The flu shot: What are your options?

The flu shot: What are your options?

The-flu-shot-What-are-your-options1-300x253There are several options for preventing the flu and it is important to me that my patients are educated about their options before they make a decision.  With any flu shot or vaccination, the decision is ultimately up to you, but your ND can help you make an informed choice.

Why are we so worried about the flu?

  • The flu is caused by the influenza virus, of which there are over 500 different strains
  • The flu can cause symptoms of fever, cough, chills, sore throat, body aches, fatigue or headaches, which usually abate after 1 week
  • It is spread by coughing, sneezing and direct contact with contaminated surfaces or unwashed hands
  • Complications from influenza infection are very rare and may occur in individuals with an underlying medical condition, those greater than 65 years of age, and young children that have a predisposition to respiratory infections
  • Pneumonia is the primary complication of influenza and can result in hospitalization or death in those that are at extremely high risk for complications

Influenza Vaccine

  • The flu vaccine is made from 3 different strains of the virus, based on the most prevalent strains from the previous year
  • Because there are over 500 different influenza strains, and each strain is constantly mutating (changing), it is not possible for the flu vaccine to provide you absolute protection from contracting the flu
  • The flu vaccine can only protect you against the 3 strains of the virus that is is made from
  • After receiving the flu vaccine, it takes 2 weeks for your body to produce sufficient antibodies to protect you against the influenza virus.  During this 2 week period, you may contract the flu
  • The antibodies produced as a result of the flu vaccine lose their efficacy after 2-3 months, therefore the vaccine does not protect you for the entire flu season
  • The influenza vaccine is recommended by Health Canada for those who are at high risk of complications from the influenza virus: people aged 65 years
    or older, those with serious long-term health problems, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, immunosuppressive disorders, children on longterm treatment with acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
  • The influenza vaccine is also recommended for health-care workers, residents/workers/volunteers of nursing homes, chronic-care facilities and retirement homes and women who will be more than 3 months pregnant during the influenza season
  • Health Canada research suggests that the flu vaccine that closely matches the current seasonal influenza strains temporarily prevents the flu in healthy persons less than 65 years old about 70% of the time.  In individuals over 65 years of age the efficacy rate of the flu vaccine is reported to be less than 30%
  • The flu vaccine does not improve the body’s immune response against bacterial infections
  • The flu vaccine should not be administered to a person who is already ill with a cold or flu
  • Children are at the greatest risk of side effects including: fever, body aches, allergic reactions and potentially a severe paralytic illness (Guillan-Barre paralysis)
  • Most experience pain at the injection site
  • For those with an egg allergy, there is a risk of allergic reaction as the flu vaccine contains egg components
  • The vaccine is produced using formaldehyde, preservatives and heavy metals (mercury)
  • *NDs in BC are not allowed to administer flu vaccines, but an MD or walk-in clinic will administer it for you

Immune IV

  • The immune IV is an intravenous injection of high concentrations of vitamins and minerals to support the immune system
  • The IV contains vitamin C, vitamin B5, B6, B12, B complex, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium at doses higher than you could take orally
  • Because the injection is administered intravenously, the absorption rate is 99-100%, much higher than the absorption through the digestive tract
  • The immune IV is given 1-2 times per month as a prophylactic against colds and flus, or more often if the patient is feeling sick, run down, stressed or fatigued
  • Often the IV is given before traveling or before a stressful event (Christmas?) to give the immune system a boost
  • The immune IV is not active against any particular strain of virus or bacteria
  • The immune IV can be administered if the patient is already ill
  • Side effects are rare and may include pain or minor bruising at the injection site, vasovagal response (fainting) from the needle, or allergy to vitamin B1.

Homeopathic Flu Prevention Shot

  • The flu shot contains injectible homeopathic medications that activate the body’s immune defenses against viruses and bacteria
  • This flu shot or  injection helps to relieve fever, cold and flu related symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, coughing, headaches, muscle aches and shivers in those who are already ill with a flu or a cold
  • When used in combination, these homeopathic medications have been shown to increase the infection fighting capabilities of white blood cells by 41%
    (Echinacea only increases white blood cell function by 28%)
  • The homeopathic prevention flu shot is safe and effective to administer if the patient is already ill
  • The flu shot shortens the duration and severity in symptoms for those who do contract the flu and decreases the incidence of influenza infections
  • Side effects include pain at the injection site

Homeopathic Flu Prevention Tablets

  • These tablets are prepared using strains from the worst flu epidemics of the past century
  • They improve the body’s immune response, thereby shortening the duration and severity of symptoms should you come in contact with the influenza virus
  • 1 tablet is taken every 2 weeks, and no injections are required
  • Studies show that this protocol is 88% effective in the prevention of influenza and 82% effective in the treatment of primary flu-related symptoms of chills, muscle aches and minor fever
  • This treatment is effective for both flu viruses and bacteria
  • The flu prevention tablets are safe and effective for patients who are already experiencing cold and flu symptoms
  • No known side effects

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