Author: Christin Sander, Health Writer
Are flu vaccines truly necessary? Are they guaranteed to work? The answer to both of these questions is no. Flu vaccines may prevent the flu, but they aren't guaranteed. There are also questionable additives placed in the vaccines and potential side effects that range from mild to severe.
Every year a new flu vaccine is produced that is effective against three types of viruses. The strains included are based on an analysis of the strains from the previous flu season. The vaccine is developed to protect against the top 3 strains research indicates will be the most prevalent in the coming season. Flu viruses are constantly changing and mutating, so there is no way to be absolutely certain that the strains chosen are the ones that may infect you.
There are two types of flu vaccines commonly used: a shot and a nasal spray. The shot contains an inactivated virus and the nasal spray has a weakened live virus. The premise behind both is that they help your body develop antibodies to protect against infection approximately two weeks after vaccination.
Flu vaccines contain a number of potentially toxic additives, including thimerosal, ethylene glycol and formaldehyde. Thimerosal is a preservative that is high in mercury content – a toxic heavy metal. Ethylene glycol is the primary active ingredient in antifreeze. Formaldehyde is a well-known preservative and disinfectant used for embalming bodies. Most people would not knowingly inject their body with any of these substances, yet they are routinely used in vaccinations.
Flu Vaccine Side Effects
Although typically mild, in some cases vaccine side effects mimic the flu and create serious discomfort. The side effects are often flu-like themselves, and include muscle aches, weakness, low-grade fever, headache and sore throat.
Flu vaccines have been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disease that causes muscle weakness, nerve damage, and can even lead to paralysis. In 1976, vaccinations for the swine flu resulted in hundreds of paralysis victims and many deaths. More recently, 800 children in Europe developed narcolepsy, an incurable sleep disorder, after receiving flu vaccinations during the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control also has a listing of people who should not be vaccinated. This list includes people with chicken egg allergies, children under 6 months old, those who have had Guillain-Barré syndrome or a previous severe reactions to flu vaccines, and people who currently have an illness with fever.
With all the potential risks and no guarantee of its effectiveness, many seek natural alternatives to help boost their immunity and protect against the flu. There are many ways to boost the immune system naturally, including a healthy diet, exercise, and good hygiene practices. There are also homeopathic and herbal remedies that help support the immune system naturally without side effects.
BaniFlu is a homeopathic alternative to the flu shot that provides seasonal protection from the flu. It is a formulation of the current year's vaccine combined with homeopathic ingredients that support immune system function. It increases the body's ability to fight against germs and also discourages secondary complications.