Ask Tess: Should I take the flu vaccine this year?

Hello Ms. Tess,

Last year I made a New Year’s resolution and stuck to it. I wanted to live a healthier life. Since I made that promise to myself I have started exercising daily, taking natural supplements and paying attention to the types of food I put in my body. I feel great! My question to you is what do you think about the flu shot? Do you think getting the shot is worthwhile to protect myself against the flu season? Also, can you recommend some alternatives? Any information would be great!


E.L Tatum


Hello E.L.,

First of all, congratulations on sticking with your resolution – what an achievement. Your question couldn’t have come at a better time. With flu season about to come into full swing, it’s time we talk more about this.

Should You Take Your Chances With the Flu Shot?

This is a controversial topic that can go either way. One one hand, getting the flu vaccine can significantly reduce certain flu strands from getting out of control. Yet on the other hand, the shot’s effectiveness comes into question. As well, while injecting a vaccine, you are also injecting chemicals into your body. Allow me to explain: Each year, flu vaccines are designed to work against flu strands that are expected to be most common and the most serious. These vaccines are not always perfectly matched with the viruses that end up circulating.

Researchers combed through 31 studies and found that during 12 flu seasons, the most common type of flu shot prevented the flu in just 59 percent of people ages 18 through 64. The less-common live vaccine was more effective, protecting people 83 percent of the time, but it still didn’t provide a 100 percent guarantee of a flu-free winter. My view on vaccines are that they can end up doing more harm than good.

Vaccines contain neurotoxic chemicals such as aluminum, formaldehyde and sodium deoxycholate. Moreover, mercury is also added to the dose as a preservative that assists in preventing antimicrobial growth in the vaccine. (Source) Combined, these toxic chemicals have caused long term neurological disorders such as a autism. That said, while it is every person’s right to choose what is best for them, I am not a proponent of the flu shot. My children have never received the flu vaccination; and if I have my way, they never will. I feel that the misconceptions and health concerns surrounding the flu shot are too many to gamble on the wellbeing of my kids. Instead, I heavily rely on natural and preventative medicine to prevent ailments and boost one’s immunity.

In my home, we drink a lot of herbal teas with honey, lemon, ginger syrup added to it, we also include a lot of fresh vitamins from fruit and vegetables, and get ample amounts of sleep. If we are beginning to feel the onslaught of the flu, start taking a vitamin regimen of zinc and Vitamin D and spoonfuls of homemade elderberry syrup. A great aspect of natural medicine is that you can take as much as you want without being concerned of overdosing. Usually, when we begin taking elderberry syrup, it halts the virus very quickly. I can honestly say that using this homeopathic regimen, my family rarely gets ill. Another way we keep the flu virus at bay is using essential oils. Some of my favorite oils to use for upper respiratory infections are:

Peppermint Oil – Peppermint oil possesses antibacterial properties. It also acts as a digestive aid and helps to bring fevers down, as well as, act as a decongestant with colds. Peppermint is good to use as a steam inhalation to reduce bronchial issues.

Eucalyptus Oil – Eucalyptus oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties, but is most well-known for its use as a decongestant for respiratory disorders. In fact, a study conducted in Italy found that eucalyptus oil was effective in treating various respiratory viruses and bacteria including strains of influenza, Streptococcus and pneumonia. So these would be good for SHTF or natural medical care, as well. It must be diluted for safety. The diluted oil is taken by mouth for pain and swelling (inflammation) of respiratory tract mucous membranes, coughs, bronchitis, sinus pain and inflammation, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and respiratory infections. It is also used as an expectorant to loosen coughs, antiseptic, fever reducer, and in vaporizer fluids. Other uses include treatment of wounds, burns, ulcers, and cancer. Diluted eucalyptus oil is applied directly to the skin for pain and swelling of respiratory tract mucous membranes, joint pain, genital herpes, and nasal stuffiness.

Citrus Oils (orange, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin, tangerine) – Citrus oils are mood-enhancing oils, but each possess other medicinal benefits including assists with acne, scars, wrinkles, oily or dull skin, toxin buildup, and stress. Sweet orange oil, in particular, assists with colds and flu’s, gum and mouth ailments and slow digestion.

Oregano Oil – This essential oil assists in respiratory tract disorders such as coughs, asthma, croup, and bronchitis. Adding one drop of oregano oil to water can help calm and soothe irritated bronchials.

Other beneficial oils that could be used to treat respiratory infections are: rosemary, basil, thyme, cedar, pine, tea tree, orange or ginger.

I hope this information helps you in your decision. Again, congratulations on maintaining your New Year’s resolution and continue to stay well.

Warm Regards,



Additional information on the effectiveness of the flu vaccine can be found here.

All You Need To Know About Vaccines

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published October 15th, 2014
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