Influenza A and Influenza B annually cause epidemics that pose varying degrees of illness. For the average flu, symptoms of headache, muscle aches, fatigue, fever, sore throat are limited to a few days to a few weeks. Often there is a stubborn drainage cough that may last a couple of weeks more even after the main illness. Most people recover fully with no continuing problems. Only people with unusually fragile health are in danger from the flu.

The typical season begins in November and peaks in late January or early February, tailing off into April. Influenza viruses have a very high rate of mutation, which means they are constantly changing their physico-chemical structure to adapt to new environments. This frustrates vaccine producers, because immunity developed one year carries over to the next year only by chance.

Pharmaceutical companies were initially reluctant to pursue such a challenge because of lawsuits. In the 1970s, Gerald Ford launched a government effort to inject people with Swine Flu Vaccine on the concept that the human race periodically experiences a devastating influenza epidemic like the 1918 Influenza Pandemic; his belief was that we were due.

Based on homeopathic principles, I warned my patients not to take that vaccine for fear of neurological disease. In fact, Swine Flu itself never developed, but drug companies were sued massively over Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a chronic paralytic condition.

Drug companies stayed out of the field of vaccines until Congress provided vaccine makers with lawsuit protection. Since then they have sponsored media campaigns for flu vaccine claiming 80% protection except in the elderly — who were a major justification in the first place.

From year to year, UNvaccinated people do NOT get flu about 50-70% of the time. The State Health Department puts out a monthly California Morbidity and Mortality Report, which shows in North California an effectiveness rate of 15-25% for flu shots (except one year of 40%). This means that those who get flu shots have a 15-25% less chance of getting flu than those who are not vaccinated — about the same as what the CDC claims but using the statistics differently.

I oppose flu shots because of the way they are made, which could be a contributor to the current drastic rise in Autoimmune Diseases of all kinds.

A word of explanation: A virus is a very tiny organism consisting of DNA or RNA in its core, and a shell of protein used to attach to a cell membrane in order to inject the DNA or RNA into the cell. This programs the cell’s chemistry into a factory to make many more virus particles which burst the cell and spread to other cells.

The body has several immune mechanisms to combat viruses. The first is mucous membranes such as nose, throat, lungs. Cells there mobilize to trap and kill viruses. Fever may be produced, burning out viruses without harming the body. There are T-cells and macrophages in the blood stream which mobilize to devour the viruses. And finally, as a piece of the process, antibodies are formed which inactivate them.

Because viruses are always mutating to evade the body’s defenses, LAST year’s vaccine would work no better than not vaccinating at all (so, an effectiveness rate of 60 or 70%). So experts meet soon after last year’s season and guess at what viruses might show up this year. They then GRIND UP those viruses into RANDOM PROTEINS using glass beads in rotating containers. These random proteins are then injected in the hope of stimulating ANTIBODIES against them.

Because the protein shell of the virus uses our own cell membranes as handles for attachment, they are similar in structure and chemistry to proteins in the cell membranes. If we make antibodies against viral RANDOM PROTEINS, we would also be making antibodies to RANDOM CELL MEMBRANE PROTEINS.

By definition, antibodies against our own cells is Autoimmune Disease. Such diseases predominating in recent years include Fibromyalgia, Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus Erythematosis, Sjogren’s, and likely even various types of colitis, multiple sclerosis, pericarditis, pulmonary fibrosis, etc.

Because of their relative ineffectiveness and potential harm, I recommend against flu shots for anyone of any age despite media pressure. For patients of mine who are already under constitutional treatment, if you get the flu, take a dose of your remedy. It works most of the time (though not always).

Another option is FluMist, a live vaccine which is taken as a nose spray. It costs a little less than twice as much, but it is as effective as the shot, lasts about 18 months, and should not have the Autoimmunity problem.

From the homeopathic point of view, it makes common sense to duplicate the ROUTE of administration of the virus. Flu in nature is acquired through mucous membranes, so all immune methods are involved. Bypassing such mechanisms by injecting random proteins does not make sense.