With flu season just around the corner many of us are thinking about flu vaccinations for ourselves and our families. Some people, however, decide not to get the flu vaccine. Are they putting themselves and others at risk of getting sick?

Here are some compelling reasons why people choose not to vaccinate against the flu:

  • Vaccines can be immune suppressive – meaning they can suppress your immune system, which may not return to normal for weeks to months.
  • Some components in vaccines are neuro-toxins including heavy metals such as mercury preservatives and aluminum.
  • Lab altered bacteria and viruses in vaccines may negatively affect your immune response.
  • Vaccines may alter t-cell function and lead to chronic illness.
  • Vaccines can trigger allergies, autoimmune or neurological disorders especially in individuals unable to resolve inflammation.
  • The flu vaccine may also pose an immediate risk to your cardiovascular system due to an inflammatory response.
  • The inactivated influenza vaccine has been associated with the development of Guillaine-Barre syndrome since 1976.

How Vaccines Work

Vaccines teach the immune system by mimicking a natural infection. Human cells can't tell that the vaccine viruses are weakened, so they engulf the viruses as if they were dangerous. The body's antibodies begin to eliminate the virus faster than it can reproduce and the immune system finally has the upper hand. Gradually, the virus disappears from the body. After the body eliminates the disease some cells are converted into memory cells. If re-exposure to the virus occurs, the immune system will quickly recognize how to stop the infection.

However, vaccines introduce large foreign protein molecules into your body and induce an inflammatory response to stimulate antibodies. If your body responds to these foreign particles in a way that causes a type of inflammatory response you can develop severe allergies, autoimmunity or brain dysfunction. It is recommended that you check your family history for evidence of allergy, autoimmunity and neurological disorders and carefully evaluate the potential individual risks of vaccination.

Is There An Alternative?

Fortunately, avoiding a serious case of the flu doesn't require a flu vaccination. You can help keep your immune system in optimal working order so that you're far less likely to acquire the infection to begin with or, if you do get sick with the flu, you are better prepared to move through it without complications and soon return to good health.

Protect Yourself Naturally During The Flu Season

  • Optimize your vitamin D levels. This is probably the single most important and least expensive action you can take. Regularly monitor your vitamin D levels to confirm your levels are within the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml. Get your vitamin D from sun exposure, a safe tanning bed or an oral vitamin D3 supplement.
  • Avoid sugar and processed foods. Sugar impairs the function of your immune system almost immediately. A healthy immune system is one of the most important keys to fighting off viruses and other illness.
  • Optimizing your gut flora by taking good quality probiotics and eating fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi can radically improve the function of your immune system.
  • Get lots of good quality sleep. If your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu.
  • Address your stress. If stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. If you feel that stress is taking a toll on your health consider meditation. It is remarkably effective in relieving stress associated with all kinds of events from work to family to trauma.
  • Get regular exercise. When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of fighting an illness before it spreads. Be sure to stay hydrated – drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Take animal-based Omega-3 Fats. Increase your intake of healthy and essential fats like omega-3 and avoid damaged omega-6 oils found in trans fats and processed foods, as these will seriously damage your immune response.
  • Wash your hands. Regularly washing hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. But antibacterial soaps are unnecessary so instead choose a simple chemical-free soap.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze using the sneeze-into-your-shoulder method that keeps hands clean. Also avoid close contact with those, who are sick and, if you are sick, avoid close contact with those who are well.
  • Use natural antibiotics. Examples include oil of oregano and garlic. These work like broad-spectrum antibiotics against bacteria and viruses in your body. And unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, they do not appear to lead to resistance.

Choosing to forego a flu shot is a valid decision. If you follow the health guidelines above then your chances of avoiding the flu are very good. And if you encourage your family and friends to do the same they are establishing healthy habits and a healthy immune system too. As always, an important defense against viruses is a healthy immune system. It is responsible for many tasks and having a strong, balanced immune system is critically important. It helps the body respond naturally to assaults from a long winter's worth of viruses.