H1N1 Flu Shot Myths Infuriate Me (or Why Your Ignorance Makes Me Feel Superior To You)
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I come out yearly and encourage you all to get your flu shots. Here's the 2003 plea and here's my 2004 plea. I get the flu shot every year, as does my entire family, including my two young children.
This year, with the H1N1 influenza virus creating the need for an H1N1 vaccination, there's been more chatter than usual. Everybody, it seems, has an opinion on the H1N1 vaccine. Old myths reserved for the regular ol' flu shot have been resurrected and are flying around the office at full steam. One lady is convinced the H1N1 vaccine will give her "the swine flu", another thinks it's a pharmaceutical industry conspiracy and another has found a quote from a retired quack American doctor who advises against the shot. Of all the great and respected doctors on this continent, that quack doctor got her to send an email to all of her contacts urging us to say no to the H1N1 vaccine.
I am not a doctor. It's highly likely that you're not a doctor either. When it comes to decisions for me and my family regarding vaccinations, I speak to medical doctors I trust. Every single one I've spoken to or heard from say, without hesitation, that we should all get immunized as soon as possible. The scientific evidence is overwhelming. As a responsible parent, I'll ensure my kids receive the H1N1 vaccine as soon as possible. As a responsible member of society, I'll ensure I get the H1N1 vaccine as soon as possible.
That's right. I think those who reject science and prefer to buy into silly conspiracy theories and urban legends and reject the free H1N1 flu shot are selfish. They're selfish because getting immunized means a person does not spread the illness to others. That's one less carrier walking around, shaking hands, touching public door knobs and TTC poles and spreading the virus.
I'm going to close with what I wrote back in 2003.
If you could avoid getting the flu, wouldn't you? Getting a flu vaccination makes good sense, right? You'd be surprised at the conspiracy theories I heard when talking with coworkers. Some think it's a cash-grab for the pharmaceutical industry. Others think it will leave them defenseless when the "super flu" arrives. Some even think the contents of the vaccination aren't to be trusted and that it could cause the flu or even worse. Someone even claimed their friend told her it contained radiator coolant. I've heard it all.
If you believe in such conspiracies, then you believe that every single medical doctor in the country is in on the deal. I challenge you to find one doctor who will tell you the flu vaccination is a bad idea. You won't because it isn't.
Get a damn flu shot. This isn't The X Files.
Other relevant links:
- H1N1 Flu Vaccination Clinics in Toronto: Where and When
- The Difference Between Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms
- Ontario Flu Trend Shows Intense Activity
- Your Swine Flu Playlist (Music to Pandemic By)
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