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Not sure whether this is the appropriate topic (or forum) to be asking this question, but as most of us are here because we've decided to take a proactive approach to optimizing our health, I am wondering - are you getting a flu shot? If not, why not?

I'm on the fence. I got one last year because I was having asthma symptoms and my GP recommended it, pointing out that I was at high risk for complications due to said asthma (since W30 it's GONE except for when I offroad... coincidence???? I think it's dairy). Also, I've had a couple of bad flu experiences with 104+ degree fever where I just wanted to die, and I know that even young and healthy people can and do die from the flu on occasion. So a little bit of fear in the mix as well.

That said, when I got the shot last year it made me feel pretty icky, and I know there are some risks (less likely to happen than the flu, but potentially serious nonetheless). So I'm curious what decisions others have made for themselves on the flu shot in general, if your change in diet has caused you to reconsider, whether you are waiting til after your Whole30 if deciding to get one, etc..

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I hope I'm not the only to say DON'T get the flu shot!

I will give you a brief summary of why. But please visit this website to read dozens of articles of why you shouldn't! This is not anectdotal but based on research.

http://search.mercol...ults.aspx?k=flu shots

How about this quote taken directly from the flu vaccine FLULAVAL's package insert (which you likely never see when getting the flu shot) for the 2009-2010 formula:

" FLULAVAL is an influenza virus vaccine indicated for active immunization of adults 18 years of age and older against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine.
This indication is based on immune response elicited by FLULAVAL, and there have been no controlled trials demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with FLULAVAL.â€

According to the CDC, the majority of flu vaccines contain thimerosal. Some contain as much as 25 mcg of mercury per dose. This means that it may contain more than 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency's safety limit for mercury.

In addition to mercury, flu vaccines also contain other toxic or hazardous ingredients like:

  • Aluminum -- a neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer's disease
  • Triton X-100 -- a detergent
  • Phenol (carbolic acid)
  • Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
  • Betapropiolactone - a disinfectant
  • Nonoxynol - used to kill or stop growth of STDs
  • Octoxinol 9 - a vaginal spermicide
  • Sodium phosphate

  • Serious reactions to the flu vaccine include, but are not limited to:

    • Life-threatening allergies to various ingredients

    • Guillain-Barre Syndrome (a severe paralytic disease that is fatal in about 1 in 20 cases)

    • Encephalitis (brain inflammation)

    • Neurological disorders

    • Thrombocytopenia (a serious blood disorder)

here are several other examples showing that flu vaccines do not work for any age group:
  • A study published in the October 2008 issue of the
    found that vaccinating young children against the flu had
    no impact
    on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons.

The researchers concluded that "significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting" examined
  • A 2008 study published in the
    found that influenza vaccination was NOT associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia in older people.

  • This supports an earlier study, published in

  • Research published in the
    also confirms that there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza and pneumonia in the elderly, despite the fact that vaccination coverage among the elderly has increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now.

  • In 2007, researchers with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious

Diseases, and the National Institutes of Health published this conclusion in the
: “
We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality,have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits
  • A large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the
    in 2006, found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo in children under 2. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.

I believe in making educated decisions. If you want to get a flu shot, educate yourself with a full understanding of what you are and are not going to achieve.

As for me and my house...

My children (3 & 7) have never had the flu shot and never had the flu.

I have not had a flu shot in my adult life, nor have I had the flu in my adult life.

My mother has gotten the flu every year for the past 8 years. She was hospitalized in two of those years. She has received a flu shot, by her doctor's orders every year for more than ten years.
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Personally - I have never had a flu shot in my life. But that's just me. I have heard this from a healthcare proffessional that the flu shot is meant to fight the most common threads of the flu. This means they make up antibodies of a already circulating flu virus. Meaning that a new strain could be (probably) on the loose that there is no vaccine for. This also means your body could and have possibly naturally produced the natural antibodies to the flu already for the vacine available. The vacine does not give you a vaccine for all viriuses running around, but only the most well-known strains.

