Friday, October 12, 2012

Word on the Street: Flu Shots

It's that time of year again. Fall foliage and football. Time to mull over the crafty ways you could murder your bookie and make it look like a recreational boating accident. It's also time to be thinking about the flu shot. The hotly-contested debate over the seasonal vaccine's safety has raged on longer than most Sub-Saharan African presidencies. I decided to hit the pavement of Main Street, USA to find out what everyday, normal, folk thought about the vaccine, in this very first edition of Word on the Street.   

"I think the whole concept of vaccination is utterly absurd. I don't see why anyone would dare interfere with the organic, symbiotic order of things. Mother Nature's plan is very intricate and quite deliberate. We're all just mere pixels in her grand image."

"People are always jibber-jabbering over whether preservatives they use in vaccines, like mercury-containing thimerosal, are toxic to humans. I'm here to tell you, they're not! I've been vaccinated against almost everything since birth, and I feel sensational. Two thumbs up. "

"I have a hard time believing a tiny, plastic syringe will protect me from anything. I'd like to see those birds and swine try to muscle their little flu past my Thundersnake Blade of Woe. Not gonna happen, in this realm or any other."

"First of all, I think it's bullshit that they grow these vaccines in chicken eggs. So, right off the bat, the shots aren't vegan-friendly. They don't tell you that. How is that cool? It's like they don't care about your principles you know?"

"I've read them studies in the New England Patriots Journal or whatever about how flu shots can cause serious health problems. It just ain't worth it, period."  

"Vaccinate?!? Can't we all just liberate, emasculate and cohabitate?"

"A recent meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials of live attenuated influenza vaccine found that 2 doses of LAIV in vaccine-naive adults prevented infection with 80% of antigenically similar viruses and 76% of all viruses regardless of antgenic similarity. On the other hand, the efficacy of inactivated vaccine based on hemagglutination inhibition as assay seroconversion was less than 55% for both H1N1 and H3N2 serotypes. The proof is in the pudding, if you ask me."

So there you have it. An eye-level view of America and some of its resolute peoples. In case you're wondering, I just got my shot this week. I obediently lined up with all the other replicants at our employer's human conditioning hatchery to have our identity barcodes verified and facial vein geometry scanned. Once cleared, we proceeded down the sterilized, surveillance-laden intake chute into the bio-deprogramming pod for our mandatory thought-monitoring microchip injection. Promptly after, we received a health ministry authentication stamp and were dismissed back to the labor catacombs. 

Overall, a smooth process. I don't think I experienced any side effects from the vaccine, other than that I've felt unusually serene and complacent since the shot. However, a few hours later, I did have a low grade fever accompanied by chills, muscle aches and moderately explosive diarrhea. But that was after eating beef tacos from a scrappy Mexican dive in my hood named after an Aztec volcano that I can neither spell or pronounce. So there's really no way of knowing. 


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