out, with a philosophical, health or religious objection. However many parents are unaware of their ability to do this, because schools have incentives to get all their students vaccinated, because the formula for state funding of schools includes incentives for vaccinated school population. It is not in the schools financial interest to inform parents of their rights.

�Healthcare workers were very forceful, in their boycott of federal plans to required healthcare workers to submit to mandatory smallpox vaccines, as part of a bio-war on terror. The program was scrapped. If healthcare workers, who are most aware of the vaccines, refuse them, what should the rest of us be taking from this?

�People who got Flu vaccines still get the Flu. What efficacy is that?

�There are other ways to protect against the Flu, with less potentially lethal side effects. These include using homeopathic anti-Flu meds like Occillo. These include making sure you eat healthy, keep your Immune System in peak condition, eat your vegetables. If you are concerned about Avian Flu, consider eating only Organic, range free chicken. And if you find yourself catching a Flu, consider in addition to chicken soup, and drinking lots of liquid, a trip to your acupuncturist, your naturalpath or your chiropractor.

The answer to whether or not to vaccinate would seem to rest upon your trust or lack of it in the vaccine�s effectiveness and safety, weighed against the potential for harm if indeed you became sick with the virus.

About the author

Nan Andrews Amish, the Business Healthcare Contrarian is the founder of Big Picture Healthcare a strategy consulting firm which provides expertise in consumer directed healthcare, healthcare marketing, and strategies to decrease benefit costs by 20-30% while improving talent management. Nan offers Management Consulting, Facilitation, Workshops. Contact her at or (650)560-9800.

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