“It’s never too late to get your flu shot.”
“Getting the flu shot is the best way to protect against the flu.”
“You protect others when you get a flu shot.”
You’ve probably heard a version of these ridiculous, smarmy statements countless times over the years from doctors, pharmacists, school nurses, newscasters, colleagues, and even friends.
But, as I often report, they’re just not true. And now, a new, comprehensive review found that the influenza vaccine really does suffer from an abysmal effectiveness rate. In fact, you’re far better off just sticking with a few common sense, flu-prevention strategies, as I’ll explain in a moment.
But first, let’s take a closer look at that new review…
Influenza vaccine has abysmal effectiveness rate
The new, comprehensive review of the flu vaccine was conducted by the highly respected Cochrane Collaboration. I’ve talked before about this prestigious, international, independent, non-profit organization that doesn’t accept big pharma’s “blood money”…
They conduct high-quality analyses of existing research on any number of important topics. They use stringent guidelines to determine whether or not the data is conclusive and trustworthy. And they regularly update their reviews to take newly published research into account.
Indeed, this new review is actually an update to a prior review, which was published in 2010 and analyzed the effectiveness of the flu vaccine in 67 randomized, controlled, clinical trials (RCTs).
Now, the new review includes data from eight additional RCTs conducted over a 35-year period. And it looks primarily at the effect of the vaccine on older adults.
And here’s what they found…
At best—a six percent lower risk of contracting the flu!
The new Cochrane analysis found that older adults who receive the flu vaccine “may experience” a two to six percent lower risk of contracting influenza over the course of a single season, compared to those who received a placebo.
However, 30 people would need to get the vaccine in order to prevent just one case of the flu. And 42 people would need to get the vaccine to prevent just one case of an influenza-like illness (ILI), with symptoms such as headache, high temperature, cough, and muscle pain.
Which means if you do get the flu vaccine, you MAY—at best—have just a six percent lower chance of developing the flu that season.
But here’s the real kicker…
The researchers said they aren’t very confident in the strength of the data. In fact, they said the data had “low certainty,” due to the ways influenza was diagnosed. Which explains why they used the word “may” so purposefully.
Plus, they questioned how big a difference the vaccine will make across different seasons. And I have the same concerns, as previous studies have found that the more times you get a flu shot in prior years, the more susceptible you are to the flu in future years.
But, really, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to damning research on this vaccine…
Vaccine actually promotes spread of the flu!
As I reported two years ago, researchers with the University of Maryland (UMD) in Baltimore found that people who get repeated flu vaccinations expel more infectious flu particles into the air—just by breathing. In fact, the flu vaccine increases this kind of “aerosol shedding” by more than 600 percent!
And in another study from Hong Kong, researchers found that school children are many times more likely to get a host of other viral infections after they get a flu shot.
It’s truly shocking how little evidence there is to support this useless, ineffective, annual experiment, despite the fortune in taxpayer dollars spent on promoting and administering it—and the millions of human guinea pigs forced to get it.
Fortunately, as I’ve always said, there’s plenty you can do to protect yourself against the flu (and colds) without resorting to this useless vaccine…
Commonsense ways to protect against the flu
Here are my seven tried-and-true, natural tips for protecting yourself against the flu (and other viruses)…
1.) Wash your hands and face
As I’ve always said, washing your hands (and face) is easily the No. 1 thing you can do to protect against colds and the flu. I always recommend using plain, old soap and water. And when you don’t have access to soap, use plain water.
But when you don’t have access to water, I have a new recommendation: Try saline solution. New research shows it may be more effective than an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer. And you can purchase travel-sized bottles of saline at local grocery or convenience stores—making them just as easy to carry around as hand sanitizers!
2.) Avoid touching your face
We’ve known for a long time that you typically catch a cold or flu virus by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth. With some exceptions, these microbes don’t just fly through the air and land on you. They’re transmitted from person to person. So, during cold and flu season, make sure to avoid rubbing your eyes, scratching your nose, or biting your nails.
3.) Disinfect mobile phones and computer tablets
According to some research, your mobile phone and computer tablet are contaminated with more germs than toilet seats! So, make sure you sanitize them regularly with alcohol wipes.
4.) Be careful when shopping
Germs spread more easily from person to person in crowded places, especially crowded places with children, like schools, church, indoor playgrounds, malls, and big box shopping centers.
So whenever you’re out, avoid contact as best you can with potentially contaminated surfaces—such as doorknobs, countertops, pens, and credit card touch screens. Also, carry your own stylus pen to use on touch screens and for signing receipts. And always make sure to wash your hands (and face) with soap and water regularly—or saline, in a pinch.
5.) Get enough sleep
Research increasingly shows that sleep is a critical component of good health in general. And as I’ve reported before, studies show that people who sleep fewer than six hours at night are more susceptible to catching colds. So it’s important to rest up, each and every night. Read about these five effective tips for improving sleep.
6.) Stay hydrated
Research shows that the number of viruses in the air goes up as the humidity goes down. And in the winter, we tend to dry out our living environments to make them toasty and warm. Not to mention, the cold weather outside is naturally drier.
So—try using a humidifier inside your house to add moisture back into the air. And keep your body hydrated by taking rooibos or adding it to your drinking water. (I discuss the many benefits of this plant extract in the March 2013 issue of Insiders’ Cures [‘Are you drinking rooibos yet?’]. So if you haven’t already, sign up today!) You can also enjoy a daily cup of herbal tea, with your favorite ingredients, like ginger, turmeric, elderberry, Echinacea, honey, and lemon.
7.) Build a strong immune system
One of the best ways to fight any virus is to build a strong immune system. So, I recommend taking the following high-quality supplements, as research shows each can help prevent or ward off the flu, colds, and other viral infections:
- Vitamin B complex daily
- 250 mg of vitamin C, twice a day
- 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily
- 400 mg of magnesium daily
- 100 mcg of selenium daily
When it all comes down to it, I’m sure you’ll still get pressured by your doctor, your pharmacist, local newscasters, and even your friends to get your flu shot. But now you know what the science really shows, thanks to this comprehensive, new review. Plus, following these seven simple steps can really go a long way toward keeping you flu-free this winter—and virus-free year-round—without resorting to the government’s dreadful vaccine.
“Flu vaccine no match against bug that popped up near end.” Stat, 6/27/19. (statnews.com/2019/06/27/flu-vaccine-effectiveness-bug/)
“Vaccines for preventing influenza in the elderly.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2018 Feb 1;2:CD004876. doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004876.pub4.