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INFLUENZA VACCINES 2013 TO 2014

Influenza season is here. Please remember that your general health and your nutrient competence (optimal nutrition) are very important in maximizing your protection against vaccine reactions and immune response to pathogenic assault from harmful bacteria and viruses. That is why I wrote the blog entitled Preparing for Cold and Flu Season.  If you have not read it yet, you can read it by going to (http://blog.theundercoveragent.com/?p=392)

There are studies that link nutrient-competence to vaccine reaction. Children who were given MMR vaccine were found to have lower vitamin A levels following vaccination. They did not mention the actual levels of vitamin A in those children prior to or after vaccination. It seems as if all developed good immune response to the vaccine, but nothing in this study mentioned any reaction the children had to the vaccine itself.(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9745778)

However, in other studies, vitamin A supplementation was found to decrease hypersensitivity reactions to measles and produced better immunologic responses to vaccines in general, therefore implying better protection against illness and very possibly to the vaccine itself. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20348126. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11405993)

We have not investigated this as thoroughly as I would like to see. It is known that early efforts to vaccinate African and aborigine children with MMR vaccine were associated with high mortality. However, this was reversed when the children were supplemented with vitamin A.

Medical personnel over the country are now actively preparing their patients for the influenza season 2013 to 2014. There are several changes to the influenza vaccines this season that you need to know about:

This year there are two forms of the inactivated vaccine—trivalent (IIV3) and quadrivalent (IIV4). Both contain the basic three strains (H1N1, Influenza A (H3N2), and Influenza B). However, the quadrivalent vaccine also contains an additional B strain.

The quadrivalent vaccine is not available to everyone. The trivalent vaccine is the only one available to the children who are covered under the Vaccines for Children program. The VFC program is the federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children whose parents might not be able to afford to pay for the vaccine. All the live attenuated vaccines (Flu Mist) are quadrivalent and all are available to those who are old enough to receive it, whether VFC or not.

The trivalent vaccine is also the vaccine that is available at drugstores across the state.

There is also a vaccine specifically formulated for individuals 65 years and older.  It has more antigenic properties than the regular inactivated vaccines. It is called Fluzone High-Dose.

The AAP also recommends that antiviral treatment be started within 48 hours of onset of symptoms on all patients who develop influenza and require hospitalization because they are so ill, or in those who are at high risk of developing complications from influenza. Those medications are Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zanamir (Relenza). Oseltamivir is now indicated for those 2 weeks of age and older. Zanamir is indicated only for children who are 7 years or older.  To become familiar with these medications and their side effects, please go to (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/antivirals/).

We physicians are now assured that most individuals with egg allergies that are not severe (i.e. anaphylaxis with collapse) are able to receive the influenza inactivated vaccine. They are still not able to receive the live attenuated vaccine because there are not sufficient studies done.

Those of you who are unwilling to take the Influenza vaccine could also consider homeopathic preparations. Nosode formulas are intended to temporarily enhance the immune system defense. They are said to lessen your susceptibility to an undesirable symptomatic response from an invasion of a pathogen. They do not build prolonged antibodies, so if you are in a region where there is significant exposure, you will want to consider other means of protection.  

I am just learning about homeopathic solutions. As I learn more, I will share my knowledge with you. But I wonder whether homeopathy would be helpful for those people who have historically responded poorly to the influenza vaccine but need more protection. If I historically experienced adverse reactions to any vaccine, not only would I make sure my nutrient levels were adequate, I would certainly consider using a homeopathic preparation for one week before getting the vaccine and then for one to two weeks following the vaccine. I recommend you check with a pharmacy expert for more information on how to use and dose homeopathic preparations if you want to consider this.

For more information on influenza and the vaccines, please see the web sites listed below.

http://m.aapnews.aappublications.org/content/34/10/1.1.full

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/index.html

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/general.htm?mobile=nocontent

 

 

October 5th, 2013
Topic: Uncategorized Tags: None

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