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The influenza virus has sickened millions of Americans this year and killed 20 infants, but many of the nation’s chiropractors are bucking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call for vaccination and advising their patients against getting the flu shot.
A chiropractor at Integrative Chiropractic in Oakland, Calif., Dr. Aaron Rossell told the Daily News that the bulk of his patients choose not to get the flu shot. In part, that’s because Rossell discourages it.
“We recommend the approach that was so successful during the pandemic [OF 1917-1918]; routine preventative care and if symptomatic, an intensive course of care with supportive nutrition, homeopathics, herbs and or other types of therapies,” Rossell said in an email.
Assertions by chiropractors that the flu vaccine doesn’t doesn’t measure up to alternative treatments are enough for public health officials to pull their hair out.
“The vaccine is safe and largely effective,” Curtis Allen, spokesperson for the CDC, told the Daily News.
Melissa Lee, a spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association, told the Daily News that the organization does not have a specific policy on the flu vaccine, but refers its members to its overall policy on vaccinations if they ask for guidance on what to advise patients.
“Since the scientific community acknowledges that the use of vaccines is not without risk, the American Chiropractic Association supports each individual's right to freedom of choice in his/her own health care based on an informed awareness of the benefits and possible adverse effects of vaccination,” the organization’s policy states. “The ACA is supportive of a conscience clause or waiver in compulsory vaccination laws thereby maintaining an individual's right to freedom of choice in health care matters and providing an alternative elective course of action regarding vaccination.”
“Chiropractors should stick to the musculoskeletal system, period,” Dr. Paul Offit, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told the Daily News. “The bad information that they give their patients on vaccines is putting their patients at risk, and what are the consequences? There are none.”