Sign Up Now Keep up to date with the latest blogs, books & events
Questions ? Call 248-851-1600 a 0 Items - $0.00

Should You Get A Flu Shot?

Just as you can be sure that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, you can count on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to encourage everybody to receive the flu vaccine.


Folks, this is flu season. Here is the 2019 CDC campaign to convince us all to the get the flu shot:



However, before you rush off to receive the flu vaccine, let me share some information with you. Last year, while the CDC was heavily promoting the flu vaccine for everybody, the flu vaccine was found to be ineffective for the vast majority who received it. This is shown in the Table below (data from CDC).


Age Range Adjusted vaccine Effectiveness
Overall 29%
6 months to 8 years 49%
9-17 years 6%
18-49 25%
50-64 years 12%
>65 years 12%


Folks, the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine was nothing new—unfortunately, this is the norm. You see, the flu virus mutates every year and to expect the flu vaccine to match the circulating strains is ridiculous.


And, the flu vaccine is not a benign medical intervention. There are side effects to receiving the flu vaccine including serious neurological problems like Guillain-Barre syndrome. The flu vaccine is the most compensated vaccine for vaccine injuries from the US Government.


Children are recommended to receive the flu vaccine even though the majority who do get it are not protected from the flu. But, that is not all. One study found children who receive the flu vaccine are at a 4.4x higher risk of virologically-confirmed non-influenza infections—in other words, they are more susceptible to other common flu-like viral infections.(1) And, to make matters worse, asthmatic children who receive the flu vaccine have been found to have a 3x significantly increased risk for hospitalization for the flu and flu-like illnesses. (2)


I feel very sorry for health care workers who are required to have the flu vaccine for employment. There is not a single randomized study showing that there are any benefits to immunizing health care workers either for themselves or the patients they are in contact with.   Look at the above table for the effectiveness of the flu vaccine last year—the vaccine failed 75-88% of adults who received it!


And, just a comment about pregnant women being recommended to get the flu vaccine. This is ridiculous! It is important for pregnant women not to activate their immune systems via an inflammatory response. Maternal immune activation (MIA) is the term coined to describe a pregnant woman’s immune system that has been activated by an inflammatory response.


To be fair, the flu can cause MIA and problems in the fetus. But, not all pregnant woman get the flu and it must be kept in mind that the flu vaccine (along with every other vaccine) was designed to create an inflammatory response in the recipient. This inflammatory response can lead to MIA.


Epidemiological data has shown the relationship between prenatal exposure to MIA and the occurrence of autism as well as other neurological, immunological, and behavioral abnormalities in animals and humans. (3) Why would anyone promote the use of a medical intervention—such as a vaccine—that is well known to activate inflammation in a pregnant woman? The package insert for the Fluarix Quadrivalent vaccine states, “ There are insufficient data on FLUARIX QUADRIVALENT in pregnant women to inform vaccine-associated risks.”(4) In fact, flu shots have been shown to be associated with spontaneous abortion (i.e., miscarriage) in pregnant woman. (5) The science would lead anyone to predict giving a pregnant woman a medical intervention–such as a flu shot–which causes MIA will increase her risk of miscarriage.


Please tell me why the flu shot is recommended for a pregnant woman each time she is pregnant?!


Folks, the flu vaccine is terribly ineffective. It causes more problems than it helps. We continue to waste untold amounts of scarce health care dollars on ineffective therapies like the flu vaccine.


Should you get a flu vaccine? Fuggetaboutit!




Author Info

David Brownstein, M.D.

Comments ( 55 )

  • Author Icon
    Mark Luczkieiwcz

    Dr. Brownstein:
    Thank you for your blog.we need good trustable informations.

