Do you need the flu vaccine?

Medical advice comes from the strangest places these days. That’s all I could think when I read an email from a patient asking whether her children should get the flu shot.

That’s a common question this time of year, with the flu shot propaganda machine in full swing. We hear the CDC, doctors, and TV ads all reminding us that we need to get vaccinated — or face the dire consequences of the flu.

But this patient’s kids were also hearing it from someplace else — their college administrators. At each school (and these aren’t medical schools, mind you), the dean was urging all students to get the flu vaccine.

Puzzled? Me too. Because why would a dean of a school dispense medical advice? And do they really think vaccinating all their students will make the school immune from the flu? But most of all, shouldn’t educators educate themselves before making such blanket statements?

The fact is, the flu vaccine’s effectiveness is far from a foregone conclusion. I mean, even the CDC can’t get its story straight on how effective it is.

For years they’ve been telling us that we could protect ourselves with either the injectable vaccine or the nasal spray. As recently as 2015, the CDC was claiming that both versions “have been demonstrated to be effective in children and adults.”

But now, they’re completely contradicting themselves. This year’s advice? “Don’t use the nasal vaccine. We have efficacy concerns.”

Yes, so do I. About all of it.

And that’s just one example of how they’ve gotten it wrong, time and time again. Yet they’re still telling us to just trust them and roll up our sleeves. And what’s worse, they treat us like we’re crazy when we say, “Not so fast …”

Just listen to what was just published in the journal Pediatrics. But get ready, because it’s a doozy…

According to a new study, it seems that all of us — you, me, and the roughly 30 percent of this country who use some sort of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) — are putting our children at risk. But it’s not because of some unstated risks for CAM in general.

No, get this: It’s because those of us who use CAM are less likely to get flu shots.

Of course we are, because we’re smart. We read. We don’t dogmatically believe everything that the medical establishment tells us without asking questions. So of course we’re less likely to get the flu shot.

But the authors of this study claim that children of people who use CAM may also be less likely to get a flu shot, thus putting them at a “disadvantage.” Of course, they have no real data to support this claim. They simply note that “influenza vaccine uptake among US children is suboptimal.” And that “CAM use in children is not uncommon, and the sparse literature available suggests that children using CAM are less likely to be vaccinated.”

So, in their eyes, 1+1 must equal 2.

But that’s not the way real scientific research works. Which exposes this article for what it truly is. Another desperate attempt at smearing CAM and shaming parents who might have the audacity to go against the grain to look at ALL of the available options for keeping their kids healthy.

Of course, as with any report that pushes a particular agenda, it’s always a good idea to follow the money. And this one is no exception.

It was supported by the Department of Health Policy and Administration at Pennsylvania State University. The authors also received assistance from the Population Research Institute at Pennsylvania State University, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health.

But perhaps most telling is the fact that the lead author is a medical “consultant” on mumps vaccine litigation. So we’re clearly not dealing with unbiased researchers here.

The bottom line is I don’t think healthy children need a flu shot. In fact, I don’t think anyone of any age who is healthy needs a flu shot.

The flu strains included in the vaccines are very often wrong. Even the CDC admits the flu shot fails to protect about half the people who get it each year. (And as we’ve seen before, they’re often overly optimistic about their numbers.)

You know what really protects against flu — without lining anyone’s pockets? A little common sense and a few simple, natural immune-supporting tips. Here are just a few that I’ve had success with time and again:

  • Eliminate sugar
  • Wash your hands regularly (not with antibacterial soaps and gels, but with good old soap and water)
  • Take 1,000 mg of AHCC per day

You can also try doing a short-term fast, which has been shown to kick-start the immune system.

Whatever you do, don’t take medical advice from people who aren’t qualified to give it. And even then, make sure you do your homework and make informed choices. I’ll keep helping you do just that.