Also the more healthy you eat, the easier it is for your body to fight the flu. That being said, am I against it? Not really. But you could say that I am not always a fan of modern medicine.....

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I stopped getting flu shots a few years ago. After discovering some autoimmune issues, and hearing from a specialist that she sees a lot of women with similar problems and almost all can pinpoint it to a vaccine of sorts (including myself), I decided never again. Of course, that could be coincidence, but ever since I quit teaching, I'm not nearly as sick each year and figure I'll pass on the shot. Never again!

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I get flu shots for myself and my kids (ages 8-6-4) every year. We remain healthier than most families with kids the same age. My youngest has been to the pediatrician only once in his life for a sick-child visit. We've had no adverse effects at all from the shots. As a general rule, I fear the diseases far more than the immunizations.

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I get flu shots for myself and my kids (ages 8-6-4) every year. We remain healthier than most families with kids the same age. My youngest has been to the pediatrician only once in his life for a sick-child visit. We've had no adverse effects at all from the shots.

You are "The Chief of Positive Thinking". :)

I mostly get the vaccine, but not always. I notice no adverse effects either, but who knows. I do sometimes just skip it because time gets away from me and before I know it, the season is over. I do know I have NEVER had the real honest to goodness flu. Neither has my 27 yo daughter who has refused the shot from the time she could. She has a needle phobia, but mostly just does not believe in it..she's a Chiropractic Assistant and they are all very natural (aka granola :) ) at her clinic. She gives blood every 56 days to slay that needle phobia dragon, so I know that's not it.

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I, too, am in a high risk category. I used to regularly take my flu shots every year until I started reading up about them. When I realised how many toxic substances were in them I began to really question it. I mean, if I wouldn't allow these substances in my food, why would I have them injected? I then realised that each year's vaccine is untried, untested and unproven. All the studies show no statistical difference in those who get flu between those vaccinated and those not. However the latest studies indicate that those vaccinated one year have a 'higher' risk of getting flu the following year.

I'm still offered them every year but I always refuse. I just wish I'd started doing that years ago. However this is something everyone has to decide for themselves but I would suggest reading up about it. DocIKY has posted some really good links.

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I'm a nurse. Obviously I believe in Western medicine, since I've dedicated my life to its practice. I get mine every year so I don't spread the flu to sick patients. I feel like it's my duty. I am steroid dependent and in a category that I could refuse flu shots and vaccines, but I don't refuse. I consider the risks of the shot less than the risks of driving to get it.

I've never had a complication. My kids have never had complications.

If you don't get the vaccine, I suggest good hand hygiene and staying away from crowds. Stay away from sick people and children. Any time you touch something in a public place, like a doorknob, make sure you clean your hands thoroughly. That's not intended as medical advice, just common sense.

I read an interesting study that Vitamin D helps with asthma and influenza transmission. You might like that article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/03/19/us-vitamind-study-idUSTRE62I3MK20100319 Don't take any supplements without consulting a physician, though.

Happy health no matter what you decide. It's not my body and I wouldn't judge you either way.

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As a doctor I would suggest that the vaccine is a good idea for those with high risk medical conditions or who are likely to come into large number of people who may be carrying the flu virus (ie medical staff, teachers etc).

It may be true that there has not been a decrease in pneumonia in the elderly - though the vaccine is not to prevent pneumonia but influenza - but that is largely because the vast majority of pneumonia is bacterial not viral.

There are no controlled trials of flu vaccines because each year the vaccine is manufactured to contain the 3 types of influenza virus which the WHO believes are likely to be most prevalent that year. There is no time to conduct the trial and still protect the population.

Vaccines in general have recieved a bad rap in the press recently (particularly with the measles and - now disproven - link to autism) and here in the UK we are seeing outbreaks of previously controlled diseases like measles and mumps due to parents avoiding vaccinating their children. Whilst this is a completely personal decision, not many of us remember the reason these vaccines were researched and invented in the first place - ie deaf, blind and brain damaged children.