  • Author Icon
    D. Smith

    The flu is such an inocuous illness I can’t imagine why anyone would go through the misery of a flu shot, not knowing it’s effects because we are ALL DIFFERENT and we all REACT differently to various things (shots included) . I think it’s probably good to have the flu from time to time – – you know, kind of nature’s way of cleaning house. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. That woman up above in the comments who thinks these shots are so wonderful and not dangerous, well, she can have my shot! I wouldn’t get ANY of today’s vaccines for love nor money. Never had my kids vaxxed either and they are very health 44, 42 and 32 year olds at this point. Wouldn’t change the way I raised them one little bit.

  • Author Icon

    Dr. B:

    I’m a 6O year old male who hasn’t taken a flu shot for 10 years, and I haven’t had the flu during that time! My strategy: I take daily about 8,000 IU of Vitamin D3 and a good multivitamin with minerals, which includes the RDA of zinc and selenium and plenty of Vitamin C. Should I get a sniffle or a whiff of a cough, I add a little more zinc, Vut. C and/or eat a Brazile nut or two for more selenium, but this has been very rare! In a worst case scenario, I would add Iodoral to add iodine, but that hasn’t been necessary!

    Why pay for a flu vaccine that isn’t likely to work (why no refund??), and also carries with it significant risks for many people that could lead to costly hospitalizations or worse? Thanks for all you do, Dr. Brownstein!

  • Author Icon

    I was a second career RN, graduating five months before I turned 50. The flu shots I took because I worked in a hospital almost killed me and I am on permanent disability due to it. I had the worst pain ever as my nerves died. My right eye turned inward and stayed that way. My BP went from 117/78 to 224/125. My right arm froze. It moved around my body for six weeks until I was hospitalized. After numerous spinal taps, CT scans, and MRIs, along with a plethora of blood work, I was out on mega doses of solumedrol and sent home on prednisone. Over time, I developed brain lesions. After a while I was forced to undergo a brain biopsy. My tissue was sent to multiple research institutes and they could not determine the cause. So one finally said that they couldn’t determine what it was so it “must be lymphoma “. I underwent seven months of heavy chemo that I didn’t need. I stopped it and went to the internet and discovered that I had Hashimoto’s disease, most likely along with a form of guillien barre syndrome. It took me 8 years to discover this. I’m still not over it all. Absolutely no flu shot for me!

      • Author Icon

        Thank you.

      • Author Icon

        Actually I am probably as good as I wil get. It’s been 13 years now and I went through the naturethroid stopping working and now am on Armour. I’m feeling almost human for the first time in years. I’m quite fatigued however. I’m thinking that I am as good as I am going to get. Some days I get angry and some days I get sad. I appreciate your reading my comments. It’s not the usual response from a doctor.

  • Author Icon

    Many vaccines contain Mercury (Thimerosal), which is an extremely toxic poison. I believe the flu shot is one of those vaccines.

      • Author Icon

        Some flu shots contain mercury? Not all…please explain? Thank you.

        • Author Icon

          The multi-dose flu shot which comprise over half of those given contain mercury. Single dose ones do not.

  • Author Icon

    My husband got Guillian Barre after a flu shot. It was a mild form that was misdiagnosed by a number of doctors. It developed rather slowly compared to the usual presentation which was why it was misdiagnosed. It took about 4 -6 weeks for the symptoms to begin after. Started with numbness, altered sensations and weakness in both hands, low blood pressure. Then the sleep apnea, intense migrating pain and awful headaches developed over the next few weeks. Then greater weakness, fatigue, difficulty walking, tripping, bells palsy and more symptoms developed over the next few weeks. 2 neurologists missed diagnosing it until we found one that recognized it, diagnosed and treated it with IVIG which helped immediately. He was on antibiotics for a skin condition when he got the shot and I think that affected the gut bacteria and his immune response. No more shots for him ever, they aren’t allowed for him nor wanted! Now we use homeoprophylaxis to develop an immune response to micro-organisms like the flu, tetanus, and when needed for travel diseases. He also uses supplements for immune support when needed. Thankfully he has fully recovered but it was a long road. Thank you shining the light on this issue Dr. Brownstein!

