Why Flu Shots Can Make You Sick: Interview with Erin Boaz
Mind-Body-Soul Health with Erin Boaz
Several years ago, a company I worked for offered a free health check and the flu shot to all employees. I would like to say that the reasons I declined the flu shot were based on my scientific research and careful evaluation of the risks of voluntarily introducing a virus to my system.
That would be a lie. I actually didn’t get the flu shot because I’m scared of needles and I avoid them whenever possible.
However, something interesting happened after my co-workers received the flu shot. About half of them got the flu! Most of those coworkers who became sick after the flu shot were out of work for at least a week.
I wondered how that could be – did my coworkers receive a bad batch of flu vaccine? I wanted to think this was just an isolated occurrence of the flu shot gone wrong, but I’ve heard of other cases since then in which a number of people who receive the flu shot have become ill as a result of the shot.
A couple weeks ago, while attending an Indy Holistic Hub lunch, I listened as Erin Boaz described her experience refusing a mandatory flu shot when she worked as an Emergency Room nurse for a local hospital, and the medical reasons why she declined the shot.
I was intrigued. Finally, the answer to my flu shot questions from a qualified medical practitioner who had the inside scoop! I asked Erin to meet me for an interview last week. During our interview, Erin discussed the reasons why flu shots often fail, common toxins we are exposed to every day, and how we can use the mind-body-soul approach to protect ourselves from these toxins.
Nikki: You spoke earlier about your experience with the flu shot, and that you refused a mandatory flu shot at your previous position. Can you elaborate on the reasons why you refused the shot?
Erin: Well, a lot of times people don’t know what’s in the flu shot. A lot of people think it only contains the weakened flu virus, which should give you immunity from getting the flu. What they don’t understand is that it actually decreases your immunity to the flu, which is the reason why some people do get symptoms of the flu. Sometimes, they even get the full-blown flu.
In addition, there are also ingredients in the flu shot that are toxic. For instance, some vaccines can lead to narcolepsy. It’s been found that some people who got the H1N1 flu shot developed narcolepsy. Somehow the H1N1 vaccine would, in some cases, trigger narcolepsy.
Nikki: How did H1N1 trigger narcolepsy?
Erin: Well, the H1N1 flu shot contained neurotoxic elements, such as mercury, aluminum -those are two of the big ones – and the amount that’s in there is way more than our bodies can handle. What happens is that our bodies hold on to these heavy metals, which makes us way more toxic than we can handle. Then, we add external toxins from the environment, from processed food, stress, and lack of sleep, which causes our bodies to be even more overloaded with unhealthy elements. These elements build up in our system over time.
So, it’s a combination of problems. Some people’s immune systems can handle all the toxins, but some people’s systems cannot. I’d probably be fine, too, because I eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep.
In the end, why would I poison myself with the shot? That’s how I see it.
Nikki: So why are some people fine after getting the flu shot, and other people aren’t?
Erin: If someone’s immune system is already depleted because of genetic reasons, or disease and inflammation already present from lifestyle and/or disease, the flu shot is more likely to make us sick.
Everyone’s makeup is different. You can’t know all the underlying potential health issues a person may have just by looking at them. Their immune system could be depleted for a number of reasons. Giving someone with a depleted immune system a virus – even a weakened one – will likely push their system over the edge and they will become sick. It’s bio-individual. Even seasonal allergies, or smoking, or a bad diet can lower the immune system enough so that the flu shot will lower their immune system even more and make them sick.
Someone without underlying health issues and a weakened immune system is not likely to get sick.
Nikki: How does the flu shot prevent the flu?
Erin: Basically, the flu shot introduces a weakened strain of the flu virus to the body. Your body’s immune system goes to work making antibodies to fight the virus. After the virus is killed off, your body now knows how to make antibodies to fight this particular strain of flu in the future.
One problem with this is that, by weakening your immune system, the flu shot also opens you up to getting other illnesses as well. A lot of people don’t realize that most people who die after getting the flu don’t actually die from the flu – they die from contracting other illnesses due to their weakened immune system not being able to fight off illness as well.
Another problem is that these vaccines are helping to create super-viruses that can resist antibiotics, which means we can’t fight the flu off anymore.
Nikki: Aren’t there a lot of flu virus strains? How can one flu shot fight all strains?
Erin: One flu shot can’t fight all strains. That’s one of the problems with it. There’s no way to guarantee that the flu shot you’re getting today will fight the flu that is making people sick now.
There’s thousands of flu strains and anyone’s guess which flu strain will be making people sick this year.
Nikki: How did you find out about the flu shot and its’ sometimes negative effects on people?
Erin: My research into vaccines started about 16 years ago. I used to trust the doctors – that they know better than I do – they have trained for a long time and still know more than I do, but I feel that they know one side. I wanted to know both sides – what doctors were telling me but also what science had to say about vaccines.
As a nurse, I have easier access to studies done by the government or the Centers for Disease Control, but once you start exploring the science side of things and what actually goes into these vaccines, there’s so much evidence that the vaccines can be harmful that I can’t deny it anymore.
When I was in nursing school doing clinical studies, I was required to get the flu shot. I was almost done with school, and I had a child with autism and I just wanted to get through the schooling. Even though I had learned about the harmful ingredients in flu shots, I gritted my teeth and got it. Later on, when my job as a nurse in the ER required me to get a flu shot I went ahead and got it, anyway.
However, at my last job, I finally said no, and refused the shot. I had to fight the hospital board about this and won, but I decided to quit anyway.
