Were you confused about the H1N1 vaccine last year? Do you want to protect your family and yourself from the flu this season? Every year individuals are faced with making important decisions regarding the prevention and/or treatment of colds and flu. I recommend that you gather as much information as possible (from your family doctor, naturopathic doctor, local health department, etc.) and then make a personal decision. Here are some important facts you should be aware of:
FLU Vaccine – The Cochrane Database Review considers the use of universal vaccination for healthy adults questionable. It found that the flu vaccine was 70% effective in preventing a specific strain of flu (however, there are approximately 300 strains at any one time), but only 15% effective in preventing clinical cases of the flu in the general population. The duration of the flu was reduced by just 0.16 days – approximately 3.5 hours.
H1N1 Virus – If you consider the characteristics of the H1N1 virus from last season, it is an orthomyxovirus which has a high antigenic changeability that is capable of making the anti-influenza vaccine ineffective. For example, immediately before the 2009 pandemic, over 99% of ‘ordinary’ epidemic H1N1 isolates tested by the US Centers for Disease Control were resistant to Tamiflu. In September 2009, Dr. Kent Holtorf, an expert in infectious diseases from the UK, made a statement unequivocally warning against the H1N1 vaccine, saying that it had been “rushed to the market.” Dr. Holtorf has a greater concern over the vaccine than the H1N1 virus itself. When asked if he would give it to his children, his response was “I definitely would not.” Ultimately, the decision is up to you.
(Consider this: vaccines often contain mercury, formaldehyde, antibiotics and MSG)
2010/2011 Flu Shot or Not? – If you are considering the 2010/2011 seasonal influenza vaccine, the WHO has recommended that the Northern Hemisphere vaccines contain the following three viruses:
- A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)–like virus,
- A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)–like virus, and
- B/Brisbane/60/2008–like virus.
Both the US and Canada have implemented this trivalent combination as this years influenza vaccine.
Natural Flu Prevention for Adults & Children
The swine flu crisis of last year triggered renewed interest in naturopathic medicine and its’ safe, evidence-based alternatives to the H1N1 vaccine. If you decide to forgo the seasonal influenza vaccine, a Naturopathic Doctor can provide influenza prevention advice and protocols to get you through this season.
Natural Flu Prevention may include the Following: Vitamin injections, homeopathics – oral or intravenously, nutraceutical support, botanical support, acupuncture & Chinese herbs, nutritional guidance, physical exam and laboratory testing.
Vitamin Injections (Meyer’s Push)
Everyday stress, lack of sleep, poor diet and environmental exposures deplete vital nutrients needed to ward off infections. A vitamin injection is a 5 – 10 minute in-office intravenous push with a cocktail of high dose vitamin C, magnesium, B vitamins and important trace minerals such as zinc and selenium. IV therapy provides the highest absorption possible, bypassing the gut and going directly into your bloodstream. Vitamin Injections:
Provide rapid relief of symptoms
Bolsters your immune system for prevention of influenza
Can be given as flu prevention, at the beginning of symptoms to shorten duration of illness, and throughout the illness to support the body’s immune system and quicken recovery times.
Now that kids are back to school, the risk of exposure to virus and bacteria are high. Homeopathy is an excellent, non-invasive way to enhance the immune system. Our homeopathic “Infekt” is a sterile, drinkable ampoule which is administered in-office and serves as an excellent first choice for children. Two retrospective studies conducted in 2003 involved 3783 children aged 0-12, who were evaluated by medical and naturopathic doctors. The outcomes were 90-100% effective in all cases for treating symptoms of respiratory infection, fever, sore throat, otitis media, etc. We also custom design necessary homeopathic support based on symptoms a person may already have. Inkfet, as well as other homeopathics, are typically added to Vitamin Injections as a “Naturopathic Flu shot.”
Probiotics – Probiotics play an integral role in the immune system – a large part of which takes place in the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics are available in different strains and quality – an N.D. can help determine what dose and which strain(s) are best for you.
Vitamin D – Canada’s Public Health Agency started to test individuals who contract the H1N1 virus to ascertain their levels of vitamin D. Researchers experimenting with mice found that those low in vitamin D were more susceptible to an experimental swine flu infection. Low vitamin D scores have been proven to hamper anti-viral immunity.
We use only the highest quality botanical extracts in our office to enhance the immune system. Our botanicals provide a dose and unique range of phytochemicals, flavonoids, alkylamides, and polyphenols to prevent and relieve symptoms of colds, flu, and upper respiratory tract infections.
For more information on how to boost your immune system this season read:
You’ve heard them before, here they are again: Simple everyday steps that one can take to prevent from contracting the flu:
- Frequent Hand washing for at least 20 seconds at a time.
- Sneeze into sleeve, not hands.
- Avoid crowded places
- Get adequate Sleep
If you are unsure about this years influenza vaccine and would like to take natural steps to protect your self this season – see a Naturopathic Doctor today.