What You May Not Know About the Flu Shot

Brian S. Hooker, Ph.D.

October 6, 2017

It’s “flu-shot season” again, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to push vaccines on the population (pregnant women and infants included), in a futile effort to prevent cases of influenza. Towards the end of every season, we hear from the CDC that the efficacy of the vaccine was 62% or 58% or lower. But it is even worse. The percentages reported by the CDC are based on the ability to match the most prevalent strains of flu infections each year with the flu “antigens” used in the yearly shot. This does NOT take into account whether the flu shot actually confers any type of immunity to the patient. In fact, the prestigious Cochrane Review in 2014 stated that the flu vaccination “shows no appreciable effect on working days lost or hospitalization.” Moreover, out of an average of 71 individuals receiving the flu shot, only one case of the flu was prevented.

A big issue to consider, besides the lack of effectiveness of the flu shot, is the risk associated with receiving the vaccine, especially for pregnant women. In early this year, Zerbo et al. (2017 JAMA Pediatrics) published a paper showing that pregnant women receiving the seasonal flu shot in the first trimester of pregnancy had 25% greater odds of having a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Although the authors of the paper tried to dismiss the finding, given their deep institutional conflicts of interest as employees of the insurance giant Kaiser Permanente, later rebuttals to the paper by me (Hooker et al. 2017 JAMA Pediatrics) and a medical research group in Italy (Donzelli et al. 2017 JAMA Pediatrics) demonstrated that the finding was indeed statistically significant.

Even more alarming, the CDC just published a paper (Donahue et al. 2017 Vaccine) showing an increased risk of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) in women receiving the seasonal flu shot during the 2010 through 2012 seasons. Although these vaccines carried the H1N1 antigen (for protection from Swine Flu) which is not used currently, the CDC could not rule out the fact that this association might exist in the type of seasonal flu vaccine distributed currently.

Over this next “flu-shot season”, over 20 million of the influenza vaccines distributed will contain thimerosal, the mercury-laden preservative used in multidose vaccine formulations. This means that every adult, child, and infant receiving one of these flu shots will be exposed to 25 micrograms of mercury. Mercury in thimerosal has been linked to tics, speech delay, and language delay in children (Thompson et al. 2007 NEJM, Barile et al. 2013 J Pediatr Psychol, Verstraeten et al. 2003 Pediatrics, Andrews et al. 2004 Pediatrics) and many published studies also show a relationship with autism and ASD (Geier et al. 2013 Translational Neurodegeneration 2:25, among others). It’s odd and unsettling that we warn pregnant women against tuna consumption because of mercury, but in contrast, allow them to get mercury containing flu shots. It has been well established that mercury from thimerosal selectively accumulates in the placenta and travels through cord blood to the developing fetus, who does not have any mechanism to detoxify heavy metals (Ablesohn et al. 2011 Canadian Family Physician 57:26).

Flu shots have been encouraged and marketed specifically to seniors as well. Yet the effect of thimerosal on older adults has not yet been studied. Information I have received from the CDC shows that their own epidemiologists proposed a study to CDC officials regarding mercury in the seasonal flu shot and the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. However, CDC leadership would not allow them to conduct such a study. To this end, only one study on PubMed by Spaeth et al. 2012 (J Neurosci Res) even mentions such a connection, suggesting that the pro-oxidative behavior of thimerosal could cause a type of cellular defect seen in Alzheimer’s disease. However, mercury exposure is another story. The presence of mercury amalgam fillings has been shown to correlate with the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (Sun et al. 2015 Alzheimer’s Res Ther) and further, mercury exposure has been linked to the presence of Alzheimer’s amyloid plaques in the brain (Kim et al. 2014 J Toxicol Sci.). However, even today, the CDC’s website on thimerosal calls it the “safe mercury” which is quickly excreted from the body, which is not consistent with science. Instead, ethylmercury (the degradation product of thimerosal which circulates in the blood stream after exposure) is transported to the brain where it is converted to elemental mercury (the kind of mercury found in dental amalgams) which is essentially locked in the brain forever (Burbacher et al. 2005 Environ Health Perspectives). Given this fact, at a minimum, we need to study this effect further, specifically in senior populations who are highly vulnerable to neurodegenerative disorders.

Ultimately the decision to receive a flu shot is yours alone. I am a scientist, not a medical practitioner, and do not give medical advice, only present the scientific facts. That being said, I will not be receiving the influenza vaccine

Stay Informed. . . Stay Healthy!

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Brian S. Hooker, Ph.D., P.E.

Science Adviser, Focus For Health

Brian has been a member of the Focus for Health Team since 2012 and has more recently joined the Board. He is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Simpson University in Redding, California, where he specializes in chemistry and biology coursework. Additionally, Hooker is the Senior Process Consultant at ARES Corporation, working closely on process design for the environment restoration industry. His design efforts focus on industrial biotechnology and chemical engineering principles. He has a teenage son with autism and has been active in the autism community since 2004.

