Flu Shot: Yes or No?

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Flu Shot

Creating controversy in my own home, I finally got my flu shot this morning (remember, this is a 2013 repost). A large portion of the medical community would support my decision. A number of people, including my wife, and the nurse that gave me the shot feel it is safer and healthier to not get the shot. I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I did at least a little research before taking the shot. A few thoughts, in no particular order:

  1. The flu can be serious. As many as 49,000 people have died from the flu and it’s complications in a single year. That begins to approach breast-cancer mortality rates, and double the number of people killed by AIDs (WebMD, #1).
  2. Taking the flu shot cannot give you the flu (#3). The virus used in the vaccine is dead. Anecdotes are rampant of people taking the flu shot, and then getting the flu. Either the person was exposed to the flu before post-shot immunity had developed, or the caught a strain of the flu not covered by their shot. Either way, it was not caused by dead virus in the shot.
  3. What is normally referred to as stomach flu (vomiting and diarrhea, without fever and body aches) is not influenza.
  4. There are claims that ingredients (like ethyl mercury in Thimerosal) in the flu shot can cause Alzheimer’s, Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), Autism, and other ailments. There seems to be compelling data offsetting (view his links) each of these claims.

The above represents a sampling of my research. My take? There’s a compelling reason to take the shot, and a lack of scientifically based reasons not to take it. What do you think?  (OP 1/13/2014)

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