The CDC (Center for Disease Control) randomly tests and records patients who present to clinics and hospitals with flu like symptoms. These results can be seen on their website at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/pastreports.htm. You can view the results broken down by week. Looking over this data you can see that on any given week the number of specimens positive for influenza falls between 2.6- 10%. This means that , of the people who appear to have the flu, less than 10% actually have the flu caused by the Influenza virus. This is not the data that is widely reported in the media however. When we hear statistics of the number of people infected by the flu this data is skewed. The "flu" case data we are given is technically classified as Influenza Like Illness (ILI). Anyone seeing a health care practitioner with any one of the following: sore throat, fever, nasal congestion, body aches, fatigue or headache can get classified into the ILI data without confirmation that the Influenza virus is indeed the culprit. If you do the quick math, this means that flu data is inflated in the media more than 90%. This also means that if you had been vaccinated for the flu you still have a great chance of suffering a flu like illness because the vaccine only has the potential to be effective against the Influenza virus, not ILI.
Let's play Devil's Advocate. Some might say, "What would it hurt to get the vaccine anyway, even if there's only a small chance it will help me? I mean, they're throwing it in free with the purchase of a strand of Christmas lights, so why not?"
I'll give you two compelling reasons. The first is the ingredients contained in most flu vaccines. Ask the person administering the shot for a list of ingredients. By law they have to provide you with a list. Most people know that there has been a movement to remove Mercury from vaccines. Instead you may see the lesser known Thimerisol, which is actually a Mercury derivative and a neurotoxin. You may also see: formaldehyde, aluminum, monkey kidney, and/or MSG (monosodium glutamate). ALL of these are known to be harmful to your health. Information about flu vaccine ingredients can also be found on the CDC's website at : http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf. Skeptics may say, "I don't believe that they would be allowed to put something in a vaccine that they know is harmful." These same skeptics would probably be shocked to learn that our vaccine manufacturers are not required to prove the safety of vaccines before manufacture, nor are they held liable when harmful side effects occur. I wouldn't purchase a product from a company that wasn't held liable for its safety and I certainly wouldn't inhale or inject that product into my body.
The second reason to avoid vaccines is this: you may actually be exposing yourself to a virus that you would otherwise not come in contact with. If less than 10% of flu like cases are actually caused by the Influenza virus, why risk knowingly exposing yourself to a virus you might not otherwise be exposed to? I find it alarming that the populations typically targeted most heavily to get the flu vaccine: children, pregnant women, and the elderly also typically have the most volatile immune systems.
It is ultimately your choice, but you do have a choice. You can choose to learn how to make your immune system naturally stronger and effective like it was designed to do or you can roll the dice with a flu vaccine. In my professional opinion you have a greater chance of preventing the flu or Influenza Like Illness by taking strides to strengthen your immune system naturally through eating right, exercise, chiropractic care, and supplements.
The pharmaceutical companies have deep pockets are have spent lots of marketing dollars to convince you that avoiding flu vaccines is irresponsible. I do realize that there may be side effects* to the sudden realization that pharmaceutical companies may in fact be motivated by money and not the best interest of your health. If you are a patient of mine and are still considering the flu vaccine please feel free to continue the conversation at your next appointment. I welcome further questions and discussion on this topic. If you are not a patient and would like to schedule a free consultation please call 678-266-3300.
-Dr. Jeremy DiMartino
*The most common side effects to this realization include: headache, nausea ,insomnia, loss of appetite, anxiety, nervousness, indigestion, sweating, anger, the desire to learn more about taking your health into your own hands. If these problems persist please contact Dr. DiMartino at Thrive Chiropractic Wellness Center, firstname.lastname@example.org, 678-266-3300.