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Ingrid Crowell

Same here . Got the flu shot a couple years ago it was the worst ever. Won’t get it again! I have R.A. & Fibro. So that really didn’t help me at all ( being that my immune system was low anyway).


God Bless you all for being on the front lines in the fight to take back our health care from the overbearing Medical care system which wants to have control of us from cradle to grave. I thank God Almighty for the perfect creation he made in us, not to be modified by mankind, but to be perfect vessels of His love and grace.

Bonnie Crawford

WELL SAID, Dede!!! For the first time I won’t be taking the flu shot, and I have no intention of taking ANY more vaccines during my lifetime (I’m 68). And after reading about how much autism is being caused with seemingly innumerable vaccines for babies and small children, I totally distrust the medical industry. (Won’t be getting chemo or radiation, either, if I should get cancer. Cannabis oil is what helps cure cancer). The next biggest challenge is the grief my husband will give me for not getting the flu shot, as he is not convinced that the medical industry is far more interested in money than people’s health.


Look to Big Pharma for huge profits from flu shots. Then investigate who controls Big Pharma, through stockholdings and interlocking boards of directors. It will turn your stomach.

Sandy Lunoe

…the complete list of ingredients in the flu shot due to the existence of trade secrets, we don’t know if it will be effective, we don’t know if the flu shot will cause cancer, if it will damage our DNA, if it will impair fertility or cause congenital abnormalities, if ingredients will be excreted in breast milk, if the shot will cause longterm adverse conditions including any (of 100+) autoimmune diseases, if it will cause syncope, encephalopathy, brain damage, cardiac, immune system or nervous disorders, we don’t know how much latex (which leaches from syringes, rubber stoppers, etc, in variable amounts) is injected.
We don’t even know how much mercury is injected with each dose withdrawn from multidose vials because they are often not shaken thoroughly between withdrawals. Mercury is heavier than water and settles at the bottom of the vials so the recipients of the last few doses from the vials may be injected with huge amounts of mercury.

Barbara Scott Long

I just received the flu shot. NEVER AGAIN!!! I am a nurse. I should have known better. Shame on me!

Linda Smith

Would very much like to know the source of the information in your comments.
I am trying to learn.
So much of what is out there is not factual and I need to know fact from fiction when I am able.

CIndy R Greenplate

Thank you for your continued efforts to inform the public about the dangers of vaccines in spite of the constant criticism and attacks you endure. You are making a difference!

Shirley Klansky

Thank you for your efforts to keep the public informed on vaccination issues. We are blessed to have you.

Rita Milam

Thank you for writing this article. You have highlighted the dangers of vaccines. We all need to be and stay informed, especially when it comes to our own health.

Marvin Sandnes

I got a flu shot about 15 yrs. ago in Nov. and was sick until March. Never again. I’m almost 73.

Stephanie Christian

For thousands upon thousands of years Billions of people entered the planet all without a flu jab mother. By far, in the USA, looking around my sons school are the sickest group of children I have ever seen. How any OBGYN can push a vaccine on a woman is proof positive that an MD degree does not a healer make. How dare any medical professional give a completely unstudied and non FDA approved vaccine to a pregnant women. The FDA should speak out against this practice immediately . I have spent several hours on the phone speaking to the FDA who says they are not in the practice of speaking out against their sister agency the CDC…. wow, didn’t realize they were sister agencies. This is treacherous and should be viewed as such by anyone who would like to keep pregnant women safe.


I thank you for this information, i wish more people would read this.. I have never got a flu shot never will… for many many reasons some listed here. Thanks and keep up giving us all scientific information.. only a few of us seem to read it and get it.. wish more Americans and people would read beyond the lines as well… and stop giving the big pharma the green light to make people sick.

Clare wilson

As a mum who has mercury poisoning from my dental amalgam fillings and vaccines I know too well of the devastation that mercury can bring to your health.
How it stops your body detoxing so you then become toxic with many things.
All I can do is warn you all that these vaccines are very unsafe and the work Robert Kennedy is doing is very very important to save our next generation. I passed my toxic metal load to my first born son through my placenta and Breast milk and after his vaccines he became sick also. So please be aware of the dangers of passing these toxic metals down. I now warn people of the dangers and also I’m an admin in the mercury detox support group where I help others detoxify mercury and metals and offer help and support.
It’s time to make a change and stop the mass vaccination schedules as they are harming our children and causing their DNA to be altered.