  • Author Icon

    Love this kind of info! I have always thought the flu shots were not good!

  • Author Icon
    David Wilson

    4 years ago the bank I worked for gave out free flu shots and encouraged, (demanded!) that we all get it. I was 62 at the time and did not ever remember even having the flu. But I lined up and got the shot; and WOW, I was sick for a solid week with the flu! Never again!! I had people tell me that, “well it was worth it, because you won’t the get the flu later” and “oh, you can’t get the flu from the vaccine, that’s impossible”. Sure!! And you’re insane too! Now that I know the effectiveness numbers I have much more with which to answer these people. I’m curious what are the actual compensation rates from the government for adverse injuries due to this vaccine? Anyway, THANK YOU Dr. Brownstein!!

    • Author Icon

      The flu vaccine carries a killed virus, not a live one . So it’s scientifically impossible that you got the flu from the vaccine (unless you were exposed to the virus before you got the vaccine or soon after, as its not effective for 2 weeks after). I’m not a flu shot fan (though I’m required to get it since I work in a hospital) but I do care about the facts. Also, many ppl who think they have the flu have something else.

    • Author Icon
      Kathleen Farrington

      I had so much pain in my left leg, after receiving the senior flu shot, that I thought I had a blood clot & requested an ultrasound which, of course, didn’t show anything! It lasted around 2 weeks. I wonder why my doctor’s office didn’t tell me the senior dose is 4 times the regular strength? Should be a law that they have to disclose this before administering the shot!!

      • Author Icon

        The ‘senior flu dose’ is similar to putting lipstick on a pig. The flu shot fails nearly all seniors who get them.

    • Author Icon
      Shira Nahari

      David, you ask: ” what are the actual compensation rates from the government for adverse injuries due to this vaccine? ” to the best of my knowledge there are laws prohibiting lawsuits against drug makers over serious side effects from vaccines! –and in any case, good luck in trying to prove causality!

  • Author Icon

    Well, darn! Just got my shot yesterday (healthcare). I’m doing an experiment with myself. The past two years, no flu vaccine and I never had so much as a cold. Even spending time with grandchildren who caught everything.
    The two previous years with a flu shot, sick with colds, the “non-flu” which put me out for over a week, and horrible asthmatic/bronchitis type issues. My 80 year old mother was, like, are you ever well??
    This will likely be my last year being coerced into one of these.

  • Author Icon
    BL Stumbaugh

    In the early 70s I was on birth control pills, which back then were a stronger dose than today’s pills. So my body “thought” I was pregnant. I went to the doctor to determine if everything was healthy because I wanted to get pregnant. The doc said everything looked good except that I’d never had German Measles. He recommended I get vaccinated which I did. As he was giving me the injection he said I might have some pain in my joints. Three days later EVERY joint in my body (jaw, every vertebra, etc) was screaming at me. I was in incredible pain. Things settled down somewhat, but about 6 years later I got the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and have been in and out of remission ever since. There was NO arthritis in my family. I am now in my 70s and have had several joints replaced and still have regular pain. RA is a progressive disease that will never be “cured” only “managed” by drugs that suppress the immune system, thus leading to other regular diseases. Every time I read an article that says pregnant women should get vaccinated I want to shout “NO.” I wish I had never had that vaccination. I have learned two things. First, women’s immune systems are very sophisticated because when they are pregnant, and healthy, their body will not reject the foreign tissue that is the baby. By shocking a woman’s immune system with the toxic adjuvants in vaccines (not to mention the “dead” virus) you are really screwing up Mother Nature. Second, many auto immune diseases (like lupus, RA, Type I diabetes, Addison’s) can be linked to vaccines. Please counsel any person (especially women) considering getting vaccinations to get as much information as possible, and learn to identify propaganda when they encounter it.

