Flu shot? Not for me, thanks

Reporter: Amy Valm

It’s been instilled in most people since childhood: get vaccinated. We are fortunate enough to live in a country that has free immunizations to protect us from ailments that prove lethal in other parts of the world. But is getting the flu shot really necessary?
A get-out-of-flu-season-free card may seem tempting, but there are a lot of cons piled up against getting the controversial shot.
Most striking is the fact that there are many different strains of flu, and no one knows what strain will be coming each year.
According to a CNN medical report, every February scientists make educated guesses as to what type of influenza will be plaguing us in flu season and then concoct an injection based on that guess. That needle being plunged into your arm is only a gamble.
Allegedly the flu shot doesn’t make you sick. Each batch of vaccinations is tested to make sure no live flu viruses are living in it, but having dead flu particles inserted into your body isn’t appealing either.
The flu shot, like anything, comes in an array of brands, with each manufacturer using slightly different ingredients. An ingredient list from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention finds thimerosal and formaldehyde in most of the vaccines.
To rephrase that, flu shot ingredients include mercury and the same substance used in embalming fluid- albeit in small amounts. Decide for yourself how comfortable you are with it.
People with allergies need to be cautious because eggs are used in the manufacturing of the vaccine.
The Ontario government puts the flu shot on a pedestal hailing it as an amazing gift to you and hyping it with quaint little phrases like, “The flu shot. Helping your body help itself.”
The human body has plenty of ways to help itself, naturally, thanks.
Health clinics stand on soapboxes preaching about the benefits of getting the flu shot. They distribute pamphlets with statistics that are helpful to their cause leaving out the icky details, and debunking any “naysay” about the flu shot.
Of course the flu shot serves a purpose for some people, such as the elderly, people suffering from cancer or kidney disease, people with weakened immune systems, and the people they come into constant contact with. But the flu shot is not for everyone, and there are natural ways of protecting yourself.
Stress can make you sick, but stress management and a healthy diet are key ways to prevent getting the flu. Take 10 minutes a day to meditate, or write in a journal to relieve the stress in your life. Eat a lot of garlic too-it boosts the immune system, suggests a local nutritionist.
Be your own ambassador. Research and find out for yourself what the best option for you is. At the end of the day it’s your body and your decision on whether or not to be injected with a questionable substance.
Health professionals say that the flu shot is for everyone. You’re not everyone. Be an individual, and make an informed decision based on what is right for you. You only get one body, treat it well.