Is the flu vaccine right for you? Having taken flu vaccine for years without questions, I’m no longer sure it’s in my best interest and stopped; what’s really in it and does it really ward off flu? Seriously! Read this post and make your own informed choice about having flu shots or not!
Pro Influenza (flu jab) : Watch this pro-flu vaccine video from Public Health England. It states why you need to have your yearly flu Jab.
Risks and benefits of the flu vaccine: This video by Khan Academy illustrates some of the risks and benefits of getting the flu jab.
To have it or not to have it?!
Against Flu Vaccine (jab)
One of the vocal health professional against flu vaccines include Dr Mercola. On youtube, he explains why he’s not in favour of flu vaccines. Due to my personal experience with the flu vaccine of 2018, I am starting to agree with him!
Here’s why I’m contemplating not having the flu shot any more -Previously, I hardly got flu. It used to be a family joke. Every one in my family would be down with the flu. Except for myself.
Then, I began to get my flu jab every year after being diagnosed with asthma. And every time I had the flu jab I would be ill for about a week. I know it’s normal to have flu-like symptoms after getting a flu shot. But really?!
Some people say what you get after getting a flu shot is just a reaction to the vaccine. Not even a mild case of flu. Maybe for some people. Me, I had flu each time I had the flu vaccine!
Also, over the years, I noticed I got the flu anyway, whether I had taken the vaccine or not.
So, why should I continue to take it? I’m not sure I will be taking it next flu season!
Whether the flu I episodes I had after getting the flu shots every year would have been worse had I not had them or not, is hard for me to say. Maybe yes. Maybe no.
What are the ingredients in flu shots 2018 -2019?
The main ingredients would be the live variants of the flu vaccine recommended for this year:
- A live quadrivalent vaccine (meant to protect against 4 strains of flu-causing viruses)
- A quadrivalent injectable vaccine
- An adjuvanted trivalent (meant to offer protection against 3 strains)
Who are eligible for the 3 types of flu vaccine?
•The quadrivalent live vaccine nasal spray – Contains weakened flu virus.
This is for eligible children and young people aged between two to seventeen years.
•The quadrivalent flu vaccine injection -For adults aged eighteen and over but less than sixty-five, who are at increased risk of getting flu as a result of underlying health conditions.
Also for children aged six months and above in an eligible group, who cannot receive the live vaccine.
•An adjuvanted trivalent injectable vaccine – This vaccine is formulated with killed influenza virus. Formulating it with live virus (adjuvanted) helps to elicit a strong immune response from the body when exposed to the virus.
For people sixty-five years and over; this type
Other materials in flu vaccine
- Sodium chloride -A salt compound found in the body and in cooking salt
- Sodium deoxycholate – emulsifying agent
- Sucrose (another name for sugar)
- Thimerosal or thiomersal- A mercury metal, used to prevent contamination in multi-dose vials.
- A dash of formaldehyd – To make the vaccine soluble into the blood stream
- Octylphenol ethoxylate – A gelatin to keep flu shot stable in storage. Also, a preservative to protect the vaccine from bacteria and fungi
Ways to protect yourself against the flu. Again, your lifestyle is of great importance. Healthy Lifestyle would serve as a form of protection. One function of a healthy lifestyle is to strengthen your body immune system .
Other ways to protect yourself against the flu virus
- Eating regular, well balanced meals
- Getting enough sleep
- Having regular exercise
- Protecting yourself from long periods of high stress levels
- Having regular health checks
- Having a balanced life/work relationship
•Getting more sunshine exposure: Unfortunately, people in the northern hemisphere don’t get enough of sunshine.
•Consider vitamin supplements– Some experts are advising higher levels of vitamin D supplements, as high as 2000IU per day (children); and between 5000 IU – 10000IU (adults).
•Regular vitamin D blood checks: A blood check to determine current blood level of Vitamin D, especially in the autumn, winter and springtime.
This will help your physician determine not just your actual level but also work out the correct dose you need of vitamin D supplement you require.
You want to get it right. About 15 nanogram/millilitre is being advised as good.
Ultra Violet Radiation and Safe tanning beds have been suggested as ways to treat vitamin D deficiency. If you do decide to use them, be sure to follow the manufacturers’ manuals.
Thank you for reading this post. I hope that it helps you to make an informed decision about taking the yearly flu vaccine that’s being given to prevent flu.
Do get in touch with questions about this article or any other, where you think I may be of help.
To your optimum well-being,
Cecilia Scheyerle, MPharm
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Resources for more information on Influenza (flu) vaccine