top of page
  • Writer's pictureAWFIT


Updated: Feb 2, 2022

What You Need to Know About The Flu Shot

What's better than the flu jab!

Your Immune System's Response to The Flu Shot

Can Make You More Prone to Catching the Flu Viruses!

Do we just naively accept the marketing hype that we all, especially infants and the elderly, are in need of the Flu Shot to protect us against falling sick during winter? Unfortunately, the hype fails to let us know that the decisions made over what to put in the flu vaccine are based entirely on guess work.

Every February, the World Health Organisation (WHO) evaluates the various types of flu that have been circulating around the world and then pick the ones they think should go in the vaccine for the forthcoming winter.

This means that each year’s vaccine batch is made based on the strains of flu that are expected to circulate in the coming season! No guarantees just guesstimates! Flu is a very complicated virus which means the unexpected ways in which it can change cannot be predicted. In any given year the flu vaccine may not be a good match for all the strains of flu that are circulating, rendering it mostly ineffective with only 1 in 10 people who receive it “protected".



Two options are available when you get a flu vaccine:

  1. Inactivated influenza: A vaccine containing flu viruses that have been killed with chemicals or heat. This process destroys the viruses' ability to replicate in the body to cause illness, but keeps it intact enough so that the immune system can still recognise it and make a protective antibody response.

  2. Live influenza vaccine (LAIV or FluMist): A nasal spray usually given to children containing a live, but weakened form of the virus. A live vaccine is the closest thing to a natural infection, it usually produces a strong immune response.

Flu shots change regularly, so here are some of the typical ingredients you’ll find in the flu vaccine:


The main reason the flu vaccine may not always match the circulating strains of flu is because the viruses for flu vaccines are grown in fertilised chicken eggs. This is a slow process that often lead to ‘egg adaptation’ whereby the flu virus strain starts to adapt to the conditions in the egg, leading to changes in the virus. Growing the virus in this manner also means that the vaccine will contain small amounts of egg protein.


There are newer versions of the vaccine which do not use chicken eggs but use animal cells instead.

  • Flucelvax, grown from dogs’ kidney cells

  • Flublok, cells from the ovaries of fall armyworms in the pupal stage

These new versions can be made in less time with viruses blended in about 65 hours to 75 hours, compared to the six months or so it takes to grow in chicken eggs! The FDA found it to be about 45% effective against flu strains. The side effects however, can include muscle aches, headache, fatigue and pain.


The preservative Thimerosal is added to multidose vaccine vials to prevent dangerous bacteria and fungi from getting into the vial with each use. Thimerosal contains small amounts of mercury. The World Health Organization (WHO) state there is no risk from Thiomersal in vaccines but scienctific evidence disagrees. Mercury is one of the most toxic substances known to man, no matter how minute the dose. Studies have shown Thimerosal causes brain injuries and miscarriages.

If you decide to take the flu jab you can request a Thimerosal-free vaccine. If your doctor refuses to give you a Thimerosal-free vaccine because it is too expensive or inconvenient, find another doctor!


Sucrose, sorbitol and monosodium glutamate (MSG) are routinely used to keep vaccines stable, in particular to prevent them from losing their potency when exposed to heat and light.

  • Sucrose is sugar mainly derived from beet or cane sugar

  • Sorbitol is an artificial sweetener that’s also found in chewing gum

  • MSG is a flavour enhancer most commonly used as an additive in Chinese food and many processed foods


Neomycin, gentamicin, and other antibiotics are added to vaccines in very small amounts. They stop bacteria from contaminating the vaccine.


This emulsifier prevents sauces and salad dressings from separating. In vaccin