November 27th, 2012

The Flu Shot Should Be Your Choice

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Groovy Green Livin flu shot

The flu shot was part of my annual routine for many years. I remember the trip to the doctors office, rolling up my sleeve, turning my head to the side and squeezing my eyes shut tight in anticipation of that slight prick in my arm. I didn’t think twice about getting the flu shot. Then it all changed. I began to research and ask questions. A few years ago I stopped getting it.

Why I don’t get the flu shot

I’m a firm believer in no judgment on this site or anywhere else, provided the choices are within reason. Whether or not you get the flu shot is your choice. I’m willing to share with you my reasons for not getting the flu shot, but they’re my reasons and don’t have to be yours.

  • Formaldehyde is used in the flu shot to kill viruses or inactivate toxins during the manufacturing process of the vaccine. Formaldehyde (remember that awful smell from biology?) is a known carcinogen (cancer causing).
  • Thimerosol is used in the multi-dose vials of the flu vaccine. Thimerosol contains mercury, which is known to impair neurological and immune systems. Yes, the amount in the flu shot is small, but I’m not interested in adding a known toxin to my body.
  • There are also other ingredients, detergents, antibiotics, chemicals and allergens like polysorbate-80 that causes infertility, used  in the flu shot.

I know what you’re thinking-there’s another side to this argument. How about getting the flu shot and protecting those around me from getting the flu that I’m bound to catch and share with the world. I get it. But it’s a choice I’ve made and I ask you not to judge me.

Here’s the true kicker for me.

Ohio workers are fired for not getting the flu shot

Yep. You read that headline correctly. An Ohio-based health center fired 150 of its workers the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for not complying with a mandate that every member of the 10,800-person staff get the flu shot.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, fourteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws requiring health workers to get the flu shot. Generally, an exemption is allowed for religious or medical reasons.

Getting the flu shot is my choice

I don’t know about you, but this Ohio company’s mandate and decision to fire its employees doesn’t sit well with me. Whether or not I chose to get the flu shot is and should remain my choice and should be yours too. Thankfully I’m self-employed and can continue to make that decision without any repercussions. But what about all the people out there who fall under the mandate?

I’d love to hear what you think. Should companies be allowed to force employees to get a flu shot? 


photo credit: USACE Europe District via photopin cc

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11 Responses to “The Flu Shot Should Be Your Choice”

  1. I agree with you. I quit getting the flu shot many years ago and I am healthier now than ever before. My husband was active duty military for a long time, and like the Ohio workers, military personnel are also forced to get ALL vaccines, including Anthrax. He was strong armed to get the flu shot 4 months before he was to separate permanently. All vaccines should be our informed choice. Like so many other sad examples, though, informed choice has flown out the window.

  2. These vaccines should be a choice. Where do we draw the line? Forced sterilization?
    Shane@EnviroBooty recently posted..Scientists at USC and Oxford Find Global HFCS Type 2 Diabetes LinkMy Profile

  3. I don’t usually get a flu shot because I have crappy insurance that doesn’t cover it and rarely get seriously sick anyway. However, if I were in a field that put me in contact with immuno-compromised and other at risk people, I would get it. And if I were immuno-compromised myself, I would want the people who were caring for me to have had it. I think it’s reasonable that health care workers be required to get the flu shot; I also think it should be provided on the premises during work hours and 100% free so there are no cost / labor union issues. I don’t think the flu shot should be mandatory for everyone, but choosing to work in a health field seems to me like a commitment to caring for other people’s health.

    Our bodies naturally produce formaldehyde and many whole foods (bananas, green onions, cauliflower) contain small to moderate amounts. I was surprised to learn that my favorite dried shiitake mushrooms top the list for formaldehyde levels! I found this site helpful in understanding formaldehyde risks: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/formaldehyde
    Jennifer @noteasy2begreen recently posted..Breaking up with eco-perfectionismMy Profile

  4. Thanks for your comment Jennifer. You make a good point-by choosing to be in a health field you are committing to caring for other people’s health. I have a big problem with forcing anyone to do anything when it comes to our bodies. I certainly understand both sides of the argument, but I think that we should have the right to chose and hopefully we will make the right choice (all by ourselves) without intervention. Thanks for the info on formaldehyde. I’ll take a look.

  5. It certainly seems crazy to me Shane. When it comes to our bodies I don’t want anyone telling me what I have to do.

  6. I like how you phrased that Michelle-“all vaccines should be our informed choice.” Informed is such a key word. I have to admit and probably should have included in the post that I do get the flu almost every year and it’s no fun. But I still don’t want the flu vaccine.

  7. Whenever I worked at the Hospital I got the shot like you did, by choice. SInce then I had looked into it, it seems that these and other shots are not containing toxins only, they are further being tampered with there is something added to it to put our antibodys into overdrive and make us even more suceptible to whatever it is and more that we are getting the shot for in the first place. When I quit working at the Hospital the place tried to own me. Too many compaines do this today.Next the Goverment will require these shots!I won’t get one!

  8. [...] tell us about it @NYMetroParents! What do you think? Should the Flu Shot Should Be Your Choice? groovygreenlivin.com/2012/11/the-fl… via @groovygreenlivi — Lori Popkewitz Alper (@groovygreenlivi) November 28, [...]

  9. Agree that it is individual’s choice to make – not to be mandated by any other entity.
    Nancy recently posted..Tutors and Teachers – Day 5 of 12 Days of ShoppingMy Profile

  10. I absolutely agree with you on this! I’ve seen many cases, especially in healthcare, where employees were required to get a flu vaccine. I’d probably lose my job because being forced to put something into my body that I don’t want to is not something I’m willing to do.
    Cathy recently posted..Cody’s Walt Disney World Birthday SurpriseMy Profile

  11. It’s such a tough issue Cathy.

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I continue on my journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I just might stop to make some noise about issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I fight for a safer world for all of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes in your life can lead to a non-toxic, healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

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