That said, flu is flu and for most people is not life threatening. If you are one of the small number for whom it COULD be life threatening then consider this issue carefully. The vaccine may not completely prevent one catching the virus but on-board immunity will prevent it being as bad as it could have been. I have seen young people die of flu complications in ITU and it is sad if their lives could have been saved by a simple injection.

Hopefully because you care about your diet and are eating well your immune system will be in good shape anyway. The decision is yours and I hope this helps a little.

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I used to not get the flu shot. Then dh's best friend died from flu complications at age 28. Then i started getting them again. My kids dont get them. My youngest has never had a vaccine and never will. My oldest has autism and did get some early in his life but no longer gets any vaccines. I no longer get the flu shot. I think our friends death just shocked me, honestly.


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My doctor said I'm what she considers "high risk" and should get the flu shot. I've gotten the shot every year for the past few years, and I get sick for about 2-3 days. I know my immune system is a wreck, and I'm hoping once I get it in better shape with Whole30 and AIP so I'm not "high risk." I'd rather not take the shot, but as of now, my option seems to be 2-3 days of post flu shot illness or a week of the flu.

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  • 1 year later...


I would be so very thankful to anyone who has any guidance, thoughts, or wording to help me with a situation.  I work at a Hospital and just this year they enforced a policy around mandatory flu shots.  To say the very least, I am beside myself with this new policy because I very passionately do NOT want to get one.  I am a very healthy 41 year old woman who understands all the fundamentals on how to keep myself healthy.  I have not taken the vaccine yet, and am on the "list" of "so far non-compliant" here at the hospital.  I am seriously struggling with this.  Like probably more so than anything in my life in a professional work atmosphere around policy.  I don't know the specific science or other reasoning behind why NOT to get one, I just know I absolutely do not want this in my body.  


I have the Infection Preventionist within my organization asking me weekly when I will be getting mine.  I told her several times that I will be waiting until the very last to do it, thinking I can find a loop hole somewhere. She never asks why.  In order to sign the Declination of Influenze Vaccination, "Only evidence-based medical contraindication against seasonal influenza vaccination confirmed by a licensed

health care provider will be accepted as an exception to the mandatory influenza vaccination policy."  I certainly do not fall into this category.  I informed the Infection Preventionist today that I do not want to come across as not a team player or be difficult to work with, but that it was not due to lack of education (like being scared I will actually get the flu from the vaccination), but that it was due to EDUCATION as to why I don't want one.  She came back to me indicating that this policy is not really to protect me.  By working in this facility I am a Healthcare worker even if I don't do direct patient care (I don't - I am in Marketing but still see patients in the halls).  But, I do walk the halls and breathe the same air.  She indicated that this was about doing everything we can to protect the vulnerable people we serve.  


Please help me with your thoughts and idea.  What would you do?  What would you say in response to the IP?


Thank you kindly!

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Summer this is a tough call. 

If its truly mandatory in order to keep your job then you may have a choice to make. 

I wholly sympathize with you as I don't like or get flu shots either for a variety of reasons. 

It sounds like there is no "out" at all, unless you can get a Dr on your side.

If it was only to protect you, then you could perhaps have convinced them to let you sign a waiver. 

But since they're saying its to protect the patients...you're kinda caught right there. 

I wish you luck with a tough decision my friend. 

If it were me I think I'd be trying to sweet talk my PCP into writing me some sort of excusal...

Worst case, just so you know you tried your best, can you present them with all the evidence you've collected against it, and say it goes against your personal health preferences? 

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My sis is required by to have the flu shot, hepatitis series, others for her position.  If she didn't....there's someone standing in line ready to take her place.  Mandatory.  :wacko: 


This dilemma is similar to those who choose to sign waivers for their school children.  It upsets the other parents who feel they're carrying the burden for those who do not.  There is no evenly balanced solution here.

