By Jessica German
Q: I have heard you say that there are problems with the flu vaccine. We are coming up on that season. What are the problems, and do you have a solution to the prevention of the flu?
A: This is a controversial subject on which some of my medical colleagues and I do not agree. I have problems with the flu vaccine on many levels. Although the concept of vaccination is valid, the execution is often flawed. I believe the flu vaccination falls in the flawed category. We assume that if we collect flu viruses from animal sources on the other side of the world in the year 2004, we can grow them and vaccinate people in 2005 to prevent an "epidemic." Viruses constantly change; therefore, it is difficult for me to see this as logical. It is also interesting to note that the flu vaccination does not go through the testing required of other drugs and is not proven safe or effective.
Last year, there was a campaign urging people to get a flu shot. The vaccination was sold using the fear of death -- the ultimate sales manipulation. In the end, the vaccination did not work. It was reported that the flu vaccine did not work because it did not exactly match the virus causing the illness. This is exactly my point.
This year, there is the promise of 100 million doses of the flu vaccine. The focus is on high-risk individuals, including infants, toddlers, pregnant women, anyone older than 50 and people with chronic health problems. Individuals with chronic health problems usually have a compromised immune system, which is what makes them a high-risk individual. Infants and toddlers do not have a fully developed immune system, which raises other questions that may not have an exact answer. If an immune system is not developed or is compromised, can the individual adequately respond to a vaccine?
The flu vaccination is a health care choice. I personally use the homeopathic "Influenza 1M" (dosed orally) monthly as a preventative for myself and my family. Although there is no scientific way to determine its effectiveness, the same is true for the vaccine. You only know it did not work if you get sick.
Your immune function is a complex system that is affected by your overall wellness, which includes your diet, exercise and supplementation, as well as your overall health picture. The best approach to health is an overall wellness approach.