In 2011, Walgreen Co. brought 5.5 million people through their doors for influenza vaccinations—and was sure to give them coupons on the way out. Unfortunately, this seemingly benign marketing campaign could have bigger, more troublesome side effects. In addition to the ineffectiveness and even danger of many vaccines, receiving them at a pharmacy as opposed to a physician’s office disrupts medical record continuity.
“From a quality standpoint, this cuts down on the continuity of care,” says Dr. Joel Shalowitz, medical group president. “There becomes no way of knowing when someone is due for a vaccination that they may need.”
Attracting Customers and Money
Meanwhile, the likes of Walgreen are raking in cash.
Pharmacies generally administer flu shots for up to $32, while the actual dose costs private-sector buyers up to $16.72 (and as low as $9.50). Therefore, not only do pharmacies profit for the actual vaccination, they lure patients into the pharmacy to spend more cash on, for example, deodorant or contact solution. Rite Aid even offers people who receive their flu shot a booklet with coupons amounting to $100.
The Affordable Care Act is even encouraging vaccination. Walgreen claims that only 1 of 10 of its customers will pay for their flu shot and insurance will take care of the rest. But the issue goes far beyond personal gain in profit. Vaccines are dangerous, and with local pharmacies offering up a jab, which are very often free during flu season, even more people are being exposed to the dangers.
Dangers of Vaccines
Unfortunately, most of us are blissfully ignorant of the dangers of many vaccines. Australian health officials eventually banned the flu shot after several children were hospitalized for convulsing after vaccinations, and in 2010 the American government admitted that the H1N1 vaccine side effects included a deadly nerve disease, Guillain-Barre Syndrome. This, of course, didn’t stop health officials from continuing the push the vaccine on the public, even though it has been found by researchers in Vancouver to actually worsen H1N1 symptoms.
To steer clear of the flu and harmful effects of the vaccine, try taking a sunscreen-free walk in the sun. Just 10 to 15 minutes daily of vitamin D3 can slash your risk of getting the flu by 42%. You could also start drinking green tea and following these other steps on how to prevent a cold and the flu. Your immune system – not vaccines – is the true fighter against the flu.