Friday, January 11, 2013

PHARMACY FRIDAY - Flu Shots and Decreased Immune Systems

What they aren't telling you is that when you get a flu shot, often times (most of the time) it temporarily weakens your immune system. Although you may begin to build immunities to the one influenza in the flu shot (sometimes more than one), it then leaves your body more susceptible to all the flu strains that AREN'T in the shot! It is a guessing game (educated guess, I am sure) each year as to exactly which strain of the flu is going to be out this year when they are making the flu vaccines, but if it is a different flu that is going around, or additional ones, taking the flu shot can actually INCREASE your chance of getting the flu, or anything else that is contagious for that matter.

Another thought of concern.... People that get their flu shots early may be more immune to the one specific flu that is going around, as they have had time to build the immunities before the flu season gets well under way, but those that run out and get it after the flu season has hit hard, may be making themselves more vulnerable to the flu. When you get the shot, your immune system is temporarily weakened, and it has to build up the immunities to the strain that is in the shot. If you are exposed to the flu right after you get the vaccine, but before you have time to build up the immunities to it, you may well catch the flu faster than if you had not received the shot. (Yes a doctor even warned me this years ago) Why does this happen? Because you just killed off your body's natural immunities to the flu and are waiting for the ones from the shot to kick in. 


It is my personal (and somewhat educated) opinion that, in MOST (maybe not all) cases, a strong healthy body, a good and proper diet, and ample rest on a daily basis, are the best defense for immunities to the flu.  Yes, I am currently battling the flu and I DID NOT get a flu shot this year. But it is, by far, the mildest case of the flu I have ever had and my body seems to be fighting it much better this time (I always get it, flu shot or not) and much faster. The following is a great article on the subject:

  Increased Flu Risk

  Natural Immune System

May you have a healthy flu season!!


10 comments:

  1. Hope that you feel better soon. I don't take the flu shot either. Every year I usually get a mild flu that lasts a few days, but I've had the flu twice where I thought I was going to die. I am a big fan of staying hydrated, too. 64 oz each day is the minimum, more is better.

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    1. Thank you! I am on the mend end, now. I am just kind of stuffy and super tired, now. You are so right about staying hydrated. Thanks for the reminder. I tend to forget that when I don't feel good, although I have drank quite a bit of hot tea. It didn't hit me nearly so badly this year as it has in the years that I DID get the flu shot and got the flu. But I know what you mean about those bad cases. You do start to wonder if you are going to make it. As I said, as I recall, my worst cases like that were when I did have the shot, once while I was pregnant.
      I hope things are going better with you. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I don't get a flu shot anymore. My last one was about 7 years ago. I too, believe a good healthy body and diet is a huge factor. We do go through more elderberry extract during the winter as well - a natural immune booster.

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    1. Kristina, I have been seeing some mention of Elderberry Extract and juice for various aspects of good health but have not tried it yet and need to do some reading up on it. We are trying to get some elderberry plants started. If you know of any links to really good information about elderberries improving health and the immune system, I would love for you to share them. Thanks!

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  3. the flu shot is mandated in hospitals and schools here in central pa...I am conflicted about it, even as a nurse! the amt of vaccines humans get these days is crazy....my last son would get a shot in every extremity at his 6 month well child check up!

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    1. Poor baby! That is so traumatizing and sounds oh so unhealthy!

      I can't believe they are mandating the flu shot in schools. That should be a personal choice. It is just one more argument for home schooling!

      You know, I have heard so many nurses and health care officials say they are conflicted about getting the flu shot, then I have seen others that are firmly adamant against getting it (even my dad was bitterly against the flu shot). When the health care workers become concerned and/or against a vaccine, the red flags really go up and people should start asking more questions and paying much closer attention to the 'whys.'
      Thank you so much for your input!

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  4. I did not get the flu shot this year, I did last winter the Dr talked me into it because I am the only care giver to my elderly Mom but the shot made my arm swell from the shoulder to my elbow and I had a nice size bulls eye. I could not sleep for three days it hurt so bad, so this year against my Dr's advise I did not get one,we have been careful if someone is sick we stay away, taking vitamins and our morning cup of hat water with teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and teaspoon of honey in it and so far so good :)

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    1. Country Life, that sounds horrible! (the swollen arm) It does make you wonder just what in the shot caused it. The last one I took swelled my airway and I nearly stopped breathing.

      I have been taking the apple cider vinegar and honey on occasion for a couple of things, but as you will read this week, I am taking it much more often now for indigestion, too. My dad took it pretty regularly for his arthritis and swore by it. I would love to know what you all are using it for on a daily basis and if there is a specific reason you take it in the morning.
      Thanks for your great added info!

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  5. http://health.yahoo.net/news/s/nm/insight-evidence-grows-for-narcolepsy-link-to-gsk-swine-flu-shot

    And yet another good reason NOT to get a flu shot! Hope the link works! Have a great day!

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    1. Mary, due to the large volume we get of Spam links, I don't have the filters set for links to work in comments, but thank you so much for posting it! It did print in you comment.

      For anyone that would like to view Mary's excellent link, highlight over it, copy it, then paste it into your browser. It is some excellent information you won't want to miss reading.

      Although we do not have our filters set for links in comments to work, we greatly appreciate the addition of all information to our posts! Please feel free to add your input in the same way that Mary did (no advertising, please). When I have some free time, I will be glad to go back and add the actual link to your input at the end of my blog post. Thank you!

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