No to the flu shot, from a functional medicine perspective

Whether it’s TV, radio, or from friends and family, everyone has probably heard ‘It’s time to get your flu shot. But maybe you’re unsure and debating if you should skip the flu shot this year. We want to share our perspective on the flu vaccine as Functional Medicine providers because hearing a new viewpoint on the flu vaccine can empower you to make an educated decision for yourself.

This article will answer the following questions: ‘Is the flu shot effective?’, ‘Is it worth it?’ and ‘Does it cause long-term health issues?’. So let’s dive in.

Our Main Concerns Regarding the Flu Shot

Concern #1: Weakens Your Immune System

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center researchers showed that getting the flu vaccine can actually weaken your immune system in subsequent years. This is especially true for adults over the age of 65 years since aging alters both the innate and adaptive branches of the immune system.

And when your immune system is weakened…it can lead to more severe flu symptoms. Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it?

So while the flu shot may actually increase your risk of getting the flu, the shot can even contribute to chronic disease with its toxic ingredients, like: 

  • Aluminum (a known neurotoxin)
  • Formaldehyde (a known carcinogen)
  • Thimerosal (preservative)
  • Triton X100 (a detergent)
  • And other additives known to cause allergic reactions
Concern #2: Heightens Your Toxic Load, Contributing to Chronic Disease

When you get the flu shot, you aren’t simply getting antibodies for the suspected flu strain. You are also getting additional ingredients, like formaldehyde and thimerosal, injected into your body that can contribute to your toxic load. 

When we say “toxic load”, we are referring to the accumulation of chemicals or molecules that are foreign to our biological systems. So while one flu shot may not send your body into a full-blown chronic disease state, yearly vaccines can add to the already horrible toxin exposure our body deals with in our current society.

The issue with this is that over time, heightened toxic loads can put your immune response into overdrive, causing cellular dysfunction, and inflammation, leading to chronic health issues.

In fact, 70-90% of cancers are caused by poor diet and environmental factors (like toxins), and toxic exposure also contributes to cardiovascular diseases, strokes, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, thyroiditis, and chronic infections.

Avoiding as many toxins as possible is the best thing you can do for your immune system and long-term health.

Concern #3: The Flu Shot Isn’t as Effective as You Thought

“Is the flu vaccine even effective?” you might ask. Well, you may be surprised to learn that the Flu shot is not as effective as you thought, or have been told. In fact, the CDC even states that the flu shot is effective only 50% of the time. If you’re an older adult, it’s even less effective. Some years, flu shot effectiveness plunges to as low as 10%!

Here’s why effectiveness is so low.

Flu vaccine companies create their seasonal flu vaccine based on which circulating flu virus they believe will be the most apparent during the flu season. They chose the year’s virus strain at the beginning of the year (March), months before the actual flu season. If they guess wrong, the flu vaccine won’t actually protect your body from the strain that’s going around.

So, in short, if you take the flu shot, you can weaken your immune system, making your body more vulnerable to the flu strain that’s circulating.

Also, research is emerging that shows the impact of repeat vaccination can potentially contribute to lower vaccine effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccines.

Why the Government Pushes Flu Shots

You might be thinking, “well, if it’s not that effective, why are flu shots pushed so heavily by the government?” And that’s a good question to ask.

The answer is money. The government needs a healthy economy. And what makes a healthy economy? These huge pharma companies making money!

In fact, Wendell Potter, a former high-ranking health insurance executive who is now pretty outspoken about the problem with health insurance and the healthcare industry, once agreed and restated the quote…

“We do not really have a health care system in this country. We have a disease management industry, and from the perspective of a lot of healthcare providers, certainly most pharmaceutical companies, they are not all that keen on getting you well. They would love for you to be on maintenance medications for the rest of your life. That is how they make money.”

You see, they aren’t concerned about your health, they care about the money. If it was about your health, we could see campaigns about eating whole foods, exercise programs, fruit, and vegetable stipends to farmers instead of wheat and corn. Pesticides would be banned by big agriculture. But we don’t see this safe, effective, holistic approach. 

At in2GREAT, we genuinely care about your health. 

How to Protect Yourself From the Flu Without Getting the Flu Shot

We want to empower you to take control of your health and offer you alternative options other than getting the Flu shot. When it comes down to it, optimizing your immune system is the best thing you can do to safeguard your body from viruses. Keeping your “terrain” (aka cellular state) healthy is what will protect you against foreign invaders coming in.

Here’s How to Protect Your Body’s Immediate and Long-Term Health If you Want to Skip the Flu Shot
  1. Optimize your diet with an abundance of nutrient-rich organic whole foods to support your immune cells’ functioning. By enhancing your diet, you’re giving your body vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium, which all help support the immune system.
  2. Get the proper amount of quality sleep (7-8 hours) since your immune system is the most active during deep sleep, boosting your immune system to protect your body from invaders.
  3. Immune-Boosting IV Therapies give your body and immune system quick access to optimize necessary nutrients that are needed to fight off viruses and allow your body to heal more quickly. Especially preservative-free IV Therapies like we provide at our office.
  4. Reduce your toxin load by swapping out conventional products with non-toxic alternatives (household cleaners, beauty products), and investing in an air purifier and air filter.
  5. Far Infrared Red Sauna and Red Light Therapy can promote detox and boost your immune function. (check out our walk-in sauna + red light therapy in our Kansas City Office)
  6. Work with a Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition team to get to the root of hidden imbalances and dysfunctions (hormonal imbalances, leaky gut, dysbiosis, chronic infections) that are secretly weakening your immune system.

Let’s boost your immune health together for long-term health

Strengthen Your Immune System with Our Kansas City Functional Medicine Team

Want to skip the flu shot but want to keep your body healthy from circulating viruses this season?

in2GREAT offers Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition services, several holistic therapies, and seven different variations of Immune Boosting IV Therapy to strengthen your immune system.

An immune boosting package available in our office we highly recommend during cold/flu season is a combination of:

  • 4 Viral Immune IVs (these are preservative free and formulated in our office)
  • 4 Far Infrared Red Sauna sessions
  • 4 FLOWpresso sessions
  • 4 Red Light Therapy sessions

Are you ready to strengthen your immune system against viruses and other diseases? Call in2GREAT Functional Medicine and Integrative Health in Kansas City to schedule your integrative and immune-boosting therapies today!

Is the flu shot really that effective?

The CDC states that the flu shot is effective only 50% of the time. In some years, flu shot effectiveness plunges to as low as 10%!


Dr Corey Priest, DC - Functional medicine practitioner

About the author

Dr. Corey Priest has been practicing functional medicine since 2001. in2GREAT was founded in 2014 by Dr Priest after 13 years of experience with his other practices. Over his career, Dr. Priest has worked with and helped well over 10,000 patients under a functional medicine model.

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