Let me just start off by saying this, I’m not a fan of vaccines – period! The flu shot is useless in my opinion and very dangerous. Remember that there are a ton of natural alternatives to boost your immune system. The last time I check, this was the seasonal flu, and not small pox or polio. I’ve received the flu shot only twice in my life and both time I was sick as a dog the entire season. I mean SICK!
I know, I know, there is a huge debate (or argument) over vaccines. People are on one side of the fence or the other. Is there a right or wrong side? That’s not for me or anyone else to say. You’ll have to gather the facts and make your own decision. So, lets dive right into some flu shot facts and side effects.
(Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant to offer medical advice.)
Flu vaccines for the 2018 to 2019 season.
The composition of the 2018-2019 flu shot will be slightly different from last season’s flu shot. Specifically, there will be a different strain of the H3N2 virus and a different strain of the influenza B virus in this season’s flu shot, compared with last season’s shot. According to the CDC, the 2018-2019 trivalent flu shot will contain the following strains of the flu virus:
- A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus — This is the H1N1 component that is the same as last year’s flu shot.
- A/Singapore/INFIMH-16–0019/2016 A(H3N2)-like virus — This is the H3N2 component that is different from last year’s flu shot.
- B/Colorado/06/2017-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus — This is the influenza B strain component that is the different from last year’s shot.
The CDC said it was making a change to the influenza B component of the vaccine because of an increase in circulation of influenza B strains that have “drifted” genetically, compared with earlier strains. The agency said it was making a change to the H3N2 component to address concerns that this strain of the virus changes somewhat when it’s grown in eggs during the manufacturing process. When the new H3N2 component is grown in eggs, it appears more similar to circulating flu viruses, compared with the strain that was used in last year’s vaccine.
The 2018-2019 quadrivalent vaccine will also contain a second influenza B strain called “B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus,” which was also included in last season’s quadrivalent vaccine.
When should you get a flu shot?
IF you’re thinking about getting a flu shot this season, you probably want to know when is the best time? Exactly when the flu season starts and ends is unpredictable, so health officials recommend that people get their flu shot in early fall, preferably by the end of October, the CDC says. Flu activity typically peaks in January or February. After vaccination, it takes a person about two weeks to build up immunity against the flu.
Flu vaccine effectiveness can also vary depending on the person being vaccinated — the vaccine tends to work best in healthy adults and older children, and less well in older adults. For instance, a 2013 study from the CDC found that the year’s flu vaccine was not very effective in adults ages 65 and over: Older people who got the vaccine were just as likely to visit the doctor for flu symptoms as those who did not get the vaccine. So then, why do doctors suggest older people get the flu shot each year? Well, let’s look a little further.
There are some studies that suggest the high-dose flu vaccine provides better protection for older adults. The high-dose flu vaccine contains four times the dose of the standard vaccine. A 2014 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the high-dose vaccine provides 24 percent more protection against the flu than the standard dose. We’ll get more into this in a minute.
What are the side effects?
According to the CDC, mild side effects from the flu shot include soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, low-grade fever and aches. Only about 1 percent to 2 percent of people who get a flu shot will have fever as a side effect.
Rare but serious side effects can occur, including allergic reactions. Symptoms of serious side effects include difficulty breathing, swelling around the eyes or lips, hives, racing heart, dizziness and high fever. If you experience serious side effects, you should seek medical care immediately, the CDC says.
For children, side effects from the flu nasal spray can include runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, muscle aches and fever. For adults, side effects include runny nose, headache, sore throat and cough. These side effects last a short time compared to the actual flu illness, the CDC says.
Can you get the flu from the flu shot?
“It’s a myth that you can get flu from the flu vaccine,” says Schaffner at the CDC. (Hahahaha, and I’ll just leave it there.)
The viruses in the flu shot are killed, so people cannot get the flu from a flu vaccine. However, because it takes about two weeks for people to build up immunity after they get the flu vaccine, some people may catch the flu shortly after their vaccinated, if they are exposed to the flu during this time period.
Who should not get a flu vaccine?
Children younger than 6 months cannot get a flu shot. (Then why is it okay for pregnant woman to get the flu shot?) Those who’ve had a severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past should generally not be vaccinated, the CDC says. You should not get the flu vaccine if you have a high fever. (You should wait until the fever is gone.) However, if you have minor illness, like a mild cold or a headache, you can still get a flu shot, Schaffner said. “The vaccine does perfectly well in those folks.”
An interesting read is called The Flu Vaccine: Why It’s Completely Useless & Potentially Dangerous and it’s worth taking the time to check it out.
Now, let’s talk about what are flu vaccines made of and why? Here are some of the “ingredients” in the flu shot.
The flu vaccine contains tiny amounts of the viruses it protects against. The presence of these viruses in the vaccine triggers the body’s natural defense mechanism to produce antibodies to fight them. This means that the body quickly recognizes them when exposed to the disease in “real life.” Different influenza viruses contained in a flu shot are:
- influenza A virus H1N1 called the Michigan strain
- Influenza A virus H3N2 called the Hong Kong strain
- one or two influenza B viruses called the Brisbane and Phuket strains
Traditional flu shots are trivalent (three-component) vaccines because they protect against three viruses: two influenza A viruses (H1N1 and H3N2), and one influenza B virus. A person can also get a quadrivalent (four-component) vaccine, which protects against an additional B virus.
(I’m just listing seven ingredients and why they are needed, the shot you get could vary.)
Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde’s role in the flu shot is to inactivate toxins from viruses and bacteria that may contaminate the vaccine during production, as well as the viruses naturally present in the vaccine.
Aluminum Salts – Aluminum salts are adjuvants, meaning that they help the body to develop a stronger immune response against the virus in the vaccine. Because they boost the body’s response, this means that the vaccine can contain smaller amounts of the virus.
Thimerosal – Thimerosal is a preservative that keeps the vaccine free from contamination by bacteria and fungi. Without this, the growth of bacteria and fungi is common when a syringe is in a multi-dose vial (a vial that contains more than one dose).
Chicken egg proteins – Proteins from chicken eggs help viruses to grow before they go into the vaccine.
Gelatin – Gelatin is present in the flu shot as a stabilizer. Stabilizers keep the vaccine effective from the point of production to the moment of use.
Antibiotics – Antibiotics are present in the flu vaccine to keep bacteria from growing during the production and storage of the vaccine.
Vaccines do not contain antibiotics that may cause severe reactions, such as penicillin. Instead, vaccines contain other forms of antibiotics, such as gentamicin or neomycin. Neomycin is also an ingredient in many topical medications, such as lotions, ointments, and eye drops.
YUMMY….. makes me want to run down to my local CVS and get my flu shot right now.
The CDC says that it is the best way to avoid getting the flu and spreading it to other people, many vaccines for flu and other viruses contain similar ingredients. They claim the purpose of each ingredient is to either make the vaccine effective or safe. Just remember – this is the government telling you this. Many studies over the years have shown that flu vaccines are safe, the CDC says. However, there are also thousands of studies contradicting that.
Lastly, if you want to read an article listing 10 Reasons Why Flu Shots Are More Dangerous Than a Flu! This is a good one. It is definitely money driven. But thankfully due in large part to the awareness of the dangers that vaccines pose, more and more medical professionals are starting to warn AGAINST the flu shot, rather than FOR the flu shot. Thank God for that!
Stay safe and healthy this season – NO FLU FOR YOU!
Resources and information used, credited and websites redirected to for use in this post:
MEDICAL NEWS TODAY: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321207.php