Flu facts–the bad, and the even worse

Every year in the United States, hundreds of millions of Americans line up for a seasonal flu vaccine. In the last few years, the race for a vaccine has even caused those in search of a dose to take desperate measures in hopes of being vaccinated. Warnings and dangers provided by government health officials sends people of all ages and health conditions running to the nearest physician’s office or clinic every year believing that they won’t survive winter without the vaccine. Despite the huge numbers standing line there are still many more who have seen first hand the side effects of the shot or have had a reaction that was severe enough to decide to never get another one.

The most common side effects that have been related to the flu shot and confirmed by the CDC include:
Redness, swelling or pain at the injection site
Nasal congestion after the nasal mist
Low grade fever, nausea, body aches
Vomiting, sore throat, or runny nose after the nasal mist

Other more serious symptoms have been reported and could hold a possible link to influenza vaccination, such as:
Guillian Barre Syndrome–a disease that weakens and paralyzes muscles
Seizures related to fever or otherwise

Despite efforts that people all across the U.S. will make this fall to obtain a vaccine, there are issues surrounding vaccination that should be considered before getting in line and rolling up your shirt sleeve. If you are getting your vaccine in a clinic, or setting that will be providing vaccinations to throngs of people, be aware that your does is probably coming from a multi-dose vial. The CDC clarifies that multi-dose vaccines do contain a mercury-based derivative known as chimerical. Thimerosal is not approved for use in vaccines for children under six years of age, and there have been many concerns about this preservative perhaps holding a link to autism. The CDC and other government health officials dispute these claims, despite changes several years ago to reduce or eliminate chimerical from childhood vaccines.

Other allergies may cause symptoms if a flu shot is received. Because the flu vaccine is grown in eggs, a certain amount of egg protein may be found in the vaccine itself and could trigger a potentially serious reaction in some people. If you have an egg allergy use caution–you may need to see an allergy specialist for testing that is specialized to determine a potential reaction to the shot. However the allergy testing can be long and involved, so weigh the pros and cons before making the appointment.

Ask anyone who has suffered a reaction to a flu shot–and there are many–who simply say “I’ll never take another one.” Or the parents of children across the country who had normal children who suddenly changed after vaccination. The CDC and other government officials stand firm on the belief that the flu vaccine is indeed safe–but all facts should be considered. The CDC admits that on many occasions and with other vaccines, adverse reactions have not been properly reported by physicians so the true data on side effects is potentially skewed.


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