Flu Shot Frenzy
by Michael Braunstein
It’s that time of year again. The first cold snap and people start thinking “flu season.” Doesn’t it seem that “flu season” is longer than ever? I mean, I saw ads and store signs for flu shots back in July. I’ve always been skeptical when products need so much marketing to get people to buy them. And like almost everything you invest your money, time and health in, isn’t a little background information a good idea?
Though a threat on the horizon, at present our government does not make us submit to the flu vaccine under penalty of police enforcement. That means for most of us, we still have a choice. But many businesses and industries coerce employees as a condition to work. And peer “flu shot shaming” is a real thing. Allow me to present some ideas and some data that may help the reader make an informed decision.
First, remember I’m no doc and don’t want to be. Listed below are opinions, theories and some documented data that may enlighten. Don’t be silly and construe them as medical advice. First, let’s start with some data that Big Pharma would rather you don’t know.
“Is the flu vaccine effective?” Observation: No
Had this discussion with a friend yesterday at a local coffee shop. Would you buy a cup of coffee that, when it is served to you is only coffee ten percent of the time? Or even only 50 percent? You pay for a cup of coffee; get a cup and it’s fifty-fifty whether it’s coffee or just hot water. “Well,” the barista says, “our coffee maker is effective only half the time.” Well, that’s kind of like the flu shot. Here are some numbers on flu shot effectiveness from the government agency Center for Disease Control (CDC) itself. 2004 season? 10 percent effective. 2005 season? 21 percent. 2014 a whopping 19 percent. From 2004 to 2016 only four times did the effectiveness of the flu shot exceed 50/50 and even then, never more than 60 percent. Last year’s (2018-19) season it was only 29 percent effective. Now I ask you, what other industry could get away with selling a product that worked ten percent of the time? Or even 60 percent? Would you buy a car that started only half the time? My personal opinion is that it is even much less effective than the numbers say.
“But the flu can kill you. It’s worth taking it.” Observation: the media lies (or at least misleads.) The first part of that assumption is barely true. Influenza is not a particularly deadly disease. The media throws around huge numbers and they are just plain false. The media (and previously, government agencies looked the other way) likes to tout 36,000 or so die from the flu each year. No, they do not. The media numbers have always been inflated because they include virtually every respiratory illness that causes death, including the leading one, pneumonia. To this day, the fear mongers lump pneumonia in with flu. Here are some actual numbers of Americans who died from flu in recent years: In 1979, 604 died from flu. In 1987, 632 died from flu. In 1995, only 606 Americans died from the flu. In 2004, only 1600 died from flu even though the vaccine was only 10 percent effective. Now, bear in mind, they want you to take the flu shot. They admit it’s barely effective against the flu and it does nothing to prevent pneumonia.
The theory is flawed. The idea behind the flu shot, in simple terms and to my understanding, is that it activates the antibodies of the immune system against a particular strain of influenza. But the flu vaccine is injected straight into the blood. Their theory completely overlooks the fact that our immune system is a holistic and far-reaching system. Our first line of defense against any airborne disease like the flu includes the defenders in the trenches. That’s the skin and its associated flora. Then the nasal membranes and mucus membranes. There are all sorts of defenses that are totally bypassed by any stimulation from a vaccine. Those systems are left on their own (can you say, “Benghazi”?) How many other parts of the immune system are left unaided by this strange chemical insult to the body known as the “flu shot”?
“What’s the harm?” “It’s safe,” they say. Well, first off, like most vaccines, it’s presented based on theory and not a whole lot of empirical data. Further, the claim that it’s safe is a bit of a chin-scratcher. There are plenty of qualified people who might argue that. Case in point: “In October 2009, the US National Institutes of Health produced a promotional YouTube video featuring Anthony Fauci, Federal Infectious Disease Czar, urging US citizens to get vaccinated against the H1N1 influenza. Fauci stressed the vaccine’s safety: “the track record for serious adverse events is very good. It’s very, very, very rare that you ever see anything that’s associated with the vaccine that’s a serious event.” Months later, Australia suspended its influenza vaccination program in under five year olds after many (one in every 110 vaccinated) children had febrile convulsions after vaccination. Another serious reaction to influenza vaccines — and also unexpected —occurred in Sweden and Finland, where H1N1 influenza vaccines were associated with a spike in cases of narcolepsy among adolescents…vaccinated. Subsequent investigations by governmental and non-governmental researchers confirmed the vaccine’s role in these serious events.” (Peter Doshi)
And finally… The claim that a person has a right to their own body (Cf. “women’s healthcare rights”) should stand when it comes to potentially dangerous and/or ineffective medical interventions. By advocates’ own logic, the flu shot should be totally voluntary. That is, if the vaccine protects you from the flu and you choose to get the shot, why should you care if someone else does not get the flu shot? (See number one above, I guess.) Just think it through.
Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit HeartlandHealing.com.