Monday, February 23, 2015

Flu Vaccine: Is it worth the risk?

Is  getting a flu shot really the single most important thing you can do to protect your health and that of your family?  Here at Wantagh Woods Chiropractic and Health, we respectfully disagree.  Even if there wasn't a list of potential side effects that can be much more serious than the flu, that fact is that this year's flu shot just isn't very effective.  The main strain that is causing problems this year showed up in the sampling after the formula for the vaccine was already set, so this year's biggest threat  is not included in the vaccine. 
The published effectiveness rate for this year's vaccine is about 23%.  However, that figure is only based on people who actually got sick enough to seek medical care.  People who remained healthy were not even considered in the study.  Only about 2% of the population ever develops flu, so a 23% effective rate actually becomes a less than half of one percent improvement in your chances of developing flu.  Would you buy a car whose brakes have been shown to work less than on half of one percent of the time?

So, what is the price you pay for this less than one half of one percent reduction in flu risk?  According to the National Vaccine Information Center, moderate reactions to the flu vaccine may include fever, localized reactions at the injection site, headache, nasal congestion,  fatigue, sore throat, cough, muscle and joint pain, and nausea. Don't those last seven side effects sound a lot like flu symptoms?
More serious complications may include brain inflammation, convulsions, Guillain Barre Syndrome, Bell’s Palsy, limb paralysis, neuropathy, shock,  wheezing/asthma and other breathing problems. Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a severe neurological disorder involving temporary or permanent paralysis that may lead to death.  A closer review of the more serious side effects shows that most or all of them can be attributed to neurotoxicity.  The number of reactions, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following flu vaccines reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) exceeded 93,000 as of November 2013.

Studies suggest that repeated flu vaccines in healthy children may interfere with their immune response, making them more likely to develop influenza.  Current guidelines also recommend routine flu vaccines for pregnant women, despite findings by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that influenza infection is rarely a threat to normal pregnancy.  Instead, they note that  Thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative, used in many vaccine formulas, has been shown to cause a number of human neurodevelopment disorders.
Chiropractic, nutritional supplements and other natural healing modalities can improve immune function without unwanted side effects.
In short, if you have a choice in taking the flu vaccine and there is no compelling reason to do it, don't.


On this blog, you will find random facts related to health and wellness. Some will pertain directly to Chiropractic, but more will pertain to diet, exercise, lifestyle, health news and generally taking responsibility for your own health.

Wantagh Woods Chiropractic and Wellness is about more than just spinal adjustments, even though Chiropractic is the backbone of our practice (pun intended).  If you've been injured in sports or in daily activities, we can adjust the limb to help you heal better, and further speed it along with electric stimulation therapy or other non-invasive therapies.  Chiropractic offers very effective treatment for TMJ, migraines, pinched nerves in the extremities and a host of other painful conditions that are not frequently considered to be connected to the spine.

Our office can also perform a nutritional analysis for patients, helpig them to choose appropriate nutritional supplements for their specific conditions.  Dr. Suzanne Plotnik and I take pride in caring for the whole person and empowering them to take care of themselves.  You can learn more about us at