As winter approaches, many students are eagerly flooding the pharmacy to get their flu shots. Few people, however, give enough thought to the negative aspects of the shot.
Besides causing side effects like fever, headache and coughing – symptoms recipients of the shot hope to avoid in the first place – the influenza vaccine also contains many dangerous chemicals.
Trace amounts of mercury, formaldehyde and aluminum, have all appeared in some types of the flu shot—toxins linked to developmental and behavioral disorders, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. We strive to keep these compounds out of our food, water and children’s mouths, but don’t even think to check for their presence in the flu shot.
Animal rights activists also take issue with the flu shot because the vaccine is often cultured in fertilized chicken eggs. According to the Center for Consumer Freedom, it takes three eggs to produce one vaccine. The Center for Disease Control wants 70% of Americans to be vaccinated. This requires nearly 645 million chicken eggs, placing excessive demands on an industry already condemned for raising birds in deplorable conditions.
Perhaps most importantly, researchers have argued that excessive use of the flu vaccine and other anti-flu drugs can create “super viruses.” Because the vaccine knocks out most strains of influenza, only those stronger, mutated strains survive to reproduce, ultimately making deadlier types of flu more prevalent.
There are ways to prevent the flu and still avoid these negative consequences. Getting one’s daily recommended dose of Vitamin D, for example, stimulates multiple kinds of immune system cells that attack and destroy viruses such as influenza. The body absorbs nearly all the vitamin D it needs by spending just 10 minutes a day in the sun. The vitamin also exists naturally in foods such as eggs, fish and mushrooms.
Flu vaccines do help prevent the contraction of influenza; however, for young people who have strong immune systems to begin with, they may pose a pointless risk. In any case, students should make an effort to learn more about the vaccine before they allow its injection into their bodies.