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Painless Flu Jab Patch for People Scared of Injections

A bandage-like vaccine that can be applied to your hand or arm is in the works for people who are terrified of needles, BBC.com reports. The vaccine patch has mirconeedles that penetrate the skin when applied. It’s so simple you could even stick it on yourself, researchers say — and it’s just as effective as a regular flu vaccine.

Just as effective as a regular flu vaccine? Even if the patch technology is the best idea ever, that’s not exactly what you’d call a miracle when, for the past decade, flu vaccines were less than 50 percent effective more than half the time. In the 2004/2005 season, the vaccine was only 10 percent effective. During 2012/2013, it was 56 percent effective across all age groups, but only 9 percent effective in seniors.

The 2014/2015 flu vaccine flopped with a mere 18 percent effectiveness rate; 15 percent among children aged 2 to 8, and Fluzone — which delivers FOUR TIMES the normal dose of antigen — was found to lower seniors' risk of influenza by a modest 24 percent compared to the standard-dose vaccine. Not only that, mounting research suggests getting an annual flu shot may be ill advised for long-term health.

Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to avoid getting sick during the flu season that do not require getting a flu shot. Begin by optimizing your vitamin D levels. This is one of the best strategies for avoiding infections of all kinds, and research suggests vitamin D deficiency may actually be the true culprit behind the seasonality of the flu — not the flu virus itself.

Raising your vitamin D to a therapeutic level of 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) is probably the single most important and least expensive action you can take to avoid the flu. Next, eat a healthy diet that eliminates sugar and processed foods. Sugar impairs your immune function; processed foods are full of hidden sugars. Get plenty of rest, address your stress and wash your hands often — one of the most important flu “vaccines” you can employ, second only to that vitamin D.
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