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To Flu Shot or Not to Flu Shot

This is my pediatrician's stance on the flu shot.

The flu season and the unusual occurrence of so much flu illness in the summer has brought a lot of issues to the forefront. Pandemic preparation, health dept. preparation, and the media blitz while necessary and helpful, they create a level of anxiety that is not always so helpful.

I want you to know how grateful I am to have patients who maintain their focus and realistically evaluate their risk and alternatives. I will have the flu vaccine in the next 10 days and the H1N1 when it is released for anyone in a high risk group especially those with a chronic medical condition.

I just want to share some observations that relate to flu and viruses in general to help you make a decision, I hope, about getting the vaccines for your children. While all viruses are obviously infectious I think it is likely that because they are DNA/RNA they can be released out of our own cell structure under certain stresses. Herpes viruses like cold sores release sporadically. Chronic mono becomes active disease like chronic fatigue syndrome when the EBV virus is activated. Different stresses seem to activate and even cause new viruses. Getting chilled causes some to catch a cold .Sleeplessness decreases our immune strength, etc. In the past viruses seemed to have a season of increased activity, indicating weather plays one part in allowing a virus to take hold. Chicken pox and hand, foot and mouth disease used to be spring viruses. Diarrheal disease was mostly in the summer; cold and flu viruses were mostly winter viruses. With weather patterns changing things are shifting and flu appeared more this spring and summer than usual. I think we probably had H1N1 as early as April and May before reports of spread from Mexico. Certainly the flu-like symptoms of cases then were similar to those seem later.Viruses do tend to change or mutate. However, they still follow the trend that the elderly, the very young, those with a chronic medical condition are more susceptible to complications.  Because H1N1 was primarily a summer virus it might be too soon for it to mutate or do whatever it needs to do to become more active in the winter also. This is just a guess, but it doesn’t matter because there will be some other strain we still have to deal with anyway. People not in a high risk and even those who are but maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet weather the flu better. Adding the right homeopathic remedy adds to the success rate greatly.

I know it’s a small number but some people who get the flu vaccine get a bad reaction. This actually follows the homeopathic principal-if the vaccine is too strong or concentrated for some they get flu symptoms. Some of these reactions have been very significant with a downturn in a patient’s health for some time. Again this is a small percentage but I’m just uncomfortable recommending something when I can’t predict who it might affect adversely. If there were no other alternative it would be different.

With these latest outbreaks of regular and H1N1 flu, homeopathy has been just as effective as in the past. So, I feel homeopathy is still a viable safer alternative. Just like the standard flu vaccine not being perfect, neither is homeopathy, but at least it doesn’t cause any problems and it still works very well most of the time. I heard a tv interview with a man from the village in Mexico targeted as the epicenter of the original spread.  He reported arm, back leg bone pain 6 weeks after the onset. These are some of the symptoms of the remedy Eupatorium and indeed that helped a lot of patients this summer along with other remedies, such as China, Phytolacca, Gelsemium and Mercurious Vivus.

Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic remedy made from a patient who had the flu-the same idea as the regular vaccine but made homeopathically. So, you could proactively give it or Influenzinum(another brand of the same idea)1/wk or every other week at the beginning of the season and maybe 2/wk if there is a lot of exposure like at school or day care. Some people feel given 2/day during a case of the flu it helps get rid of it as well. Also keep on hand the above remedies. They can be used to treat according to the specific symptoms (see attachment).If you know from me if there is a remedy that seems to be helping the most with current active cases you can help prevent them by using those remedies in a 200c 1-2/wk.Remember Oscillococcinum dose is 15-20 pellets not the whole vial and remedies can be obtained at your health food store or  NE Homeopathic at 1-800-551-3611. 

Hope this is helpful---Dr.K

I can't see chasing something down that I'm still not sure about.  I am giving the whole family Oscillococcinum once a week.

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Comments

Alice

Dude, I heart your Dr. Way to inform the people.
I have H1N1 right now though and let me tell you - I would have rather been vaccinated any day over this crap and thank goodness Toby doesn't have it. It's naaaasty.

Diosa

@Liz - The health dept is doing an H1N1 clinic at the kids' school in about a week. I am leaning towards bringing them in. Of course, they didn't really explain when they'd do another clinic for the second shot, and my understanding is that it's two. I feel like it's crap shoot either way. One third of all hospitalized patients with H1N1 have asthma, and Trouble has asthma, so he's high risk. But the vaccine is so new, you can't be sure it's not going to give you H1N1 or have a terrible side effect.

Diosa

@Liz - Oh, and I hope you feel better soon! You must be so miserable. And I hope Toby stays healthy.

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I trust more a homeopathy remedy than a vaccine. I often use homeopathy for treating normal flu, and is working great and very fast.

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