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Not all flu shots are the same, but if you are allergic to eggs or chickens, ask whether a shot is safe for you, some do carry warnings, but those supplying the shots do not always take them seriously.


Flu shots do provide some level of protection from other exotic flus like bird flu and swine flu, so if you are in a special risk category, something to consider.


I've found as my immune system picks up, I am better equipped to fight bugs on my own, but there were times I really needed that flu shot :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Deb, MeadowLily, praxisproject,


Many thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it!  I think at this point, there is no option to opt out.  I am so beyond bothered with this situation, and I don't see an out for me.  Below are the only "outs", and I don't fit into any of them.  The funny thing is, my PCP is my step-dad, and he believes in the flu shot.  I did send him a note asking him if he knew any "crooks" I could pay off to write me an OUT (since I know he would NEVER do it).  I was kidding of course....  :)


So dang disappointing.  


V. Approved Contraindications to Influenza Vaccination: 
Any person declining vaccine must have one of the valid contraindications, as listed below. 
A. Persons with severe (life threatening) allergies to eggs or to other components of the influenza 
vaccine. Documentation from a licensed healthcare provider is required. (see section VI for 
Verification of Contraindications)
B. A history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome within six weeks following a previous dose of influenza 
vaccine is considered a precaution for use of influenza vaccines by the CDC. Documentation is 
required from a licensed healthcare provider. 
C. Additional contraindications may exist if the live attenuated influenza vaccination (LAIV) is 
offered. Medical contraindications against LAIV include: 
Adults 50 years of age or older 
Pregnant women 
Persons with Asthma 
Adults who have immunosuppression (including immunosuppression caused by HIV or 
Adults and children who have chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular (except isolated hypertension), 
renal, hepatic, neurologic/neuromuscular, hematologic or metabolic disorders 
D. If a person has a contraindication, but still desires to get the influenza vaccine, they should 
discuss it with their primary licensed healthcare provider. If the primary licensed healthcare 9/10/14 Page 3 of 4 
provider administers the influenza vaccination, the staff member must provide documentation of
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I work in a field where I have to get a flu shot too. I can't say no to any vaccination they decide we need (which is why I've now had I think 4 anthrax boosters and smallpox vaccinations...). I do find it extremely interesting that they give you all the flu mist )the live attenuated virus) if you work in health care, since that one can shed for up to 3 weeks after you get it and get others around you sick (patients in the hospital, for instance).


When I was first approached about getting the mist this year, I was sick to the point of no voice and couldn't breathe through my nose at all (first time I've been thankful for that). I got a one month postponement in my file. I do see a friend who has an infant several times a week, so I'm going to check that I AM around an infant on my screening form and hope that I can get the actual SHOT as opposed to the mist. I get sick with the live virus for a couple of days, but not with the dead virus shot.

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When I was active duty the shot was mandatory and it never failed to get me sick.. since I've been retired I refused the shot even though I'm high risk.  This year I was talked into flu and Pneumonia shots.  For about two weeks felt like utter crap and hope that now I won't have to deal with them for another year.  

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I've worked in the medical field since end of 2005 and I have fibromyalgia. I am currently working in a hospital. It is manditory for us to get the flu shot. I have never gotten sick from it. Actually, I think it has helped me when I have contracted the flu. I feel I get better a lot quicker. It does however create a painful area on my arm that I rub and rub to help the vaccine spread out. I've been getting the shot every year since 2006 and no issues. I do ask for the latex free kinda (I am highly senstive/allergic to latex).

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I've worked in the medical field since end of 2005 and I have fibromyalgia. I am currently working in a hospital. It is manditory for us to get the flu shot. I have never gotten sick from it. Actually, I think it has helped me when I have contracted the flu. I feel I get better a lot quicker. It does however create a painful area on my arm that I rub and rub to help the vaccine spread out. I've been getting the shot every year since 2006 and no issues. I do ask for the latex free kinda (I am highly senstive/allergic to latex).



Latex free kind?  I have not heard of this... I am sensitive to Latex as well.  

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