Hey, While You’re Here Let Me Inject You With This Virus Real Quick

It’s bad enough when the drug store pushes their bonus card on me every time I duck in to pick up a bottle of 4 dollar wine (I’ve always been the high class sort). But I really don’t like it when they try to up-sell the flu vaccine. “Would you like a dose of influenza with your purchase this evening?” Tempting, but no thank you. 

Look I’m not a homeopathic organic fruit chompin’ anti-vaccine crusader. I think this is an “issue” that is in desperate need of a shot of reasonable. I’m not against all vaccines but I’m not going to have my children injected with 400 viruses before their first birthday. And I’m not really into the idea of having toddlers vaccinated for STD’s. In fact, I’m not crazy about vaccinations for diseases that can easily be prevented by living responsibly. Maybe one day they’ll make a crash-proof car and then we can all get plastered and hop behind the wheel without fear! Victory! 

…I guess?

As for the flu vaccine, my wife will get it because she’s “vulnerable” (otherwise known as “pregnant”). I never have and never will. What are the chances that a healthy young adult dies from the flu in modern society? Small? Infinitesimal? Possibly even less likely than suffering complications from the vaccine itself, or developing an autoimmune disease like Thyroiditis or Rheumatoid Arthritis because of it? 

Call me cocky, maybe I am, but I’m thinking I’ll just fall back on the good ol’ fashioned immune system on this one. Your body is better equipped to handle a cold than you think. It’s got the mucus membranes in your nose, throat and lungs. It’s got the ability to heat up and burn out viruses. It’s got T-cells in the blood stream. And then it’s got those trusty antibodies. How do you think your T-cells and your mucus membranes feel when you’re constantly telling them they aren’t good enough? 

I rest my case. 

Oh and I hate needles. Which is enough of a reason for me.


***Update: Elizabeth messages and tells me she recently saw a marquee outside of a pharmacy advertising free chicken sandwiches with every flu vaccination purchase. Don’t worry, there’s nothing unethical about bribing people into a medical decision by dangling free food in front of their face. 

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4 Responses to Hey, While You’re Here Let Me Inject You With This Virus Real Quick

  1. Cylar says:

    Yeeeah….I’m of two minds on this one. Most people who get the flu shot every autumn do so not because they fear death from the flu (though you may not be aware that a certain number of people do die from it each year – mostly the very old, very young, and those suffering from autoimmune disorders). They do so to avoid lost productivity incurred by being made ill by the virus for a day or two (or seven), and/or to avoid spreading the infection to weaker members of their households…which is why it’s recommended that caregivers get the shot as well as the elderly under their charge.

    The problem with the flu vaccine in particular is that it only protects you against one strain of the influenza virus…which was chosen essentially at random by the CDC as being the one statistically most-likely to be the “main” flu strain that year. Many years I’ve gotten the shot and then gotten sick a few months later anyway, probably because my body was attacked by a DIFFERENT strain of the flu virus. Moreover, the flu virus, like most any virus, has the ability to mutate into any of thousands of recognized strains. Essentially it’s an educated guess, or if you prefer, a crapshoot.

    I prefer to roll the dice and take my chances with the vaccine, because a few times I’ve gone an entire winter without getting ill…and those were always the years in which I got the shot.

  2. noguiltnofear says:

    Neil Miller’s Vaccine Safety Manual. Read it. Or at least, consult the chapter/ section on whatever shot you’re (momentarily) considering. Please, please, read the flu shot section for your wife, or have her read it, if she has not already made her decision. Congratulations on the new little one, by the way! 🙂

    Happy to talk with anyone with a sincere question at prudence.dagg@gmail.com. I will not respond to hate mail or comments about how only a totally ignorant person would say what I do…etc., etc. How vaccines saved us from POLIO (if you believe that, you need to do some research: rate of polio decline in other countries, all the names polio has gone by, and more). I also will not respond to (self) righteous comments on how DARE I question the doctor. I don’t accept that doctors are gods; sorry. (And, by the way, MANY of them question vaccines if they don’t outright oppose them–though you’ll be hard put to find a doctor who will go on record as saying that, thanks to heavy pressure from the pharmaceutical companies.)

    Best of luck!

  3. Jean DeSalle says:

    Hi Matt,
    You must have an awful lot of emails everyday to sort through. I don’t envy you. Otherwise it must be nice to know your thoughts are being considered every day. Just read your blog for the first time a few minutes ago since a friend posted it on her fb feed. I like what you say and I happen to be in the “generally vac free” parent category too. Always nice to see how another parent can stand by this very controversial view point.
    Best of luck in your writing future,

  4. Kristen says:

    Before you wife lets the doctor push a vaccine on her while pregnant and thus “vulnerable”, here is information worth taking into consideration:


    Basically saying there is not scientific evidence supporting the safety of vaccinating pregnant women.

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