Can Flu Shots Really Protect Against the Flu?

Friday, October 19, 2007 by: John Cole
Tags: flu shots, health news, Natural News

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) Reading through the health section of any mainstream media outlet recently would convince most people that it's time to hurry up, rush out, line up, and get a flu shot. I just entered the search "flu shot" into Google's news page and got some of the following headlines: "Time for a Flu Shot", "How to Get a Flu Shot", and "Where Are You Going to Get Your Flu Shot This Season?". Makes it sound automatic, sound like something every sensible person should do.

Influenza and Flu Vaccine Facts

The CDC informs us on its Key Facts About Seasonal Influenza page that about 36,000 people die each year from influenza in the US. A National Vital Statistics Report (pdf) lumps influenza and pneumonia deaths together, and the total was roughly 62,500 in 2001. Some critics claim that the numbers have been severely manipulated, and that the real number of deaths from influenza in 2001 should be only around 750, with the remainder due to pneumonia. I think this view may be a little paranoid, because pneumonia can set in and be the final cause of death in any person who has suffered a serious illness or injury, and has been bedridden (and has been eating hospital food?) for more than a few days, leading to impaired immunity (so "the influenza made you vulnerable to pneumonia, which killed you; you wouldn't have gotten pneumonia without the influenza first" is the logic). Here is a simple page on what increases your chances of getting pneumonia and having severe complications from it.

Back to influenza, did you know that the influenza virus continually changes, and the strain causing most of the disease this year may be different enough from the one last year that the vaccine for one will not be effective against the other? A lot of guesswork goes into formulating the vaccine for the next "flu season"; sometimes the guessing is pretty accurate, sometimes it's not. Effectiveness of the vaccine varies from year to year. And of course there are dangers and side effects, which can be seen on this CDC page.

As many people don't like getting stuck with needles, and it's popularly believed that more vaccinations will lead to less frequent and less severe disease, a nasal spray vaccine, easy and painless, was approved by the FDA in 2003. However, it has not been tested or approved for use in people over 50, the people said to be most in need of protection. You can read more about the spray vaccine here (and note the huge financial implications!).

The Sunshine Vitamin

Here in central Japan, summer arrived a couple weeks late this year and left maybe three weeks late. Now, in the middle of October, the only chance to get enough sunshine to fill up your vitamin D tank is to get out right in the middle of the day for 30 minutes or so. Unfortunately for most people, the middle of the day is the middle of the working or studying day, which makes getting enough sunshine impossible. And from now until next April or May, the situation will be dismal.

Why am I talking about vitamin D in an article on flu season? Well, unknown to most people is the fact that vitamin D is one of the most potent stimulators of a general, non-specific immune response. It's mainly got to do with anti-microbial peptides; you can read a very short version here, and a full report, "Is Vitamin D An Antibiotic?", here (both courtesy of The Vitamin D Council).

From around the end of April till just about now, the middle of October, I use sunshine… lavishly, for the way it makes me feel and for the health benefits I know I'm getting, yet judiciously, because it can be dangerous (just like water, yeah?). But come the end of October, I dust off my sunlamp (which also requires care in its use), and find my bottle of vitamin D capsules (by now most people realize that sufficient vitamin D cannot be gotten from food alone). When I can't use the sunlamp enough to fill up my vitamin D tank, I take two 1,000iu vitamin D capsules a day, in addition to the 800iu a day in my multi-vitamin. Sounds like a lot to most people, but to overdose on vitamin D from supplements, you'd have to take 10,000iu or more a day for a long time (see this report, "Overdose" section).

Last flu season, a lot of the kids and even some of the adults studying at my small English school here had influenza. (Some of the local elementary schools even closed several classes for a few days because the number of absent students exceeded a pre-determined percentage. Wish they'd had that rule at my elementary school when I was a kid!). Twice I started coming down with a sore throat and nasopharynx that in previous years led to a full-blown cold or maybe even flu lasting a week or more. This season, each time I took ten of the 10,000iu capsules a day for two days, then five a day for the next two or three days (plus some extra sleep), and my symptoms were completely gone within two or three days. I have much better nutrition now than in the past, but still I think the vitamin D supplementation gave my immune system the extra boost it needed to avoid a full-blown cold or influenza.

(Two years ago, the mother of one of my adult students here, in her seventies, died a few days after getting an influenza vaccine. And two or three years ago here in Japan, about a dozen children died after taking the anti-viral drug Tamiflu. For most folks with their thinking caps on, the influenza vaccine and Tamiflu are "controversial", but personally I wouldn't take either one, no matter what.)

The Bottom Line

Mike Adams has written on this site numerous times about how to strengthen your immune system. I believe that if kids and adults alike just cut down on junk foods and replaced those calories with fresh fruit and vegetables, the incidence and severity of influenza and common colds would decrease significantly. Vitamin D supplements to strengthen the immune system when sunshine is scarce should not be viewed as a "magic bullet", but rather should be taken in conjunction with a good diet and sufficient exercise.

(Recommended reading: The UV Advantage by Dr. Michael Holick.)

About the author

John H. Cole has been editing medical manuscripts for publication in mainstream U.S. and European medical journals for the past 15 years in Japan. He also has a small English school in Gifu City, Japan. He believes that natural foods, superfoods, herbs, exercise, sunshine, good sleep, and avoidance of pollution are the answers to most people's health problems. He is a friend of nature.

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.