Ingredients of the Flu Vaccine

To all whom I promised a paper on the pro’s and con’s of vaccinations:

I changed my topic a little to focus on the pro’s and con’s of specific ingredients of the flu vaccine. The paper could only be 3 pages, so a lot of information is not there, and it is extra-credit (read:NOT A GRADE). So, you get what you pay for in this case. However, I would absolutely love to hear your opinions. Just don’t tear me apart too much, because I can promise you, this is not my best work. :) Enjoy!


Ingredients of the Influenza Vaccine

Vaccines are an efficient method of treating and/or preventing certain microbial diseases. In some cases, severely fatal disease outbreaks were eradicated due to the use of vaccinations. However, the ingredients and potential reactions and side effects to these ingredients often cause some concern in the more natural circles of health. A typical vaccine contains many ingredients in order for it to be effective, such as preservatives, antigens, antibiotics and antimicrobials, animal and/or human DNA proteins, detergents, emulsifiers, dispersing agents, and stabilizers. Not all are included in every vaccine, and often different types of these ingredients are used.

The flu is an infectious respiratory disease, which is caused by Type A or Type B influenza viruses and has symptoms ranging from fever to death. There are 5 major types of flu vaccinations, each containing similar ingredients. For the purpose of this report, the multi-dose flu shot Fluzone will be analyzed. This shot contains many ingredients that are considered in any other medical situation to be dangerous to human health.  Most of the vaccines that are available on the market have ingredients that lead to severe toxicities.

Thimerosal is a preservative that contains significant amounts of mercury and is often found in multi-dose flu shots. Its purpose is to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in the vial. If germs contaminate a vaccine, the vaccine itself could become the exact opposite of beneficial and cause a serious infection. Typical contamination occurs when the syringe enters the vial in preparation for administration of the vaccine. A study in the Journal of Toxicology by MA Sharpe and colleagues was done to test the effects of  Thimerosal in normal human astrocytes, focusing on its effects on mitochondrial function. They discovered that Thimerosal specifically generates ethylmercury in an aqueous solution. The ethylmercury then causes a drastic drop in mitochondrial respiration and decreases the steady state membrane potential. Based on their results, the authors believed that there is a direct correlation with the mitochondrial dysfunction cased by Thimerosal and human disease associated with astrocyte damage.

The Antigens included in not only this vaccine, but all influenza vaccines, are Influenza A (H1N1), Influenza A (H3N2), and B. Antigens are substances that are not part of the body, but induce an immune response and cause the production of antibodies. The virus itself is considered an antigen. By introducing the antigens into the body and inducing an immune response, the body becomes immune to the antigen. (Dugdale, D.) When the person is exposed to the actual virus, they have already built up the antibodies needed to fight it off and theoretically won’t get sick.

The Fluzone vaccine contains the influenza virus as found in embryonic chicken eggs. The virus is inactivated using formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is long known as a carcinogen in mammals, and it has been thought to cause reproductive and developmental problems as well. In a study performed by Anh Duog and colleagues, mammals that were exposed to formaldehyde experience problems in their reproductive organs, including but not limited to malformation and dysfunction of organs. Rats that inhaled, were injected with, and came in contact with  formaldehyde topically experienced damaged seminiferous tubules, a decreased sperm count, deformed sperm cells, a decreased sperm survival rate. Pregnant females were also injected with formaldehyde. Researchers observed damaged blastomeres in the developing fetus, an increased rate of embryo degeneration, and pre- and post-implantation deaths. (Duong, A., et al)

Fluzone itself does not contain antibiotics, but there are antibiotics found in some of the flu shots available on the market. One relatively common antibiotic is Neomycin Sulfate, which is a potential irreversible ototoxin where it causes permanent total deafness and vestibular dysfunction (Neomycin sulphate sterile intramed (powder for IM injection)). Another antibiotic that is typically found in vaccines is Polymyxin B, which can cause nephrotoxic reactions and neurotoxic reactions when injected (Polymyxin b injection side effects). Kanamycin is an another antibiotic that has been shown to result in severe neurological toxicity, as well as ototoxicity (Kanamycin side effects).

While these are only a few of the ingredients found in the influenza vaccine, it is important to realize their harmful effects. Antigens are a necessity to the vaccine, as they create the immune response. However, are all of these other ingredients necessary? Are there not other ways to create an effective vaccine? My personal belief system is as follows. Vaccines are very harmful. Yes, theoretically, they are getting rid of certain diseases, but they are causing other severe malfunctions, deformations, and diseases. Perhaps there are other methods of treating disease outbreaks that haven’t been explored. I believe the scientific community needs to open its options up and start funding these other possible treatments. I also, however, believe that if there is medical necessity, nothing should be ruled out, including vaccines. An all or none opinion on this matter can be dangerous.


  1. Dugdale, D. (2012, August 30). Antigens. Retrieved from
  2. Duong, A., et al. (2012). Reproductive and developmental toxicity of formaldehyde: A systematic review. Mutant Research, 728(3), 118-138. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2011.07.003
  3. Kanamycin side effects. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  4. Neomycin sulphate sterile intramed (powder for im injection). (2004). Retrieved from
  5. Polymyxin b injection side effects. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  6. Sharpe, M., Livingston, A., & Baskin, D. (2012). Thimerosal-derived ethylmercury is a mitochondrial toxin in human astrocytes: Possible role of fenton chemistry in the oxidation and breakage of mtdna.Journal of Toxicology, doi: 10.1155/2012/373678
  7. Thimerosal and 2012-2013 seasonal flu vaccines. (2012, August 22). Retrieved from
  8. Vaccine ingredients. (n.d.). Retrieved from

About ThrivingPurpose

I'm a perpetual student, who craves new knowledge no matter where I am or what I am doing. I love all things natural and earthy, and I have just made a major change in my life plan. Feel free to follow and keep up with this crazy life that I am living!
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