November 03, 2009

A shot in the arm

Who’s getting the vaccine and who isn’t? Consider this:

David Suzuki is a yes: Anne Murray is a no. Suzuki wonders why anyone would think they know more than scientists.  Murray feels that lots of Purell is the answer.

I’ve been an admirer of Anne Murray since I was a gloomy adolescent – she was the Voice, if not Joni Mitchell. Suzuki? Despite my agreement with many of his causes, I think he can be a righteous ass. Of course, because of my irrational bias against celebrity, I’m crazed in knowing that he’s been elevated to the realm of halos and wings – the god-like Voice of all things ecologically sound and environmentally right. I know this is my problem. It irks me that he’s so smart and usually right.

I have to swing with the god-like Voice on this one. Why would one not have it? Ok, safety is the greatest concern. Thimerosal, a mercury preservative, is in the vaccine and it’s been linked to autism, but there is no sound evidence of that. There are those who believe that too much is unknown about the virus – they don’t want to be guinea pigs. Some are of the mind  that there’s not yet enough known about how the vaccine interacts with other vaccinations. There may be a fractional percentage of people who have allergic reactions (if you’re allergic to eggs, you may want to avoid the vaccine). These fears are understandable. There are those who do think they’re immune, and that’s the only reason they decline the vaccine (fear, one can comprehend –  stupidity – not so much).

I don’t really know which is best. I’ve had the shot knowing there are risks. Slim chance of being effected by one or more, but risks nonetheless.

I’m not particularly altruistic. This has been demonstrated by shameful behaviour – taking the last, or the largest, or even the only portion of wine, cheese and/or dessert. Or lying in bed in the morning until I know the coffee is ready and the cat is fed. I’m a selfish cow from time to time. But, if I were to get N1H1, I would not want to spread it. So I wash my hands, sneeze into my elbow (my brother was relieved to know that the safest location to re-direct sneezing was NOT the back of the knee), avoid shaking hands (very difficult not to). And I had the shot – I took the risk.

Sometimes the Greater Good has to win out. You know…forgoing what you feel is best for you for the benefit of many. The Greater Good. I have to swing with Suzuki on that one and admit that he may not be a righteous ass and accept the fact that he is smart and usually right. What a voice.


3 Responses to “A shot in the arm”
  1. Jane Greening

    I’m with Suzuki on this as well. I recently read an article by a Doctor who said that if this flu is not stopped in its tracks by people being vaccinated, we could be facing something like the Spanish Flu, post WWI. We have to protect ourselves and others. Sorry, Annie – bacterial wash just ain’t enough. With you on this. Good post.

  2. Jane Greening

    Great post. Can’t imagine they have people whose prime training is to apply CPR, (CLEAR!), and tourniquets dealing with complex issues. What are they thinking? Didn’t know what metastasize was – hell, I’m not even a hellth (not a typo) care worker and *I* know. Not acceptable.

  3. irena

    Hi Susan (wave wave)!

    Yay or nay aside, it bothers me that the media are (whether deliberately or inadvertently) running a pro-vaccination propaganda campaign. The swine flu isn’t just a flu anymore, it’s a media phenomenon with its own theme song and 3D graphic. It’s an enemy as formidable as the Al-Quaeda — silent, invisible, and able to strike anywhere at any time. It’s just the latest media circus, and too many people are lining up to get vaccinated not because they’ve decided that it’s the right choice, but because they’re afraid.