I have stressed and stressed (and then stressed some more) about whether or not to give my kids the flu vaccine. Historically, I never got a flu shot, even when I was teaching junior high. Maybe I never thought getting the flu shot was an urgent matter since I never had one when I was a kid. I’m sure I got sick, but I don’t remember panic surrounding the flu.
When my daughter was born, I didn’t even think about it until she was old enough to get one. I think the first time my daughter received the flu shot was when H1N1 hit the scene, and my son was just three months old. She was three years old and going to preschool (synonymous for germ pool) for the first time. At the time, it just seemed to make sense.
From them on, I got them flu shots without thinking much about it. My pediatrician, who I love and trust, said it was the best thing for my kids., especially since kids die from the flu every year. (Emphasis on “die” and “every year” in case I wasn’t convinced it was a good idea).
In the back of my head, I always had low-grade humming of anxiety about the preservatives and mercury in the flu shot. That humming turned into a howl this fall when I got my flu shot. I felt horrible after the injection. I know, I know — it’s normal to feel that way because your body is fighting off the virus and building immunity. But it got me thinking: what would a life time of flu shots do to my kids?
For full disclosure, I totally agree vaccines that fight life-threatening illnesses such as polio and pertussis are a great idea. But the flu? With a shot that is not even close to 100% effective because it a a guess on which strains will be going around this year? With all that mercury?
I am aware that the shot is available without the mercury, but my doctor (and anyone in a 20 mile radius) never seems to have any in stoc
We don’t have any underlying lung issues or compromised immune systems. I am aware of the complications of the flu, but I have had colds that have turned into pneumonia.
I have great respect for the medical community and I think there is a great need for all the wonderful medical advances, but I think that I am going to try a more natural approach to boosting our immune systems.
This year, I am trying Sambucol which is derived from the elderberry. Studies have shown that it is an effective way to boost the immune system when you are feeling symptoms of a cold or flu. (So far, I am happy with the results while using it against my cold). I also ordered muco coccinium (which I am still waiting to get in the mail).
I don’t know if this is better than the flu shot or not, but I am going with my gut on this one. Having said that, I wish traditional medicine offered more guidance and support in incorporating natural methods in boosting the immune system.
Do you have any tried and true natural remedies that you use during cold and flu season?