Tetanus shots for a measles outbreak. Doesn’t seem very sensible, does it? Measles and tetanus are two different diseases. But this is essentially what happens every flu season. And this year especially.
A few days ago, one of the national evening news covered a story of a boy that narrowly avoided death from some kind of influenza. The family was actually getting ready to say goodbye to him when he opened his eyes.
The parents felt a horrible sense of responsibility. You see, they hadn’t taken him to get a flu shot. They (and the hospital) also never bothered to check if the strain he contracted was one of the strains this year’s flu vaccine was manufactured for. The hospitals, statisticians, and–especially–the media rarely do. They just ASSuME that if you get the flu, then either you didn’t have your flu shot, or your infection is milder than it would have been if you hadn’t gotten your shot.
In truth, if you rely entirely on the logic of vaccinations to keep yourself from dying of the flu, then developing an immunity to H1N1 does bupkis to dealing with an Q1Z3 infection. You may as well be getting tetanus shots to protect against measles. There are dozens (or is it hundreds?) of strains of flu. Some may be deadlier than others, but which alphabet-soup label a particular strain is wearing means very little for purposes of our discussion. As far as your immune system is concerned, they’re two different adversaries to combat.
Actually, it’s worse than that. Despite claims that mercury is no longer being added to flu shots, many still have mercury levels 25,000 times the legal maximum of what the EPA allows for drinking water. Among other ill effects, sneaking this much mercury past your body’s defenses weakens your immune system–it actually INCREASES your chances of getting the flu and WORSENING your bout. Remember swine (H1N1) flu back in 2009? Guess what demographic was most likely to contract it? It was the folks who got their seasonal flu shots.
“Thimerosal, a mercury derivative, is added as a preservative. Each 0.5-mL dose contains 50 mcg [micrograms] thimerosal ([less than] 25 mcg mercury). Each 0.5-mL dose may also contain residual amounts of ovalbumin ([less than or equal to] 0.3 mcg), formaldehyde ([less than or equal to] 25 mcg), and sodium deoxycholate ([less than] 50 mcg) from the manufacturing process.”
(insert with a common flu vaccine)
So if you’re convinced by all these “doom and gloom” stories about overflowing hospitals and out-of-medicine panics to get your annual flu shot, you better get a tetanus shot, too. Just in case there’s a measles outbreak.
Update: *A provocative new study on flu virus transmission found that subjects had 6.3 times more aerosol shedding of flu virus particles if they received vaccination in the current and previous season compared with having no vaccination in those two seasons.
(Translation: People who get their flu shots are more likely to infect other people with the flu than those who don’t. Sneezing and/or coughing not required; breathing is enough.)