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To get the flu shot, or not to get the flu shot? That is the question.

by Nicole Nutter

giant flu shotIf you're a parent, we know how concerned you are about your child?s health. Parents often worry about the health risks of vaccines, especially for kids under the age of 5. Though many immunizations are required in order for your child to attend school, the flu vaccine isn't one of them. The United Kingdom (UK) has made some big decisions regarding the flu shot, and although your local pharmacy may post ads encouraging that everyone get the flu vaccine, the UK feels differently.

In an article titled, UK Finally Makes Smart Decision to Protect Children Why Doesn't the US? written by Dr. Joseph Mercola, he explains the dangers of the flu shot. Recently, UK ministers and senior government advisors ruled against the flu vaccine for children younger than 5. In 2010, the immunization program for children 6 months to 5 years old was canceled and they have decided to continue with this no-flu-shot plan for said age group. Dr. Mercola writes, This was a wise government decision because flu shots are typically ineffective and can be risky for many people, including children, the elderly and virtually every age group in between.?

So why did the UK feel this decision was for the best? Well, in a study conducted by one of the world's leading immunologists, Hugh Fudenberg, M.D. , it was found that any individual who received three or more flu vaccines between the years 1970 and 1980 has 10 times the chance of getting Alzheimer?s Disease than those who only had two or less. The Top News Website goes into more detail about why Dr. Fudenberg is opposed to giving the vaccine in their article World's Leading Immunologist Condemned Flu Vaccination. They explain that Fudenberg recommended avoiding the flu shot because it doesn't provide much benefit, but it can cause damage. "This is because of the aluminum and mercury, which almost every flu vaccine contains. The gradual accumulation of aluminum and mercury in the brain leads to cognitive dysfunction, said Fudenberg. He went on to say that there are many toxic chemicals in the flu vaccine, so instead of boosting the immune system as intended the shot actually weakens it. Unbeknownst to many, this year's seasonal flu shot is what they call a combination vaccine, meaning that not only does it contain two regular strains of influenza, it also contains the new H1N1, or swine flu vaccine. The option of taking the seasonal and swine flu vaccines separately is not available.

child getting flu shotAll of this can be extremely off-putting, especially if as a parent you were on the fence about the flu shot in the first place. In the United States, doctors have insisted for several years that all children age 6 months to 18 years get an annual flu shot. Now, these recommendations have been directed toward everyone over the age of 6 months, and they're saying that whether you are at a low risk or high risk of contracting influenza you should be getting the flu shot every year. In order for you to make healthy and educated decisions in regards to yourself or your family receiving the flu vaccine, you need to be aware of some of the health concerns.

Dr. Mercola added that we aren't positive of what receiving a flu shot annually for your entire life could or will do to your immune system. Children up to the age of 6 are subjected to a whopping 48 doses of 14 different vaccines. Mercola said that now, health officials have leapt ahead with recommendations of flu shots for all, without safety studies, so by getting a flu shot, you are effectively offering yourself, or your child, up as a laboratory rat. In other words, YOU are the safety study! Even unborn babies could be at risk, since pregnant women are heavily urged to get the shot. The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) reports:

    "Influenza vaccines are Category C drugs, which means that animal reproduction studies have not been conducted and it is not known whether these vaccines can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or if they can affect reproduction capacity."

With so many negative warnings, why are some governments taking a stand against the vaccine while America seems strongly in favor of it? According to Vaccine Truth, it may be that the UK has learned a valuable lesson. Instead of promoting vaccination, they have brought back last year's Swine Flu ads with the added caption of Catch it, Bin it, Kill it. The message is essentially that good hygiene is the best way to combat the flu. Australia seems to be on the same page as the UK in regards to stopping flu vaccination of children under 5. During the 2010/2011 flu season, Australia suspended the use of the combination vaccine for those younger than 5 due to the shockingly high number of reports that the children were suffering from high fevers, vomiting and febrile convulsions. America has taken a much different stance on the matter.

new jersey health lawA law passed in New Jersey requires that any child in daycare or pre-school receive an annual flu shot. Think that since you're an adult you have more of a choice? Wrong. It's said that some health care workers in the United States who have refused the shot have been terminated. For Dr. Mercola, this is a red flag. He said, this can only be viewed as the prelude to a much larger campaign that, in the future, may end up dictating whether you will be allowed to enter a college or university to get higher education, get a job, or even travel.Simply put, this trend of mandating annual influenza vaccinations must be resisted and stopped. So why is America so insistent on the administration of these shots?

Section 2524 of the health care reform bill includes a program called No Child Left Unimmunized Against Influenza, which is designed to give vaccines to all children from 5 to 19, consistent with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control on Immunization Practices. The program is currently voluntary, but during the swine flu outbreak, some children were vaccinated accidentally, without parental consent. Organic Health Advisor reported that these instances occurred in states like New York, Ohio, and Kentucky, just to name a few. There were multiple reports that young children and even toddlers were being given the nasal mist swine flu vaccine mistakenly, when parents had specified no on permission slips regarding the vaccine, and in Brooklyn, New York a 6 year old girl with epilepsy was given the H1N1 vaccine sans permission, resulting in her hospitalization.

All things considered, Dr. Mercola reiterated that everyone should be well informed about the potential risks before they, or their children, receive a vaccine. He offered nine vaccine-alternative ways to stay flu-free:

    1. Optimize your vitamin D levels. It was revealed that when a study in Japan had given a group of children vitamin D3, they were 53 percent less likely to catch influenza.
    2. Avoid processed foods and sugar , as sugar is known to decrease functionality of the immune system.
    3. Get the proper amount of sleep. It is more difficult to fight off viruses, like the flu, if your body is fatigued.
    4. Manage stress effectively. High stress levels can have an impact on both your mental and physical health. There are several psychological tools as well as natural supplements which can help to relieve stress.
    5. Exercise regularly. Increased circulation and blood flow allow the components of your immune system to be better circulated throughout your body as well.
    6. Make sure healthy and essential fats are a part of your diet. Having a healthy and balanced diet is crucial in maintaining good health. Fish oil is a good example of a supplement that can help provide you with the essential fats (such as the omega-3) that your body needs.
    7. Wash your hands often. This decreases the likelihood of spreading a virus to your mouth or nose, as well as to others.
    8. Eat garlic on a regular basis. If you hate garlic don?t worry, this isn?t recommended for everyone, especially if you are allergic. For those that don?t mind it, garlic works against bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in the body in the same way that a broad-spectrum antibiotic does.
    9. Avoid visiting hospitals. Hospitals are one of the likeliest places you could be exposed to the flu. Unless you?re having an emergency try to steer clear of hospitals, as infections of all kinds are present there.

These things and other healthy choices can help you avoid many illnesses. Like the UK, many don't think an annual flu shot necessary, and support the idea that the best way to avoid it is good hygiene. Do you believe the flu vaccine to be more effective? Let us know!

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