Prominent Physician Advises Against Flu Shots
Posted by Dr. Mercola | December 09 2008
Dr. Donald Miller, a cardiac surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington, recommends avoiding the flu shot and taking vitamin D instead. According to Dr. Miller, “Seventy percent of doctors do not get a flu shot.”
Health officials say that every winter 36,000 people will die from it. But the National Vital Statistics Reports compiled by the CDC show that only 1,138 deaths a year occur due to influenza alone — more than 34,000 of the “36,000? flu deaths are actually pneumonic and cardiovascular deaths.
There is also a lack of evidence that young children benefit from flu shots. In fact, a systematic review of 51 studies involving 260,000 children age 6 to 23 months found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo. But there is also a risk of harm from the flu vaccine itself, particularly from the mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde it contains.
Vitamin D Dose Recommendations
Below 535 units per pound per day
Age 5 – 102500 units
Age 18 – 305000 units
Pregnant Women5000 units
There is no way to know if the above recommendations are correct. The ONLY way to know is to test your blood. You might need 4-5 times the amount recommended above. Ideally your blood level of 25 OH D should be 60ng/ml.
Eco Child’s Play November 18, 2008
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
Dr. Donald Miller, author of the very popular User Friendly Vaccination Schedule, offers superb advice when he says to “avoid the flu shot and take vitamin D instead.”
Getting appropriate amounts of sunshine (or taking a vitamin D supplement when you can’t get healthy amounts of sun exposure) is one of my KEY preventive strategies against the cold and flu, as it has such a strengthening effect on your immune system.
Less than optimal vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response and make you far more susceptible to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.
Dr. John Cannell and colleagues hypothesized that influenza is merely a symptom of vitamin D deficiency about two years ago, and their theory was further proven last month in the Virology Journal. In it researchers suggested that influenza epidemics are a result of a dormant disease, which become active in response to vitamin D deficiency.
This makes perfect sense, considering that “flu season” in the United States occurs right when it is hard for most people to get adequate sunlight to produce vitamin D: the winter.
Unfortunately, rather than urging people to get adequate sun exposure or take a high-quality vitamin D supplement (which costs about $22 a year), health officials’ answer to preventing the flu is with a largely ineffective and dangerous shot.
There is a lot of deception and misinformation going around with it comes to the flu and flu shots, and I’d like to set some records straight here.
Very Few Americans Actually Die From the Flu
U.S. public health officials are moving full-speed ahead with their national campaign to promote and publicize the flu shot. They have now designated December 8-14 as “National Influenza Vaccination Week” to “foster greater use of flu vaccine through the months of November, December and beyond.”
Today, December 9, is designated as “Children’s Vaccination Day.” Thursday, December 11 will be “Seniors’ Vaccination Day” and Friday, December 12 will focus on vaccination of health care workers.
If you listen to the hype, it sounds as though every man, woman, and child should hurry out to their nearest pharmacy or health clinic and demand to be vaccinated against this “deadly” health epidemic called the flu.
But please understand that it is just that: HYPE.
The truth is, the flu CAN be deadly … but most of the time it is not.
Health officials like to alarm you by saying that 36,000 people die from the flu every year. This is simply not true. CDC reports show that only 1,138 deaths are caused by the flu each year. The other 34,000-plus are caused by pneumonic and cardiovascular deaths.
But let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you’re thinking of getting the flu shot not so much because you’re worried about dying from the flu, but because you want to save yourself the hassle of being sick for a week or two.
Well, the flu shot probably won’t help you there either.
New Studies Show the Flu Shot Does Not Work
A recent study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu had no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons.
Another large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006, also found no evidence the flu vaccine is any more effective for children than a placebo.
Additionally, no studies have conclusively proven that flu shots prevent flu-related deaths among the elderly, even though this is one of the key groups to which they’re pushed.
Even if the flu vaccine did work, you should know that it is simply an educated guessing game as to whether or not this year’s vaccine will protect against the strains in your area. You see, because the flu virus mutates so rapidly, the vaccine must be updated every year to include the new, most common strains. Yet, sometimes scientists are way off.
There have been several examples in past years where government health officials have chosen the incorrect influenza strains for that year’s vaccine. In 2004, the National Vaccine Information Center described how CDC officials told everyone to line up for a flu shot that didn’t even contain the influenza strain causing most of the flu that year.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states:
“In some years when vaccine and circulating strains were not well-matched, no vaccine effectiveness can be demonstrated in some studies, even in healthy adults. It is not possible in advance of the influenza season to predict how well the vaccine and circulating strains will be matched, and how that match may affect the degree of vaccine effectiveness.”
So let’s sum things up. When you get the flu shot, it may or may not protect you against the flu. Further, recent studies suggest the shot is largely ineffective for two of the key populations to which it’s pushed: children and the elderly.
