Friday, October 08, 2004

Take my flu shot, please

Without in any way making light of the risk of flu season and the danger the shortage of vaccinations may pose in terms of serious and widespread illness, I'd just like to say that I'm a little ... well, bemused by the current flurry of flu vaccine rationing I've been reading about. I'll admit right from the start that I have never been on the flu vaccine bandwagon, and have chosen to take my and my children's chances with the bug rather than rely on a shot that always seems to cover every flu variety except the one that happens to cause havoc in our vicinity. In past years, so many news stories have made me feel like an irresponsible spreader of disease for not vaccinating my family and holding strong against potential unwellness. Public health officials have taken such a strong-arm tactic that people seem shocked and a little apprehensive if I admit to being unimmune. This year, of course, it would be irresponsible for a 40something like myself to get the vaccine, since I'd be stealing that in-short-supply shot from an infant or elderly person who really needs it. Those same health officials who've been browbeating me about getting a shot are now begging me not to, and I've gone from goat to hero for sitting this one out. This is what happens when you convince too many people that something is an absolute necessity: You'd better be able to produce it every year, or you're going to have riots at the pharmacies and supermarket clinics. The way people are fighting for shots, you'd think the unvaccinated masses were doomed to turn into zombies or something. But relax, people. I've never had a flu shot and I *cough, cough* feel just fine.

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