Our next focus in The Flip Side of the Flu Shot series is all about the ingredients that are used to make the flu shot – something overlooked by both practitioners and consumers alike.

Read the ingredients on the flu shot inserts.

If you’re not offered the vaccine insert, JUST ASK!  Ask for the insert and ask for your health care provider to explain the short and long term effects (with supporting studies) of each ingredient. They should be able to provide that to you so that you can review and investigate the ingredients yourself. Just like we read nutritional labels on our food (and if you don’t – start!), you want to do that with anything you’re injecting into your system as well.

The marketing is so pervasive we are completely beholden to fear by the time we arrive to a clinic or the doctor’s office.  We’re scared of dying. We feel like a horrible parent to our kids if we don’t get the shot.  We’re burned by guilt for not considering it sooner.  We’re so rattled that we make a decision based on the stories we’re sold and marketing vs asking really smart questions like: “what’s actually in the flu shot?”

Are the ingredients really that bad?

If you’re reading articles online, you might see folks saying something like: “you’re getting more <insert ingredient> in your foods.”  While that might be somewhat the case, the question we should be asking ourselves, our practitioners and the scientific community is:

‘Is inhaling, ingesting and injecting chemicals into our system really the same thing?  Does our digestive system have capabilities that other systems don’t, differentiating the differences in the way the substance enters our system? For instance, when we eat, we a series of digestive processes breaking down, filtering and eliminating these ingredients. Is that the same for other systems and functions of in our body?

The flu shot contains adjuvants. Adjuvants are substances that boost our immune response to produce more antibodies against and antigen.

Even though these ingredients (adjuvants) are small in the vaccines, not all have been widely tested for negative effects on the immune system nor our brains. Nor have there been studies showing the differences between digesting, inhaling or injecting the chemicals. So, we really have NO idea what they are doing in our bodies so it does beg the question: should we be using it if we don’t have a high-level of confidence (scientifically) that it’s safe?

It’s also important to note that because we are all made up with unique genes, backgrounds and internal health, we can all react different to the flu shot. Skip to the bottom to see many of the flu shot brands and their ingredients.  You can also see all other vaccines and their ingredients here: https://www.cdc.gov/…/do…/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf.

The Flu Shot Ingredients

A high-level overview of several of the most popular ingredients in the flu shot:

  • Thimerosol. Thimerosal is mercury.  Some will argue that they are already exposed to mercury when they eat fish; however:
    • Eating something and injecting something are 2 different things.
    • Thimerosol contains ethylmercury, which differs from the naturally-occurring methylmercury in fish meat.
    • Injecting mercury means that 100% is being absorbed into your body than consuming it whereby the fish has other nutrients that counteract it.
  • Formaldehyde. A known carcinogen with no scientific studies to support it’s safety.
  •  Phenol (carbolic acid) – A known hazard when inhaled or in contact with your eyes or the skin. There is no scientific research to address the safety on injecting this substance. For reasons why you want to call a poison control center upon ingestion of this poison, click here.
  • Octoxynol-10 (Octoxynol-9). Known chemicals to cause infertility under a singular name referred to as Triton X 100.
  • Polysorbate 80 – causes allergic reactions and has potential dangers relative to infertility in women and as a carcinogen. Read more here.
  • Beta propiolactone – a disinfectant and known carcinogen.
  • Neomycin, polymyxin, gentamycin – antibiotics destroy gut health.
Interested in the ingredients in a variety of vaccines? Check them out here.

Flu Shot Brands and Their Ingredients

(Afluria) Trivalent & Quadrivalent sodium chloride, monobasic sodium phosphate, dibasic sodium phosphate, monobasic potassium phosphate, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, sodium taurodeoxycholate, ovalbumin, sucrose, neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B, beta-propiolactone, thimerosal (multidose vials)

(Fluad) squalene, polysorbate 80, sorbitan trioleate, sodium citrate dehydrate, citric acid monohydrate, neomycin, kanamycin, barium, egg proteins, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), formaldehyde

(Fluarix) Trivalent & Quadrivalent octoxynol-10 (TRITON X-100), α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), hydrocortisone, gentamicin sulfate, ovalbumin, formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate, sodium phosphate-buffered isotonic sodium chloride

(Flublok) Trivalent & Quadrivalent sodium chloride, monobasic sodium phosphate, dibasic sodium phosphate, polysorbate 20 (Tween 20), baculovirus and Spodoptera frugiperda cell proteins, baculovirus and cellular DNA, Triton X-100, lipids, vitamins, amino acids, mineral salts

(Flucelvax) Trivalent & Quadrivalent Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cell protein, protein other than HA, MDCK cell DNA, polysorbate 80, cetyltrimethlyammonium bromide, and β-propiolactone

(Flulaval) Trivalent & Quadrivalent ovalbumin, formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate, α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, polysorbate 80, thimerosal (multi-dose vials)

(Fluvirin) ovalbumin, polymyxin, neomycin, betapropiolactone, nonylphenol ethoxylate, thimerosal

(Fluzone) Quadrivalent formaldehyde, egg protein, octylphenol ethoxylate (Triton X-100), sodium phosphatebuffered isotonic sodium chloride solution, thimerosal (multi-dose vials), sucrose

(Fluzone) High Dose egg protein, octylphenol ethoxylate (Triton X-100), sodium phosphate-buffered isotonic sodium chloride solution, formaldehyde, sucrose

(Fluzone) Intradermal formaldehyde, egg protein, octylphenol ethoxylate (Triton X-100), sodium phosphatebuffered isotonic sodium chloride solution, sucrose

(FluMist) Quadrivalent monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed porcine gelatin, arginine, sucrose, dibasic potassium phosphate, monobasic potassium phosphate, ovalbumin, gentamicin sulfate, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA).

I hope you’ve found this to be helpful. Other blog posts I’ve written in this series include:

Best in health,

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