    • Author Icon
      Meg Amor

      Aloha. I hear you. We had to get these shots at school when we were going into puberty as girls. About 1975 or so

      I had terrible (what I know now) was arthritic joint pain as a teenager. I spent a lot of time going to the docs with it. It was bad. They couldn’t pin it down and finally thought I was having “growing pains.” It was miserable.

      It wasn’t until later in life, reading various reports – that I realized the pain I’d experienced as a teenager was from these shots.

      You couldn’t pay me enough to get a vaccine for anything. If I get the flu – it means that my system is low and I am overloaded. And I need to stop, withdraw from the world and rest. It’s my body’s way of letting me know I’m overdoing things. Why would I stop a natural warning system in my body from operating.

      I have no understanding of people who get the flu – then insist on not resting and dosing themselves up so they can keep going. Hello?? Our bodies are highly intelligent systems with lots of fail safes on them to stop us overdoing things.

  • Author Icon

    Hey Dr. B, which flu season is your table of effectiveness stats referencing from the CDC? Seeing stats for 17-18 that are similar, but not the same? Trying to get my ducks in a row before I send emails to family and friends. Thank you for all you do!

  • Author Icon
    Tom M

    Age 69…haven’t had a flu shot in 35 years and maybe got the flu a couple of times since. Mostly the 2 day variety. The worst flu I have had was back in 1975 which lasted over a week. I do not trust the “ingredients” they put into these things and since we will never get the 100% truth from Big Pharma or the CDC, I will never get a flu shot. 12% effective for seniors? What a joke, even if you can get them for free.

  • Author Icon
    Vince Procopio

    Thank you, Dr. Brownstein, for your courage and continuing to educate us…

  • Author Icon
    Jeremiah Rasmussen

    I work in a fitness, haven’t taken vaccinations since I learned about them 20-plus years ago, and I never get sick since. Last week I had several people I know stop by my office and talk to me. They mentioned they had gotten the flu vaccine. Interestingly, a day or so later I started getting body aches/muscle aches and a low-grade fever. In a couple days it was gone.

    I’m thinking/wondering if I didn’t get what I think is called “shedding” from these vaccinated people?

  • Author Icon

    This is another reason I always counsel young adults against joining the military. Annual flu shots are mandatory; they will follow you to Antarctica with their pneumatic syringe if necessary. I served for eight years; four of those shots made me sick, and one led to severe bronchitis. In the 32 years since leaving the service, I have gotten the flu 2-3 times.

    • Author Icon

      You are so correct. The last time I had the flu was when the military forced me to take he shot. I haven’t taken it since I got out years ago and haven’t had the flu since – while I see everyone who takes it getting sick year after year, believing in the government’s (and the media’s) massive propaganda campaign. The government is not and never has been your friend! it’s all about making money for cronies, controlling you, and keeping special interest big donors in charge and making trillions at your expense. Footnote – stop voting for people who want the government to control your life and money.

  • Author Icon
    Martie Ayres

    While my mother was a resident at a long term care facility, she. along with the other residents and employees were required to get a flu shot every year. Every year during the winter months the facility would be quarantined due to severe flu outbreaks and every year several deaths from flu would occur. My question to my Dr. was if every resident and employee got the flu vaccine why was there an outbreak? His reply was that it would have been worse without the vaccines. I don’t buy that.

    • Author Icon

      That is always the reply. My reply: the flu vaccine is a known failure for the elderly since its inception.

  • Author Icon
    Stephanie Jasky

    Unfortunately, my father (in his upper 70s) is one of those who just puts blind faith in what his doctors tell him. He religiously got his shot this year, and had a severe reaction where his arm swelled something terrible. He ended up in ER where they told him they hadn’t seen a reaction so severe. I am so very frightened of traditional medicine. So much of it seems to cause more harm than good. Anything that is not an advancement in surgical technique seems to be for nothing but profit for someone and not for the benefit of the health of people. I’m very glad I’m a patient at your office. ^_^

  • Author Icon
    Ellen Moskes

    I am a 68 year old Female. What are your feelings on Pneumonia shots?