I belive the CDC and other money-greedy-hungry entities that comprise and add to the big pharma industry are just that…money-gluttons. Just watch the lady that goes on national TV (speaker of the CDC) and always speaks as if they know everything, and encourage the American citizens to do as they wish. She also looks autistic herself! I wish I could remember her name. The CDC acts like they are going to save America and making MONEY is their homerun. Lies and greed…that is all there’s left. Sad country we have become!


Even THIS website is IN IT. Liars and Greedy idiots who will be out of money if they don’t lie about what they are doing. Pathetic.

Sue Green

My young grandson has had autism since around 3 years old and his life has become a nightmare for him, his mom and his siblings. He had many shots pumped into his tiny body as an infant. Now, many years later he has become aggressive, violent and self abusive. His mental capacity is as a 4 year old or even younger. If the vaccines caused this, someone should be held responsible. Have these people no conscience???

Steve Nelson

Although some folks seem to catch every disease going, the majority of the population benefits from every form of prevention from living life which as children including eating dirt. Through living life without the stress of realizing every thing we eat contains some degree of “poison” so if you eat enough of it, you could die. I generally believe that most of the vaccinations I received as a child did me good. I due get the flu vaccination and have yet to catch the flu. My wife, on the other hand takes supplements and studies all types of diseases and seems to be “under the weather” constantly. Stop eating packaged and processed foods, exercise and breathe.


Thank you so much.
I am so excited to have found this support.
I am one of a few at work who are forced to wear a mask, because I decline the flu shot.
David Muir informed on the last night News that the flue vaccine this year is about 1% effective.
Yes, the pharmaceuticals run the poleticians. I had hope that the one good thing Trump would do was stand up for the vaccines possible link to Autism.
Bente RN


I researched Zebro 2017, they did find a “slight” relationship between ASD and flue shot vaccination during the first trimester. However, they also stated that findings on ASD and first trimester flu shots may be due to chance. they stated, “adjusting for the multiplicity of hypotheses tested suggests that the results could be due to chance. If influenza vaccination during the first trimester of pregnancy causes ASD, our results suggest that it would amount to 4 additional ASD cases for every 1000 women vaccinated. ” They did not state that this was a clear causal relationship. Further research needs to be done to determine the relationship between ASD and Flu shots in my opinion.


Could anyone tell me if by getting the preservative flu vaccine, I am assuring myself there is no mercury or other harmful additives? it’s a safer and therefore may be a good idea to protect oneself against the flu?

Ralph Reed

You mention that 20 million doses of the 2017 flu vaccine contain mercury. But you neglect to state that 130 million doses contain zero mercury. The numbers in the Cochrane report show that the flu vaccine cuts the risk of contracting the flu by more than half, yes 60%. (I’m a health researcher and yes I read those reports.) I checked with my local Safeway pharmacy and a 2nd pharmacy for good measure. They showed me the actual vaccine and in both cases it was in single-dose vials, and has zero mercury. Why do you perpetuate half-truths and ignorance on topics so serious as, for example, elderly people’s lives? It is very enlightening to read the history of vaccine denial at the Wikipedia page on “vaccine controversies.” Vaccines have saved lives ever since the 1700s. You could actually give out some useful information on this topic. Thimerosal has not been shown to be harmful by the balance of actual research, but for those who are afraid of it, you could have pointed out that it is only used in multi-dose vials. That way people could avoid it.

Ashley Law

Mercury works in synergy with Aluminium and Glyphosate blocks Melatonin transfer to the pineal gland so the ‘cleaning’ is not carried out leads to Calcification that then leads to Dementia and more….


Don’t know what to say except that this is the first year in ten I did NOT get a flu shot and here I am combing the internet as I recover from the flu.

wayne woodman

I’m a 73 yo lung cancer patient with COPD. wondering if a flue shot would be of benefit as that I have already received the phnuemacochral shot and the subsequent booster shot??


My flu shot in 2006 almost killed me and I am on permanent disability due to it. I cannot take any immunizations because of the severe autoimmune response I had.


is there a “swab” flu shot this year for 14 year old who passes out with injections


Thank you so much for confirming what my instincts tell me. With all the illnesses and diseases out their it just seems like we the people are the guinea pigs. It is so hard to know who to believe or what to do to combat illnesses or diseases. I can’t help but believe that this is just another means of population control as other countries implement. We the people do not want or need guesses but real cures and above all honesty.

randy burnham

I had not intended to get the flu vaccine. This year, however, I have heard of no less than 2 cases where amputations were required. This bothers me much more than ‘getting the flu’. So, I decided that, tomorrow, I was going to get the vaccine. Then I read about the mercury in the ‘shot’ and wonder; does getting the shot help prevent the causes of these amputations even if it doesn’t prevent you from getting the flu ? Sort of a ” Catch 22 “. Damned if I do and damned if I don’t !


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