The Weekly Rant with Gary Patella

Thoughts and ideas on various grievances that are relevant to everyday life.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On The Flu Shot

Viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae have been around for quite some time. Prior to medical advancements, influenza was a serious disease. Nowadays, the majority of those that come down with the flu merely get sick for about a week or two. In a world of seven billion people, about 100,000 die from the flu each year. This may sound like a large number, but it is really only one out of 70,000. That is a percentage of approximately .00143% (a very small number by any standards.)

Yet each year around this time, everyone is told that the flu is coming and we all need to get vaccinated. This is a load of crap! If you are not in poor health, you need not fear the flu. We cannot live our lives in fear of something that poses no threat. I am not living in the 1800's and I'm not living in a third world country. If I get sick, I'll recover.

Some people may look back to the influenza pandemic of 1918. It is true that many have died from the virus back then. But look at the time period. It may seem like it was not long ago, but consider what we have today that we did not have back then. Back in 1918, we did not have:

-Antibiotics
-Respirators
-Pacemakers
-Dialysis
-MRI
-Contact lenses
-CPR
-Organ transplants

Furthermore, tobacco was not considered unhealthy and we had no clue about the structure of DNA. Of course, many of these things cannot be directly correlated with the various influenza viral strains. But nevertheless, the list does show that we have come a long way since then. Go back in time early enough and the common cold was a threat. We still have no cure for the cold, but that doesn't classify it as a major threat. My main point is this-- advancements in medicine and general living conditions can convert things that were once threats to mild annoyances.

Yet there are now commercials and posters everywhere advising all people to get a flu shot. Why is everyone now advised? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have decided this year that everyone needs a flu shot. They deferred to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for this decision. And how did they arrive at this decision? Scientific evidence that changes our opinion of the flu? A large increase in the number of people that get the flu? Not at all. They decided by voting! That's right, they voted on it! Basically, the question was asked "How many people here believe that everyone should get the flu shot?" When more than half of the ACIP agreed, they decided to push the flu shot on everyone. How can you argue with such a sound scientific method?

In closing, I would just like it to be known that the flu shot is unnecessary. It actually makes people sick. This is logic that I cannot follow. Let me get a shot that makes me sick, that way I don't have to worry about getting sick. Well, if this argument makes sense to you, then chances are you are already sick...in the head! So back off with your flu shot propaganda! I don't want it, nor do I need it. Stop telling me that I should get one. It is never going to happen. So kindly take all of your flu vaccines and shove them up your ass! I'll have none of it.

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