Thanks to a new bill currently going through New Jersey legislature, employees working at health care facilities such as general or special hospitals, nursing homes, or home health care agencies may be ‘mandatorily’ required to receive the flu vaccine. The bill, recently approved by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee, may be voted on this week.
Needless to say, this bill is not the first to call for mandatory flu vaccines. Previously, a federal advisory committee has called on hospitals and healthcare clinics to make the seasonal flu shot mandatory for all employees. What the advisory committee fails to mention is that there is a shocking lack of evidence supporting the effectiveness of the flu vaccine — especially regarding certain healthcare workers in particular. The Cochrane Database Review, the gold standard within the evidence-based medical model for deciding the potency of common medical interventions, does not lend clear scientific support to the theory that flu vaccines are safe or effective.
It is unfortunate to see such a practice pushed so hard on individuals, as the flu vaccine has a rather concerning history. In 2010, government health chiefs confirmed a link between the H1N1-containing seasonal flu vaccination and the killer nerve disease known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome. But this information didn’t stop health officials from pushing the vaccine onto the population in 2010 and 2011.
The link between Guillain-Barre Syndrome and the flu vaccine has been confirmed by studies, anecdotal evidence, and even the vaccine insert itself. The insert, detailing information about the Influenza A Monovalent Vaccine, details risks far beyond Guillain-Barre Syndrome. For all of the details you can read the insert yourself in PDF form.
Luckily, those realizing that the immune system is the key to prevent sickness won’t fall for the hard-sell of vaccinations. Instead of receiving a flu vaccine, try supplementing with vitamin D, which is 800 percent more effective than vaccines at preventing the flu according to numeric figures from research that appears in the March, 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Avoiding sugars, de-stressing the brain, and exercising are also great ways to reduce your chances of contracting a cold or the flu.
If you already fell into the trap of receiving the 1 percent effective flu vaccine, don’t worry. There are measures you can take before and after receiving a vaccine to help block the immune response and therefore protect yourself from vaccine damage.