What you CAN be sure of when you get the flu shot is that you’ll be injected with a laundry list of hazardous ingredients, which are included as additives to the vaccines.
Flu Shot Additives are Well-Known Toxins
Two-thirds of the vaccines made for the 2008–09 flu season contain full-dose thimerosal, which is 49% mercury by weight, according to Dr. Miller. Mercury is a neurotoxin, with a toxicity level 1,000 times that of lead.
Still, each flu shot contains 25 micrograms of mercury, which amounts to a mercury content of 50,000 part per billion — 250 times more than the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit.
And that’s not all. Dr. Miller points out the other substances in flu shots, all of which are known to be harmful to health, especially for children:
• Formaldehyde, a known cancer-causing agent is used to inactivate the virus.
• Aluminum, added to promote an antibody response, is a neurotoxin that may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease.
• Triton X-100 (a detergent)
• Polysorbate 80
• Carbolic acid
• Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
• Various antibiotics such as neomycin, streptomycin, and gentamicin that can cause allergic reactions
Why expose yourself or your child to these toxins to take a flu shot that likely doesn’t even work? Especially when there is such a better option …
The Natural Way to Prevent, and Treat, The Flu
As I said above, one of the absolute best ways to prevent the flu is simply optimizing your vitamin D levels. There are numerous studies supporting the positive effects of vitamin D in reducing common respiratory infections.
At least five studies show an inverse association between lower respiratory tract infections and 25(OH)D levels. That is, the higher your vitamin D level, the lower your risk of contracting colds, flu, andother respiratory tract infections:
1. A 2007 study suggests higher vitamin D status enhances your immunity to microbial infections. They found that subjects with vitamin D deficiency had significantly more days of absence from work due to respiratory infection than did control subjects.2. A 2009 study on vitamin D deficiency in newborns with acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) confirmed a strong, positive correlation between newborns’ and mother’s vitamin D levels. Over 87 percent of all newborns and over 67 percent of all mothers had vitamin D levels lower than 20 ng/ml, which is a severe deficiency state.
Newborns with vitamin D deficiency appear to have an increased risk of developing ALRI, and since the child’s vitamin D level strongly correlates withits mother’s, the researchers recommend that all mothers’ optimize their vitamin D levels during pregnancy, especially in the winter months, to safeguard their baby’s health.
3. A similar Indian study published in 2004 also reported that vitamin D deficiency in infants significantly raised their odds ratio for having severe ALRI.
4. A 2009 analysis of the Third National Health andNutrition Examination Survey examined the association between vitamin D levels and recent upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) in nearly 19,000 subjects over the age of 12.
Recent URTI was reported by:
·17 percent of participants with vitamin D levels of 30ng/ml or higher
·20 percent of participants with vitamin D levels between 10-30 ng/ml.
·24 percent of participants with vitamin D levels below 10ng/ml
The positive correlation between lower vitamin D levels and increased risk of URTI was even stronger inindividuals with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
5. Another 2009 report in the journal Pediatric Research stated that infants and children appear more susceptible to viral rather than bacterial infections when deficient in vitamin D. And that, based on the available evidence showing a strong connection between vitamin D, infections,and immune function in children, vitamin D supplementation may be a valuable therapy in pediatric medicine.
Ideally you would optimize your vitamin D level by getting out in the sun, but for most of you reading this it is “vitamin D winter,” which means there simply isn’t enough sunshine to make significant amounts of vitamin D, so you will need to use a safe tanning bed or take oral supplements.
Although supplements are clearly inferior to sunlight or safe tanning beds, I am becoming more convinced of the value of vitamin D supplements as they are less potentially toxic than my initial impression, and they are certainly more convenient and less expensive than a tanning bed.
In order to prevent the flu, children need 2,000 IU a day of vitamin D, while adults need anywhere between 4,000 to 5,000 IU per day. The key is to make sure you monitor your vitamin D levels by blood testing, to make sure your levels are therapeutic and not toxic.
For more information about safe sun exposure and tanning, vitamin D testing, and the recommended forms of supplementation when sufficient sunlight is not available, please see my article Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency, which includes recent, and vital, updates.
It will be very rare for you to come down with the flu if you’re taking the vitamin D doses I recommended above, but if you do happen to get the flu, you can use vitamin D to treat it as well.
The therapeutic dose of vitamin D is 2,000 units per kilogram of body weight (one pound is 0.45 kg). The dose would be taken once a day for three days. (This could be a very large dose if you are very heavy — as high as 200,000-300,000 units per day).
This is the dose that Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council and the speaker in the video above, has been using very successfully for a number of years.
If you start this program early on in the illness, it should be able to completely wipe out the flu in short order.