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!
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.