While your health insurance carrier, the media and local pharmacy may encourage you to “get your shot while you shop”, new research in the Journal of Virology found that the seasonal flu vaccine may weaken children’s immune systems and potentially increase their chances of catching other influenza viruses. However, millions of people will make the horrible “Immune System Mistake” of getting the vaccine this year. Here is what you need to know about flu vaccinations:

Flu Vaccine Pros:

  • The flu vaccine can’t give you the flu. The vaccine consists of a seriously weakened form of the flu virus, which cannot give you influenza.
  • This year’s shot (2017) has three times the protection. This year’s vaccine has more than the H1N1 virus strain; it also has two other strains that identify as possible contaminants for us here in the Northern hemisphere. Sounds promising, right?
  • You don’t have to get an injection. There’s a nasal spray that’s just as effective as the vaccine injection. The best part? It’s available to healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49!
  • If you’re employed, they’re often free. Many companies offer free flu shots. In fact, according to Reuters, 79 percent of employers with consumer-driven health plans offer free flu shots.
  • Getting it early will keep you at the office. Why use sick days with the flu when you could avoid getting it altogether?

Flu Vaccine Cons:

  • It may not be safe for you. If you are allergic to eggs, then the flu shot could be no-go for you. Why’s that? The vaccine is cultivated inside of chicken eggs.
  • Being flu-free isn’t a guarantee. I know, it’s a sucky thing. However, just because you get the flu shot doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
  • Protection isn’t immediate. In fact, the vaccine actually takes about two weeks to really kick in.
  • The shot contains some mercury. A seasonal flu shot also has small amounts of mercury added as a preservative. Mercury has a link to certain brain and nerve disorders. That fact alone may make those on-the-fence about getting the shot uneasy.
  • There can be side effects. Some people develop symptoms ranging from soreness and swelling at the area of injection to low-grade fever and achiness. The good news? Generally these clear up within a day or two.

Your best chance to reduce your risk of catching the flu this season is to follow my top recommendations to boost your immune system. To schedule an appointment with Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner & Nutritionist Isabelle Simon, call 727-239-9443.