As we enter this influenza season, people have been asking for my predictions and guidance for how to stay healthy and weigh the risks and benefits of getting the flu vaccine. Here are some of my initial thoughts to consider.
1. We are expecting this to be a significant flu season. Due to COVID-19, over the last two years, people have not shared germs like we normally do, so there is much less herd immunity against influenza than in typical years. But then again, I predicted a bad flu season last winter and was wrong, so I guess we’ll see!
2. We do not know how successful the flu vaccine will be this year. While in some years the vaccine effectiveness was up to 60%, last year it was only 14% (the worst it has been in 15 years). If you decide to get the vaccine, I have created a “Supplements to Take When Receiving Vaccinations” document with guidance on the supplements I recommend taking before and after you get a vaccine. Wholistic patients can find it in the “Useful Information section of their Patient Portal and non-patients can access it through our Patreon site.
3. People infected with the influenza virus are no longer contagious 24 hours after their last fever.
4. In my opinion, the best way to be protected is to have 25-hydroxy vitamin D, plasma zinc, and serum zinc levels around the middle of the reference range.
5. The prescription flu medication Tamiflu is an effective treatment option that typically reduces flu-related symptoms by 1-2 days. When taken in the first 48 hours after contracting the virus, Tamiflu can reduce more severe complications related to the flu (such as pneumonia) by 44% and risk of hospitalization by 63%. 6. Check out our How to Prevent and Treat the Flu (2021 Update), you can find more detailed information about my approach to preventing and treating the Flu through our Patient Portal or by becoming a Patreon member.
Take care and stay well!