Nikki: What other potentially harmful ingredients are in vaccines?
Erin: There are polysorbate 80, formaldehyde, and monkey viruses that are related to different cancers and Epson-Barr virus, among others.
Nikki: Why do they put those ingredients in the vaccine?
Erin: They act as a preservative, so the flu shot stays active longer. They’re now pulling out the mercury in a lot of vaccines, but there are still plenty of leftover vaccines floating around and still being given to people.
Nikki: You said earlier that you left your last nursing job at a hospital over the mandatory flu shot. Were there other reasons that led up to your decision to leave the hospital?
Erin: Yes. I was working in the Emergency Room every day, and you see a lot of sick people. The ER was starting to feel like a sweatshop. The attitude was, “What pill do we give this person to get them out of here so we can get the next person to the ER?” The hospital was a profit organization, and they had to focus on the bottom line.
The thing is, the doctors in the hospital would treat your illness like a “one size fits all” algorithm – they would factor in a patient’s symptoms and come up with a formula of pills for the patient to take, and then send the patient to the doctor. The patient would visit their doctor, and then end up in the ER again with worse symptoms soon after, and the cycle would start over.
What I saw was a treatment that never got to the root cause of what was wrong. I’m sure all these doctors want to heal people – they didn’t go to school for so long if they didn’t want to heal people – and I know a lot of doctors were frustrated with the system too because they didn’t feel they were really helping people.
On the other hand, they were saving lives while the patient was in the hospital. There are a time and place for traditional medicine. A lot of times, though, traditional medicine keeps the body alive but doesn’t make it healthier.
There’s no time for education, so these people didn’t even know why they kept getting sicker. For instance, I worked with a diabetic patient who drank two Pepsis a day, not understanding that this bad diet was a big part of the root cause of their illness. I think education is the most important missing link in healthcare.
Nikki: How do you feel holistic treatments can work with traditional medicine to treat patients?
Erin: I can give you an example. Recently, my doctor told me that my blood pressure was a little elevated. He wanted to put me on medication to lower my blood pressure. I don’t believe that’s the right answer. I think an elevated blood pressure is a sign of underlying inflammation in the body. A pill will mask the symptoms of this inflammation, but won’t do anything to treat the inflammation.
I didn’t want to take the medicine, so the doctor recommended that I go to a dietician for advice on what I can change in my diet to help lower the inflammation in my body. That’s what I mean – traditional medicine linking arms with holistic medicine and education can produce better results.
Nikki: What is the true cause of disease, in your opinion?
Erin: I think food causes inflammation in the body, which is the root cause of all disease. There are contributing factors, such as stress and lack of sleep, but food is the major cause of all disease.
Nikki: I’ve heard about Himalayan Salt rooms being used in mainstream physical therapy. Are there other holistic medicines and treatments being used in hospitals and clinics?
Erin: I have seen essential oils being used in Labor and Delivery, and to assist in recovery after surgery. They have been shown to have positive effects, so it’s good that they’re incorporating these methods. Lavender oil in a diffuser can calm patients, while other essential oils can help with nausea and vomiting and other symptoms.
Nikki: What are you doing now?
Erin: I found this year-long health program that I was aligned with – I’ll be officially certified in a couple months. My goal is to be a health coach since as I said earlier I believe diet is the root cause of all illness.
I also think a lot of illnesses come from mental stress. I think educating people about what can make them healthy is my main life goal right now.
Nikki: What kind of therapies will you be using to help people?
Erin: The health program I’m in now believes in bio-individuality, and that health treatment is not a “one size fits all” kind of deal. For instance, dairy might work well for you but might not work for me.
The client treatment programs are 6 months long. During that period, I work with my client to assess their diet and make diet changes based on their individual needs and their body’s reactions to various foods. I also assess their environment and the amount of stress and sleep they have in their daily lives. We work to adjust all these factors to ensure that they’re getting the best diet, environment and sleep that they need for optimal health and to reduce inflammation.
We also work through mental/emotional issues they might be dealing with that’s causing them to hang on to unhealthy habits. The diet is the easy part, but there’s a reason why they’re drawn to these unhealthy foods, such as craving sugar. I do life coaching with them to help them get to the root cause of their unhealthy habits, help them resolve these causes and create a new healthy diet and environment for themselves.
Nikki: What do you think are the top five hazards to a healthy life?
Erin: Lack of sleep, stress – those are huge. Anything artificial, such as artificial sugar and flavorings in food. These are not natural and your body negatively reacts to these, which leads to inflammation in a lot of people. They also cause issues in the gut because, over time, the gut consistently attacks these artificial ingredients. This eventually wears your gut out.
Artificial sweeteners can also contribute to diabetes and weight gain.
Not in all people, though. You need a lot of unhealthy elements, such as a toxic environment, genetic tendency to immune issues, unhealthy food, etc., to lead to inflammation and a breakdown of your immune system. If you have an auto-immune disease, your body has been sick for a long time.
We can also get addicted to sugar. Sugar has been found to be addictive in rat experiments. The rats will consistently choose sugar over cocaine because sugar is so addictive.
MSG can also lead to migraines if a person is prone to migraines. Some studies have suggested that MSG is also cancer-causing. I will never touch MSG!
Nikki: What methods or treatments do you think are most effective in fighting additional toxins and help us to stay healthy?
Erin: Getting enough sleep and trying to reduce stress are two huge factors that help our mind-body-soul to stay healthy. Meditation is also a big help in maintaining a healthy mind-body-soul. Overall, slowing down the pace of your life and practicing self-care is important to maintain health.