Should You Get the Flu Shot This Year?

Dave_white_suit_TMAs the cooler months approach, common colds and viruses typically start making their respiratory rounds. Getting sick is no fun and many of us will do anything to stay healthy through the fall and winter. Hit the gym, take a hike, go to yoga, sweat in a sauna, take supplements, get a flu shot, etc. While it’s difficult to know what works and what doesn’t, the flu shot has been growing in popularity to prevent the nasty flu.   But, is it something you should get?


How Is a Flu Shot Created?  

After some research, I found out that scientists formulate each year’s flu shot with proteins from inactive viruses.  These viruses trigger your immune system to produce antibodies.  The hope is that the inactive viruses selected will produce the antibodies needed to prevent the flu.

It’s a Little Bit of Guesswork

One of the limitations of the flu shot’s effectiveness is that it is guesswork. Several flu strains are floating around our environment and in doing so, they mutate to create new strains. Scientists have to try and guess the correct strains to formulate the vaccine. Based on the numbers provided in Lancet Infectious Diseases, the vaccine is effective about 60% of the time. This means that you can still get the flu, even if you get the vaccine.       

Physician Approved?  

Even though it’s guesswork, some doctors claim that even a flawed shot is worth having because if you get the flu, “The illness will be milder than it would have been without the vaccine.” (Dr. Kawsar Talaat, MD in vaccine researcher at Johns Hopkins University.) This claim is based on the idea that the antibodies you build will still be partially effective against flu strains not included in the shot.

True Health U’s Take

I’ve spoken to many clients and friends who have gotten the flu shot in previous years and even this year already. Some experienced bad side effects and won’t do it again. Another still got the flu even with the vaccine.  But many others swear it protected them last year, never experienced side effects, and will likely get it again.

If you do decide to get the flu shot this year, know that it may help you or may make you feel yucky.  It’s not full proof, so whether you get it or not, consider some of the other nutritional measures shown to boost your immune system as well.  These are provided in your free Real Food Therapy Guide on Influenza (p. 59).

About Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT

Dave is the true health guy. He is the founder and owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC, a personal health and fitness company in Tolland, CT & Wellness Writers, a subscription wellness newsletter service that incorporates live & virtual wellness workshops for companies across New England. Dave earned both a Bachelor's (1998) and Master's Degree (2000) in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut, and also holds certifications as a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Instructor, and Nutrition Specialist. He's also the lead author for four published works. Dave has over 20 years of combined experience in nutrition counseling, dietary supplement advising, personal training, corrective exercise training, health coaching and public speaking. In addition, he's spent over 25 years studying spirituality, meditation, and personal growth strategies. Dave's clients are all ages: youth, college championship level athletes, folks in their retired years, and everywhere in between. He's worked with three of the nation's leading physicians as a dietary supplement advisor and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, UConn, St. Joseph College and various church groups, health clubs, and high schools. In 2013, he was invited to Whole Foods Market to share his Real Food Therapy Guide. And in 2015, Dave's funny "Snowga" (yoga in the snow) video caught the attention of The National Weather Channel, who aired it to shake off cabin fever and bring laughter. In 2016, Dave & Hollie (his wife) founded Wellness Writers and deliver evidence-based Wellness E-newsletters to spread a message of health and happiness to various businesses throughout the US. Dave currently serves as a personal trainer in Tolland as well as a wellness coach and writer for several businesses, gyms and wellness facilities throughout the US.

Leave a Reply