Mandatory Flu Shot
Since I’m starting my new job soon, I was asked to fly into Philly last weekend for a physical, shots/vaccines, and blood work. They didn’t say, “Hey Sarah! If you want, you can come by to get some tests and shots. It’s whatever works for you.” Nah. It doesn’t work that way when you work for a hospital. They said, “Hey Sarah. If you don’t come in and take care of this, we’re not really going to let you work here.”
Shots are not optional.
I’m not scared of shots or a needle. I’m scared of what the needle is delivering. It’s the vaccine. Some vaccines are helpful and some vaccines I despise.
A mandatory vaccine that makes you sick… interesting choice.
Here’s my problem with the flu shot: it makes me sick! With no exception, 1-2 days after receiving the vaccine I get the flu or cold symptoms. EVERY. TIME. It makes me so mad because otherwise, I would never be sick. I’m sure of it.
I’m not the only one that gets sick from the flu shot.The year that MU Track & Field made the flu mist mandatory, 60% of the team came down with illness – and these are athletes at top physical condition.
In summary, did I get the flu? No. But, do I have a sore throat, congestion, and an achy feeling that makes me want to sleep the day away? Yes.
I’m not sure the hospital achieved what they hoped they would achieve. Maybe they are confused. They should have reviewed the “flu shot statistics and facts…”
Flu Shot Statistics and Facts
- During the 2012-2013 flu season, the flu vaccine’s effectiveness was found to be just 56% across all age groups reviewed by the CDC. In seniors, aged 65 and over, the US flu vaccines were only 9% effective.
- Mild to serious side effects can occur from exposure to a vaccine. While death and complete disability from a flu vaccine may be rare, dying from the flu is even more rare.
- Remember, most deaths attributed to influenza are actually due to bacterial pneumonia, and these days, bacterial pneumonia can be effectively treated with advanced medical care and therapies like respirators and parenteral antibiotics.
- Only about 20% of all influenza-like illness that occurs every year is actually associated with influenza viruses because many types of respiratory illnesses with flu-like symptoms can be mistaken for influenza.
The frustrating part is that there is a very reasonable alternative that’s more supported in scientific literature than a flu shot…It’s taking Vitamin D3.
Proof Vitamin D is just as effective as the flu shot:
- Flu Shots decrease your risk of contracting the flu by 40-50%
- In a 2010 study, children taking just 1,200 IUs of vitamin D3 per day, which is considered a low dose, were shown to be 42% less likely to come down with the flu.
- This is essentially the same benefit from two completely different methods.
Put me on a vitamin, not a shot!
SIDE NOTE: But what about Vitamin C?
Chances are if you’re still thinking Vitamin C is the best thing to help colds, you haven’t been keeping up with research in the past 10 years. Vitamin D is the missing link.
Does your magical orange juice do this:
Vitamin D is an important player in overall healthy immune function, but it’s also an effective antimicrobial agent in its own right, producing 200 to 300 different antimicrobial peptides in your body that kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Nope. I didn’t think so. Vitamin C is not as cool as Vitamin D.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Most people are vitamin D deficient during the winter months. Therapeutic Vitamin D levels are 50-70 ng/ml and you want to maintain that level year-round. You can have your blood levels tested at a doctors office visit – OR you can do like I do and skip the lab test. If most of America needs to supplement after the lab test pronounces them deficient, then I’ll just go ahead and ASSUME I’m deficient. I will not pretend like I’m one of the “special ones” that doesn’t fit into the 90% majority.
How do we get more vitamin D?
It depends on the time of year. Vitamin D is easy to maintain during the summer because you can make 10,000 IU of Vitamin D in about 15 minutes of exposure to the sun/UV light. But, winter and fall can be more tricky. Any time of year when you cannot get a sunburn from being outside – is a time of year when UV rays are not present. Therefore, you are not able to make your own Vitamin D and supplementing is extremely important.
I recommend taking 5,000-10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 every day for 1-2 weeks (Vitamin D booster) and then maintain each day after with 2,000-3,000 IU Vitamin D3 until you get your first sunburn in the Spring time. If you are a hermit, you might consider still taking it even during the summer months – as you are not likely to get a sunburn (or make vitamin D from the sun) staying inside your cave.
Dispelling Myths: Being outside in the cold causes you to get sick.
False. Being indoors most of the day creates a concentrated germ environment. It’s being INDOORS during the winter that causes you to be at risk for illness. Also, lack of UV rays in the winter season prevents you from making vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency causes you to be more susceptible to viruses because your immune system is suppressed.
See. It has nothing to do with being outside when it’s cold.
Now get to the store and start supplementing. Your health depends on it!