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61

In general, the benefit of flu shots is to the general population. Taking the cited value of 40%-60% from the CDC, we can say that it might be a coin toss for you personally to be protected from influenza by the shot. However, if many thousands of people take the flu shot, even if it only works on 40% of them, it helps protect the remaining population from ...


41

Tackling your points in turn, in inverted order: flu is an irritant but nowhere near deadly You are probably confusing the flu (influenza) with the common cold, which is colloquially often called “the flu”, or gastroenteritis (colloquially called “stomach flu”). Unfortunately these are actually very different diseases. The common cold is indeed largely ...


17

Influenza deaths are not specifically tracked in those over the age of 18 but they can be estimated from death certificates. CDC estimates that from 2010-2011 to 2013-2014, influenza-associated deaths in the United States ranged from a low of 12,000 (during 2011-2012) to a high of 56,000 (during 2012-2013). Death certificate data and weekly influenza ...


14

Influenza vaccines do not have satisfactory effective rates of preventing flu. Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% Vaccines aren't meant to stop diseases by making 100% invulnerable individuals. Of course we want the highest possible efficacy, but the primary benefit is the large impact they have on a collective level, by ...


12

Other answers have explained why being vaccinated is generally a good idea, and I fully support the ones that do. That said, the article you've linked to does indeed present some very scary points, and I fully understand why reading something like that would give you some doubts about your own safety, so I'd like to directly tackle the key point raised by it....


9

The problem here is the over-simplified (and inaccurate) idea that Thiomersal = mercury, it's not, rather it is a compound (chemical formula: C9H9HgNaO2S) that has mercury atoms in it's molecules, the mercury vapors (Hg) are a different thing, chemically speaking. This means that mercury and Thiomersal will behave very differently in chemical terms, ...


5

Like you mentioned, 12 ounces of sardines a week fits under the FDA's guidelines, so it should not be harmful to the adult that you described. Sardines contain a lot less mercury than many other fish species1. Second of all, not all cans contain BPA or PVC. Even in cans that do contain BPA or PVC, the FDA considers them safe at low levels of exposure2,3. ...


4

A few more points, in addition to the good answers you already have and just addressing: Does it make sense for a healthy male in his early 40s to take the influenza vaccine [...]? Short answer: healthy 40-year-old male already excludes a number of high risk/priority groups, but not all of them (e.g. if you help taking care of 90- year-old grandma, maybe ...


2

The first thing you learn in toxicology is that it is all a question of dose. Anything will kill you if you take enough of it; nothing will kill you if you take a small enough dose. The fact is that mercury poisoning is relatively rare these days, even though there is a good deal of mercury around. The obvious case is the old-style mercury amalgam fillings. ...


2

Unless you live on an area known for having deposits of heavy metals, or you suspect that you have been exposed (in which case you should go see a doctor), your kidneys should be able to take care of the small amounts of heavy metals present in your diet and environment. That being said, heavy metal intoxication can be treated with chelation therapy if ...


1

New York State Yes, I know that you don't live in New York State. This is however the most useful and explanatory document that I have found on this matter and therefore linked it as further information. Mercury Levels Tests are performed either with urine or with blood in the New York State. The most commonly accepted methods of assessing mercury exposure ...


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