by Ali Holden
4 weeks ago
The winter season with coughs, colds and flu, is generally a challenging time to keep healthy for both adults and children. Few of us will have missed how heavily the media and health authorities have pushed the public (including children) towards getting the ‘flu shot’ this season. On the other side of the debate, many opponents of vaccinations are claiming that the flu vaccine is, in fact, more dangerous than the flu! The vast amount of conflicting information can be difficult to sift through when trying to make healthcare decisions for ourselves or our loved ones.
To help move past the hype to the truth, here are some useful facts about the flu vaccine.
What are the options?
Whilst health authorities recommend flu vaccines, this is not a holistic or naturopathic approach, because there are of course, vast potential issues.
From a broader perspective, the problem with giving a flu vaccine is that it presupposes that if you have antibodies to a flu virus then you’ll be immune to contracting the flu. We have to be aware of the fact, however, that there are many flu viruses (many of which will not be included in the vaccine) and other respiratory viruses and even bacteria that are associated with flu-like illnesses.
In the winter when vitamin D levels drop (from reduced sunlight), when for many people, anti-oxidant levels also drop (less raw fruit and veg) and when there is more demand on the respiratory tissues of the body (to warm up the incoming cold air), then people become more susceptible to illness AND unless their susceptibility is addressed, knocking out one type of virus may just leave people susceptible to another.
What does the flu vaccine research tell us?
Flu vaccines, evidence of effectiveness.
Dr. Tom Jefferson, head of the Vaccine Field Group at the Cochrane Database Collaboration (the world’s leading producer of evidence-based medical reviews), voiced serious reservations about the data supporting influenza vaccine recommendations, stating that (1).
“The vast majority of the studies [are] deeply flawed. Rubbish is not a scientific term, but I think it’s the term that applies.”
Paradoxically, studies show the vaccine doesn’t prevent flu but, prevents death, by as much as 50% in the elderly. Tom Jefferson:
“For a vaccine to reduce mortality by 50 percent and up to 90 percent in some studies means it has to prevent deaths not just from influenza, but also from falls, fires, heart disease, strokes, and car accidents. That’s not a vaccine, that’s a miracle.”
How do we explain those inflated estimates of flu vaccine effectiveness?
Back in 2004, Lisa Jackson, a physician and senior investigator with the Group Health Research Centre in Seattle, found that there was a “healthy user effect”. She found that the people being vaccinated were simply healthier than those who were not and those people who were not vaccinated may have been bedridden or otherwise too ill to go and get a shot and more likely to get flu.
A 2014 Cochrane review examining the use of the flu vaccine in healthy adults, including pregnant women, concluded that:
[Influenza] vaccination shows no appreciable effect on working days lost or hospitalization.
Potential vaccine harm
We also need to look at the potential damage. One of the most significant problems with flu vaccines has been due to the aluminium content which is a known neurotoxin; there are dozens of studies that have implicated aluminium in the development of nervous system and brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. (2)
Dr Hugh Fundenburg, a biologist with nearly 850 papers in peer review journals, presented data at the 1997 International Vaccine Conference which shows that a person who takes 5 or more annual flu vaccine shots has increased the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease by a factor of 10 over the person who has had 2 or fewer flu shots.
More recently in 2017 Christopher Exley and associates at Keele University UK, conducted research showing extraordinarily high amounts of aluminium present in the brains of autistic patients. (3)
Further research also shows that problems due to aluminium in vaccines start with the policy of vaccinating pregnant women. (4)
More holistic options
One significant thing to recognise is the important function of our symptoms in dis-ease. For example, if we accumulate toxins in our body (and are unable to eliminate them through the normal channels), then our systems have vastly intelligent ways to eliminate those toxins, thereby creating symptoms of illness; coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, sweating etc. It is vitally important that we help our body with these processes and do our level best not just to suppress these symptoms with medication.
Suppression can lead to the internalisation of toxicity and can also lead to symptoms continuing, albeit at a lower level, so that it takes longer to overcome the illness.
How do we help the body, as opposed to suppressing it?
Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E etc. can help the body create efficient inflammatory reactions so that illnesses are overcome quickly. Vitamin D helps to mobilise the immune system generally, whilst fasting, increasing water intake and the naturopathic treatment of fever can be invaluable ways to help the body resolve issues effectively and efficiently. This reduces the likelihood of illnesses becoming chronic and/or affecting deeper parts of the body.
More insight into how to help the body in healing and the consequences of suppression is presented in the book by Trevor Gunn – The Science of Health and Healing.
If you would like to learn more about naturopathic approaches to healing and how to avoid chronic disease, please contact The Nutritional Healing Foundation.
1. Eric A. Biondi, MD, MS; C. Andrew Aligne, MD, MPH – Flu Vaccine for All: A Critical Look at the Evidence. (Medscape, December 21, 2015)
2. Rob, P.M. – The mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of the neurotoxicity associated with aluminium are numerous. (CNS Drugs. 2001; 15(9):691-9)
3. Mold Matthew, Umar Dorcas, King Andrew, Exley Christopher. Aluminium in brain tissue in autism. (Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtemb.2017.11.012)
4. Paul H. Patterson- Pregnancy, Immunity, Schizophrenia, and Autism –Engineering and Science No.3, 20