Should You Have This Year’s Flu Vaccine Or Not?

There’s a question I am being asked a lot. First, let me say I am not anti-vax and I am pro-choice with the flu vaccine; it is up to everyone to research and make their own call on it.

People seem to think this year’s flu vaccine is more necessary because it will protect them from Covid. It will not. Covid is a coronavirus, whereas flu is not, so it has nothing to do with with COVID-19 at all. That said, the ‘experts’ are suggesting that you don’t want flu on top of Covid, which I guess is good advice. The question, though, is how to protect yourself from both and whether a flu vaccine is going to help.

I was mulling on my answers to this and then I saw a post from Patrick Holford on the very issue. He’s obviously being asked it like me! I thought he made some good points, so I link to it here for you to read.

Flu jab – yes or no?

I agree with his general assertion that people more vulnerable than me may well choose to have it and they may be a good decision for them. I, like him, have chosen not to have it and neither has P, who is a few years older than me.

Why? Because I generally feel that it is best to encourage a strong immune system to protect you from ‘baddies’ of all kinds rather than artificially stimulate antibodies against a particular single baddie, if you see what I mean. That’s not to say I wouldn’t change my mind if my health demanded it, or as I get older, or even if I saw evidence to convince me. And it’s not to say that my decision should affect anyone else’s; as I say, it is a question of choice. My choice might be entirely different for other illnesses too; I’m just talking about the flu vaccine here.

For those of you asking me what I would do about a Covid vaccine: I probably would have it, not least for social responsibility, but it’s too early to say since we don’t have any information about it yet, despite Pfizer’s – in my view, very premature – announcement last week.

One thing I do know is that good nutrient status can only help if you do have a vaccine – and if you don’t. Here’s the best article I’ve seen on that so far, from Nutri-Link, and it has a really good overview of the possible vaccines so far, their mechanisms and where we are with them:

They conclude:

VACCINE READINESS

In terms of determining nutrients that confer a benefit on vaccination (including those approved for Covid-19) it is necessary to draw on prior work, as there are no current vaccines to test against. As may be expected Vit D status has an impact on tolerisation, and may be of particular importance for older people. Zinc, A and E deficiencies have been noted to diminish benefits from vaccination in younger patients. Further work shows that Vitamin C, B vitamins, Copper, Selenium, Iron, Probiotics and EFAs are all required to ensure best response patterns to infection and vaccination.

TO VACCINATE OR NOT

The WHO recognises that vaccine hesitancy is a global challenge, and is nothing new. As we are likely to be asked to consider multiple vaccine candidates in a short time frame, this uncertainty it is going to create natural barriers to public acceptance.

Where we are presently, is that whilst there are many factors yet to be qualified regarding immune generation via a vaccine, a healthy and adequate nutrient status is a clinical benefit not a risk. If you have family or friends looking to receive a vaccine, the message is clear, there is a better outcome from efficiency and reduction of risk in those people with suitable micronutrient status than in those without.

Finally, I would make one point whilst you are researching and thinking about your own choices, though. Always be careful where your information comes from. Think: who wrote it, what is their agenda, is it backed up with solid research? There’s an awful lot of guff about on the subject, as you know, and it can be very confusing!

That’s my personal feeling on it anyway; your feelings may be entirely different and I respect that.

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