      • Author Icon

        The pneumonia vaccine was a disaster for us. Our pediatrician strongly advised that we have the series of 3 immunizatons for our 1 year old back in 2001. He had been a healthy baby all through his first year, but one week after receiving the first shot, we had to race him to the ER with labored breathing and a 107 rectal temp — we took it twice with 2 different thermometers. Such a scary time for us all! The diagnosis after waiting for hours to have testing and x-rays done? Pneumonia. Thankfully, 2 injections of Rosephin and much prayer brought healing. We kept the doctor’s office informed and let them know in no uncertain terms that we would not continue with the immunization series. Unbelievably, on our baby’s next scheduled check-up, the pediatrician recommended that we continue with the shots. When we responded that our baby got pneumonia after the first injection, she responded, “That’s impossible. There is no live virus in the pneumonia immunization.” Well, we don’t know what is in there, but there no more pneumovax shots for our little one and he’s never been sick with pneumonia or lung-related illness since. Needless to say, we’re not vaccine fans!

  • Author Icon
    Holly S

    As a 77 year old female with COPD I am always hounded to get the flu shot. The doctors fear I will get pneumonia (another shot) and die. Your opinion please.

  • Author Icon

    What Is your response to people who claim, “getting the vaccine limits symptoms even if you get the flu and it helps protect people that can’t get the flu vaccine due to a compromised immune system?”

    • Author Icon

      The stats are clear: the flu vaccine fails the vast majority who receive it. The flu vaccine has never been shown to help other people with compromised immune systems. In fact, there is a study which found getting the flu vaccine can cause you to shed the flu and other viral infections to others ( Studies have shown that those who get the flu vaccine are at an increased risk of getting other flu-like vaccines ( And, other studies that show when you get repeat flu vaccines you are more likely to get the flu!

      • Author Icon

        Heather, read my lips, it is never a good idea to poison people, especially the people you love, so no excuse or reason for flu vaccine period. They do not work and are dangerous so if you want to reduce symptoms have a biomat around and give lots of bicarbonate, iodine, selenium and magnesium.

  • Author Icon
    Laurie Zuvich

    What do you recommend for people with a compromised immune system, for example someone taking the drug humira? Are there any stats regarding that?

    • Author Icon

      Humira should only be used as a last resort. What do I suggest? I recommend eating a clean diet, exercising daily, and taking the appropriate vitamins and minerals to optimize levels. As for getting the flu shot? Why? I does not work for the vast majority and is associated with far too many adverse effects.

  • Author Icon

    David, you must be the most courageous doctor in the world today. I do not see anyone coming up against the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA and CDC like you. Not even me for I dare not give google and facebook more reason to close down my traffic. When I wrote my book the Terror of Pediatric Medicine 16 years ago I had hopes to help turn things around but now things are only worse. Pharmaceutical and medical terrorism is becoming even more terrible though I hear the top guys at the FDA are getting old and about to retire. We can only hope.

    My work is to help detox and chelate the mercury the kids have, with the flu vaccine a top threat in this regard. Yesterday we read:

    A new study found that the vast majority of baby foods tested contain heavy metals, which can harm a child’s brain development. In the study, commissioned by Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) and conducted by the toxicology and economic research firm Abt Associates, tests were performed on 168 different containers of baby food from 61 U.S. baby food brands. Researchers found heavy metals — specifically, arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury — in 95 percent of the baby foods tested.

    So I wrote:
    Then at six months children in the United States get their first flu shot and that is loaded with mercury and the air we breathe is polluted with mercury and other heavy metals and the story goes on, as we will read in this very important essay about detoxification and chelation (removal of heavy metals). Do we need to be slapped any harder than to discover babies are being fed a steady diet of heavy metals but still that will not be a hard enough kick to get the FDA and CDC and other medical institutions to take the blinders off and start educating and assisting doctors into the medical processes of detoxification and chelation.

