should you get the flu vaccine?

According to the CDC, there are two things that will help you through this flu season:

  1. your general health status
  2. the effectiveness of the flu vaccine

Let’s start with your health because this is something you control. This would include getting adjusted, making sure you are eating well and taking quality vitamins, exercising, and getting appropriate amount of sleep.

Now the effectiveness of the flu vaccine varies based on the year, location and (according to the CDC) can vary from beginning of the season to the end of the season due to mutations of the virus. Because it takes about six months to make the vaccine, they have to begin making this year’s vaccine back in February and March. This means they have to guess at which of the over 140 types of virus are going to be around next year’s season.

Every year we are told there are about 36,000 deaths are attributed to the flu and pneumonia. But during last year’s flu season, only 311 laboratory-confirmed deaths were reported to the CDC. That’s significantly fewer than the media often reports.

Another concern about the vaccine is its ingredients, which include formaldehyde, mercury, thimerosal, diethyl ether, and chicken embryo cells. Because these are injected directly into your body, they bypass much of your immune system—which is why the vaccine sometimes creates problems and reactions.

We can’t control the effectiveness or safety of the flu vaccine. But we can control our health. We can do positive things that will promote a healthy immune system, which will help fight the virus and prevent us from getting sick.

–Dr. Jason Bosko

Photo credit: Creative Commons License William Brawley via Compfight