This article first appeared in the January 2018 issue of Austin All Natural magazine.
© 2018, Austin All Natural
FLU SHOTS: Should you, or shouldn’t you?
by Dr. Matthew Carpenter, DDS, NMD
It’s that time again. Flu season’s here, and with it, a constant barrage of reminders to get your annual flu shot. Interestingly, though, what you’re being told about the influenza vaccine’s effectiveness and the reality are two very different stories.
In January 2015, U.S. government officials admitted that, in most years, flu shots are, at best, fifty to sixty percent effective at preventing lab-confirmed type A or B influenza requiring medical care.
Flu vaccines are, by nature, a tricky business. Influenza viruses constantly evolve, and public health officials have to guess at least six months before flu season starts which type A and B virus strains will predominantly be in circulation so drug companies can manufacture vaccines. When the strains chosen don’t match strains actually causing most of the disease in any given flu season, the vaccine’s failure rate significantly increases.
Even when there’s a good match, flu vaccine’s effectiveness is estimated to be between forty and sixty percent,meaning, at best, public health officials believe you have a sixty percent lower chance of not getting sick with influenza if you get a flu shot – but it could be as low as forty percent.
Put another way, it’s a coin toss no matter which way you look at it.
Before reviewing influenza vaccines, it’s important to remember the majority of respiratory influenza-like illness that people experience during any given flu season is not type A or B influenza.When you get a sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue, low-grade fever, body aches, and cough, most of the time it’s another type of viral or bacterial respiratory infection unrelated to influenza viruses
Some other interesting facts abut flu vaccines:
Research published in 2014 concluded resistance to influenza-related illness in persons over nine years old in the U.S. was greatest among those who had not received a flu shot in the previous five years.
The flu vaccine may also increase your risk of contracting other, more serious influenza infections. Canadian researchers found people who’d received seasonal flu vaccine in 2008 had twice the risk of getting sick with the pandemic H1N1 “swine flu”in 2009, compared to those who didn’t receive a flu shot the previous year.
A 2009 U.S. study compared health outcomes for children between six months and age eighteen who do and do not get annual flu shots, finding children who receive influenza vaccinations have a three times higher risk of influenza-related hospitalization, with asthmatic children at greatest risk.
Statin drugs, taken by one in four Americans over age forty-five, may undermine your immune system’s ability to respond to the influenza vaccine.After vaccination, antibody concentrations were thirty-eight to sixty percent percent lower in statin users over sixty-five, compared to non-statin users the same age.Antibody concentrations were also reduced in younger people who took statins.
Study suggests flu vaccination during pregnancy can cause miscarriage.
In 2009, reports of miscarriage following administration of the pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) swine flu vaccine started emerging. Dozens of women claimed they lost their babies hours or days after getting the pH1N1 vaccine, which had not been tested on pregnant women (or, if it was, evidence was never published). Not surprisingly, these instances were passed off by health officials as coincidental. After all, miscarriages do happen, for any number of different reasons.
Alas, scientific findings published September 25, 2017 in the medical journal Vaccine suggest this spike in miscarriage reports may not have been a fluke after all. Researchers found women who had received a pH1N1-containing flu shot two years in a row were, in fact, more likely to suffer miscarriage within the following twenty-eight days. While most miscarriages occurred during the first trimester, several also took place in the second trimester.
Finally, remember routine ingredients in vaccines include Thimerasol (or ethyl mercury), aluminum (to promote antibody response), formaldehyde (as a disinfectant), and ethylene glycol (anti-freeze), to name a few. Research has shown that, “If a person has had five consecutive flu shots, their chance of contracting Alzheimers disease is ten times higher than the non-vaccinated person.”
Dr. Matthew Carpenter of Transcend Dental Health is an Integrative Biologic Dentist and Board Certified Naturopathic Physician, offering natural oral care products incorporating essential oils, drill-free air abrasion, ozone therapy, non-surgical treatment of gum disease, safe mercury and root canal removal, and natural heavy metal elimination. (512) 255-3618, www.tdhtx.com