    And then published the first part of my work in this regard:

    Will publish my work soon on Dr. Boyd Haley’s NMBI chelator….looks like its the best out there.

    Dr. S.

      • Author Icon

        Dr Brownstein, I strongly agree and I want to thank you too for being so outspoken against vaccines. My daughter had terrible reactions from her vaccines during her 1 st year, it took years to heal her, thankfully she recovered, but she was one of the lucky ones. I hope it’s okay to post this here and you will share the info… vaxxed2 is having a huge premiere Nov 6th, over 160 theaters across the US, 7 in Michigan. Min tickets numbers need to be sold for screenings to move forward
        It’s just so important that people hear stories like mine. Thanks so much for all you.

        Tabatha ( a patient of your office)

  • Author Icon
    Mary K

    According to the #1 documented concern with polysorbate 80 and its derivatives IS development and reproductive toxicity. Let’s go from there in a society where we are intent on murdering babies. And, if one is born, let’s stop their abilities to reproduce by injecting them with KNOWN and documented toxic substances so their chances or reproducing are reduced. I suffered Guillian-Barre’ after they lined us up in the gym for small pox. I couldn’t walk the next morning or for 3 days. It was so scary! My grandkids all got shots at school this week for the flu. One has a hockey tournament today and is so tired, achy and has a headache, he can’t play. He’s the goalie! Breaks my heart, but my experience does not influence how their parents have been indoctrinated to think. Thank you so much for the continual reminder, Dr. B

  • Author Icon

    My brother got GBS, probably from the Swine flu vax in the 70’s. So I will never get a flu vax every. In fact, I never had the flu until a few years ago, which I attribute to depression and eating too much candy. When I got it again last year, I knocked it down with megadoses of supplements. It was over in 2 days.

  • Author Icon
    Mary S

    Thank you for continuing to educate about this situation. I read the ingredients in one particular brand of quadrivalent vaccine for this year: killed virus, polysorbate 80 (aka antifreeze), formaldehyde, and gentamicin. How is this justified, esp. for use in young children?

    • Author Icon
      Mary FLaherty

      I am 84. 3 years ago, I got flu shot and my left arm was very painful and unable to dress
      Myself using it. Took me a yr to get over this. My Dr. told me I had to get one last year although after the one 3 years ago I got a paper that said if I got reaction, like not being able to use arm. Not to get one, but I
      Listened to my Dr. after reading this I am not going to get a flu shot this yr. it took me 5 mo. To get over the arm thing last yr. it still comes back.

      • Author Icon

        I don’t understand how a doctor can make you get a flu shot. You say he told you you “had to get one”. What was he going to do if you didn’t? If there are threats report him to state board and cc local police department. The people have been conned and defrauded long enough, this crap needs to be outed, the bullying of people is real and toxic. You had to get a note excusing you from a shot? This paternalism isn’t even worthy of a kindergarten age child – what is it doing with a mature adult?

        My father was an MD, FACP and taught me to be proactive. TG for that – decades ago I stood up to Stanford doctors when I was a student in grad school there and they diagnosed me with severe and crippling RA. I said no to their steroids and did the research and designed my own protocol of diet , herbs and vitamins and by the end of a year not one symptom left in hands, hips or my toes (the places I hurt). The crippling fatigue was also gone. Every time I hear “Stanford has the best” I want to say, only my stats prof who had us deconstruct research in med journals and find the design flaws. TY, dear prof, who taught me to recognize how you fool the people with double blinds and peer review – and to be fair to recognize the well designed studies also – the ones designed to really get an answer not get more funding or please a mentor or get a job at Roche or Eli Lilly or Merck, etc.

    • Author Icon
      Mary FLaherty

      In 1957, I got a severe reaction to flu shot. I could not walk for 2 weeks.
      I had to crawl to restroom. My roommate gave me tons of mushroom soup..
      This may have gotten me well. MD gave me antibiotics. I was a new RN.
      Years later in another city the MD said I could get flu injection.

Post a Comment