The flu shot

While this post is not necessarily about fertility I do consider vaccinations when I look at my overall health.

Flu season is upon us and the calls from the doctors office have started. Are we getting the flu shot this year? In a simple answer, “No”. Why? Well, I have yet to be persuaded that it’s beneficial for us. While the doctors and media tend to hype the dangers of the flu, to the point of telling parents their child could die if they don’t receive the shot, research shows it’s not as scary as one might think. Yes, it is inconvenient to be feverish and achy for a week, but what are the side effects?

A commercial that has started recently claims (as most flu shot proponents do) that the flu kills over 36,000 people a year. But is that true, and how many of those are children?

The fact is, the 36,000 people a year statistic include both influenza and pneumonia combined. In 2004 the American Lung Association published a paper that detailed flu deaths alone. The total was about 1500 deaths that year. In children and adults under 34 years old the total was only about 100, with the remaining 90% of the deaths attributed to elderly folks. The 2007-2008 flu season took about 65 children ages 1-18 and the three years prior took between 46 and 75 kids.

I’m also quite uncertain about the shot because of the actual ingredients in it. Each flu shot contains mercury (the one ingredient that has been taken out of most other shots due to links to neurological damage) in the amount of about 25 micrograms. There are mercury free versions (well, they contain only a trace amount anyways) available in a single dose syringe, while the full amount mercury shots come from a ten dose vial. The shot also contains amounts of formaldehyde and egg cultures and some contain antibiotics and MSG. (to find which brands contain mercury, check out The Vaccine

The shot generally targets only 3 or so strains of the virus, basically whichever ones they think will be the most rampant. Last years shot was only 40 – 50% effective! And on average 10 out of 100 unvaccinated people will contract the flu each year, and depending on effectiveness, there are still people who contract the flu even after receiving the shot (i.e. if the shot is 70% effective, 3 out of 10 people will still get the flu).

While I do understand the fear that comes with sickness, especially for those already ill, I think each person needs to decide for themselves and their families whether or not they should be getting this shot. Our family doctor is great about vaccines and actually told me last year it wasn’t worth getting since we were all so healthy to begin with. But if you have a doctor feeding you the ‘danger hype’, it’s time to find a new doctor that a bit more level headed!

And as far as vaccines go, statistically, this one seems quite low on the side effects. And most peoples bodies seem to do fine dealing with the toxins in it. So if you decide to get the flu shot yourself or for your loved ones, at least get the mercury free version! For us, we’ll remain shot free! The risks involved in the shots currently out way any benefit to us. Well, at least for my preggo self and the kiddo, my husband can make up his own mind though I doubt he’ll get it either. Plus I think there are better and more natural ways to prevent and care for the flu.

Have you, or will you, get the shot?
About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.


  1. I will not be getting a flu shot this year.

    I had my first ever flu shot last year (only because my work offered it for free) and about a month later I got the flu. And not a nice “easy” flu, I got the kind you should be hospitalized for because you don’t know where you are, who you are, can’t walk, can’t talk, etc… It was terrible and it lasted for over a week with the most severe symptoms occuring for 2-3 days.

    Had I been able to drive myself to the hospital, I would have! I am not saying I got sick from getting the flu shot, but it definately did not help me last year!

  2. As you might have read on MNP, I've been back & forth on this. Because I work with imune compromised kids, I feel like I should. At the same time, a vaccine won't necessarily prevent me from being a carrier of the germs to those kids. The years I haven't gotten the shot, I've been in bad shape. However, with diet modifications and such, I think my immune system is a lot stronger now than it was then (college!) so I think I'm going to test my luck this year to see what happens.

  3. Thanks Donielle, this is helpful…I am definitely not getting it unless I can find a mercury-free shot, and I haven’t found one in Canada yet. Have you posted about your decision to vaccinate your kids too? I’m gonna go search for that on your other blog. :)

  4. I got my shot. Make sure you look over the flu shot side effects before getting it though.