However, opponents of vaccination argue children can deal with infections without any external aid, and there’s no reason to expose them to the possible collateral effects of these vaccinations, such as seizures and paralysis.
What about you? Are you at risk of these side effects?
In this article, we will take the flu vaccine as an example and give you 6 reasons why you should think twice before getting the shot.
- Virus Mutation
You may have wondered why you need a yearly flu shot for it to be effective. The reason is virus mutation. The virus changes the structure of the proteins your immune system recognizes, so your body is unable to target and destroy new mutations.
There was a lot of dispute during the 2017/18 season as there were too many people being hospitalized and even children dying from the flu in the United States. The reason is that vaccine production in chicken eggs was disrupting the antibodies and causing unexpected virus mutations in the H3N2 strain.
On the same track, medications like Tamiflu and Relenza have been shown to produce even deadlier strains of the virus, thus doing more harm than good in the long term.
- Flu Shot Roulette
Closely related to virus mutation, vaccine manufacturers face a complicated guessing game each year. The flu virus is constantly mutating, and experts try to foresee which mutations they should include in next year’s flu shot.
Since you can’t possibly have all flu strains in one shot (and it would be alarmingly harmful to do so), CDC officials are forced to decide on a few stains out of hundreds. However, even if they guess correctly, the viral strain they select could still mutate, rendering the vaccine ineffective.
- Neurological Damage
If the flu shot were completely harmless, the guessing game would not have anything to lose. However, you may not know about thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative that will be used in more than 20 million vaccines for next year’s flu shot.
This additive is known to cause language and speech problems in children, developmental delays, and other irreversible neurological problems.
In addition, expectant mothers who receive the flu shot also expose their unborn child to mercury since this additive travels to the placenta, where it has a direct and sometimes damaging effect on the fetus.
- Lowered Immunity
In patients with lowered immunity, such as HIV individuals and other immunocompromised patients, there’s a lot of controversy about how the flu shot influences the count of CD4, which is one of the most important white cells in the body.
These immunological reactions might increase the chance of several contagious diseases that could be even more dangerous than influenza among immunocompromised patients.
- Increased Risk of Illness
Even in children and adults with healthy immune systems, the flu shot may come with adverse effects, and we’re not just talking about a muscle ache or local swelling from the shot, either.
A randomized trial on children receiving the trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine reported that those who received the shot increased their risk of confirmed non-influenza infections in the respiratory tract compared to the placebo group.
- May Complicate Autoimmune Disease
Finally, in people with autoimmune disease, side effects can be life-threatening in some cases.
According to a recent paper from Autoimmunity Reviews, the decision of whether or not to vaccinate is not an easy one to make, even by health professionals.
Professionals seem to agree that vaccines should only be used when patients with an autoimmune disease are in a stable phase of their disease.
However, even stable patients may have disastrous results after having a shot, as it was described in a case report in a 2009 issue of the journal, Vaccine.
In this instance, an 11-year-old girl whose juvenile idiopathic arthritis had gone into remission experienced an abrupt relapse with congestive heart failure after receiving a rubella vaccine.
The flu shot is a gamble. Will it help you? Will it harm you? Scientific evidence points strongly to the latter, but it’s up to each individual to take their health into careful consideration before lining up for the yearly jab.