I hope you are enjoying this season wherever you are. The colours of fall are starting to show here and the blue skies are just soothing for the soul. It is also that time when we are bombarded by the media about getting the flu vaccine. Yes it is natural that at this time of the year we experience some colds, ear infections, chest infections, coughs and the like but flu vaccines are not he answer. The flu vaccines are being advertised in food markets through to local chemists which does not instil any peace or ease about the arrival of winter.
It gets to that point where you have to ask yourself, how can you boost your immune system naturally? There are so many ways from healthy nutrition, healthy mind, through to herbs, even the well known elderberry syrup to homeopathy through to good old ginger and tumeric.
Did you know the actual flu is not a bad thing at all? If anything it exercises your immune system, the fever burns the toxins, the achey muscles and headaches get you resting, which your body may be saying ‘thank goodness for a much needed rest’. If you are immuno-compromised there are many ways of supporting and building up your immune system and jabs and ‘mists’ (Fluenz Tetra the mist vaccine) should not be the first port of call. Let our immune systems develop, enough of the suppression by these invasive methods.
The uptake of flu jabs and the mass ‘flu mist’ vaccination programmes in schools has sky rocketed here in the UK but word is getting out that it actually may not be a ‘good thing’. Well, thank goodness!
Allow me to share a little information on the nasal spray flu vaccine in case you have not been informed …read on as you may just want your child to skip school for at least a few days may be even 21 days… no joking here folks.
Firstly, the major difference between the flu vaccine (injected form) and the flu mist (the nasal spay) is that the injected form has a dead virus and the nasal form contains a live attenuated form of the virus. The live attenuated virus is basically a virus that is still ‘live’ but has been ‘poked and prodded a bit’, so that it is slightly different from the original virus.
Why do this ‘poking and prodding’ to change the virus?
This is done so that the actual virus is less harmless (or in more medical terms less virulent) so that it CAN’T cause the disease it is supposed to be preventing. However, it is still virulent enough to trigger the immune system to raise a response in order to prevent the flu. This response is a production of proteins called antibodies. These antibodies are basically tagging molecules. They tag onto the virus and the immune system knows that these anti-body tagged viruses need to be eradicated, so they go onto eradicate the so-called attenuated live virus…..job done!
So if we are exposed to the actual flu virus (i.e. the original one) our immune system recognises it by ‘saying oooh I have seen that somewhere before’ (in the ‘Flu Mist’) and immediately the immune system gets to work by calling out the memory antibodies which tag the flu virus. The tagged virus is then ‘taken out’ by the immune cells. And as you may have guessed, this prevents the flu (in some).
Follow so far? …..
But just a few important points to note here…because it bothers me somewhat and I feel like sharing my ‘bother’ as I find it just shocking to know that as parents we send our children to school allowing our children to be ‘misted’ thinking it is all ok. Do you know….
1. No one knows the actual flu virus causing the flu this year or any other year (seriously!) …and the ‘Flu Mist’ contains four viruses…a kind of ‘trigger gun’ approach…fingers crossed that the one causing flu this year is in there. Luck or what? And naturopathic medicine gets a bad rep?
2. Have a look at the side effects of this attenuated virus (or viruses in the case of the Flu Mist as there are four attenuated viruses) ….
· runny or stuffy nose
· reduced appetite
· muscle aches
hhhmmmm the above symptoms or side effects sound like FLU to me…what do you think? Just stop there for a second and think about the above symptoms. Now if someone went to see their doctor with the above symptoms they would be more than likely diagnosed as having the flu. Would you not think? So the vaccine itself has side effects of the flu.
The other impact of the ‘Flu Mist’ is something called shedding. Live vaccines shed.
What is shedding? The live virus whether it is given by injection or through some spray is excreted by the vaccinated individual be it through their skin, coughing, sneezing, saliva, etc., generally the same way in which the ‘flu is caught’ (if you believe that flu can be caught). This is known as shedding. The Flu Mist has been proven to shed! ..so the Flu Mist can give you the flu!
Yes, the Flu nasal spray can give others the flu….this is in the vaccine inserts…read the inserts ..ask your school nurse or head teacher or Mrs Trunchball for the insert. What exactly is your child getting? Do they know what they are putting into your child and the other children who are down the corridor that are not even receiving the ‘flu mist’ in their nose literally?
If you ask your doctor or friendly nurse who is distributing out these flu vaccines in the form of Flu Mist for the vaccine package insert, you will see that it states….
Vaccine recipients should be informed that Fluenz Tetra (Flu Mist) is an attenuated live virus vaccine and has the potential for transmission to immuno-compromised contacts..…in other words yet again the Flu Mist can give you the flu!
So be informed, as most schools are offering the Flu Mist like it was the next best thing since ‘gluten free sliced bread’. If your child is getting the flu vaccine it is known to shed the most from day 2-3…although it CAN shed up to 21 days. So if your children have grand parents or friends that are immuno-compromised then they should not be around them for that shedding period. Your doctor or nurse should inform you on this.
I am not trying to cause mass hysteria or fear mongering, that is not my intention actually the traditional media does that pretty well, my intention is to get this message out.
It is always best to do your research and keep informed. I am not saying do nothing as for some the flu can be incredibly harsh especially in the elderly and immuno-compromised BUT there are alternatives and lots of alternatives.
If you are worried about the flu, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or book in for a free 15 minute skype session. I am happy to offer you and your family various naturopathic options.
To great health!