Jefferson once said “Health is worth more than learning”. I would adjust that statement to include “Learning how to stay healthy is some of the most important learning you can ever achieve” especially in this day and age of processed foods, leaching plastic containers, environmental toxins, GMO foods, a drug for everything and vaccines on every corner.
With that said it’s that time of year again; Walgreens, Rite Aid and your local grocery store have teamed up to offer you the “flu shot” your physician recommends. As a health care professional, I am more than a little ambivalent about flu vaccines. I am firmly in favor of vaccines for things like polio, whooping cough and diphtheria, diseases that killed many in times past. I start to waver when we move into the realm of vaccines for the usual childhood diseases such as mumps and measles. When we start talking about vaccines to prevent human papilloma virus (HPV), my stance is firm – don’t.
What rouses my anxiety about flu is that we may be creating the very conditions we are trying to prevent. This fascinating study about vaccination for avian influenza indicates that unless a vaccination program is managed perfectly – and even if it is, which we all know is unlikely – if a vaccination-resistant strain emerges, vaccination actually makes the epidemic worse.
Newer research seems to be pointing to the fact that vaccinations aren’t all they are made out to be. According to Dr. Blaylock “American citizens get more vaccinations than the people in any other country in the world, and there is growing evidence that we are paying a heavy price for this. Unfortunately, both the medical profession and the general public are being inundated with propaganda about the benefits of, safety of, and need for more vaccines. Yet when one looks objectively at the science, it’s a completely different story.” Most of the “alternative” Doctors, Blaylock, Wright, Douglass, Mercola, etc, have a much different view of vaccinations and their worth or dangers.
The concept of resistant organisms should be familiar to many. Antibiotics given indiscriminately to humans for things like the common cold and used in small doses in animals such as beef, pork and chickens because of confinement operations, created bacteria that could not be killed by the existing antibiotics. So newer and more toxic antibiotics were developed, and eventually, the newer and more toxic stuff had to be used in the animals because the old drugs couldn’t do the job and the scenario just goes on exponentially. Worming medicines for animals must now be rotated because of resistant parasites – each time we use a wormer, we select for increasingly resistant parasites (I don’t routinely worm my animals, by the way).
So where do all these wonderful antibiotics end up? You are eating them, folks. If your food eats them, so do you. I have a friend whose daughter had an enlarged kidney from birth until about 2 years old. It was discovered she was allergic to antibiotics. She wasn’t on any at the time, but her food was. Her family started buying organic/antibiotic-hormone free meats and the problem went away.
No antibiotic, wormer or flu vaccine is 100% effective. In fact, flu vaccines range from 30% to 80% effectiveness depending on the age, the health status, and the living situation of the person vaccinated (so say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). And there’s some research that reports there is no evidence the flu vaccine has prevented death from hospitalization or even hospitalization from flu-related complications. Not to mention that flu vaccines had little effect on days lost from work for flu-related illnesses.
Now, I don’t mean to deny the severity of some viral infections (flu is a virus), and I’ve seen some really nasty ones in my time. I’m just not sure vaccinations are the best way to go about it. I wonder what would happen if we put more effort into boosting people’s immune systems with things like improved diets, decreasing exposure to pollutants, herbal and vitamin support.
In the end, it should be your choice whether or not you want a shot. Someone you don’t know and didn’t elect, who sits first on the board of Big Food/ Pharma then on the FDA/USDA, is not who you want making that decision for you.
(Joint post by Ell and Bee)