In a moment of pure paranoid glory, the far right and far left (maybe not even so far in some cases) have united against Swine Flu vaccine. I will admit that I was planning on not getting a shot, not for the seasonal flu and not for H1N1, mostly because I’ve never had one. Then, in a brief moment of doubt, I called my doctor. They had the nose spray vaccine for piggy pox. So I signed on to get it done, but changed my mind and called to cancel. So am I a political radical or just a chicken? Let’s figure it out.
Theoretically, getting the flu and living through it is great, because you build up more antibodies that way, safeguarding yourself from getting it again. Plus, you have a war story. Or several war stories.
Yet, since I have gotten the flu almost yearly since I lived in Paris (foreign bugs are the worst, sacre bleu!) I realized that it is random. The other thing I should mention is the whole idea of getting the flu from the flu shot. First off, you cannot get the flu from the shot. It is a dead virus. It’s like saying Jesse James robbed you after you saw his grave. No, he didn’t, he’s dead. The reason people who have gotten the vaccine get sick is that it takes about two weeks to work. I know, why didn’t they tell you that? Especially since you made out with that feverish, snotty stranger on your way to work…
In fact, those people probably got the flu from someone and then were really angry.
However, I can see the possibility that someone got the flu after getting the nasal-spray vaccine. That contains a weakened strain of a live virus. Kind of like picking a fight with someone who has been stabbed in the back. Most likely you’ll win, unless your immune system is already weak, and unless that person is Maximus, the commander of the armies of the north. So it’s kind of like catching a weak version of the virus, and there isn’t any thimerosal (a funny name for mercury) or any other preservatives in it, which is always a plus. I prefer to only get my heavy metals from fish, thank you.
The other upside of the nasal spray vaccine is that it is engineered to not replicate at higher temperatures, like those present in your lungs. However, there are still chances that you will experience “side effects”. These include runny nose, headache, sore throat, nausea, and basically other cold/flu symptoms. Fever isn’t one of them. Yay?
Although some people don’t have any post-vaccine symptoms, it sounds like you are pretty much asking for a head cold. Not that I mind head colds, they’re mostly just annoying, but here’s the thing: It’s also possible to infect other people after getting this vaccine. They say that anyone with a weak immune system shouldn’t get it, and that you should stay away from those with weakened systems as well. Essentially, you’ve caught the virus, you’re infectious, but at least you know it.
So what’s a girl to do? I opted out. I figure that I will probably get sick at some time, and that’s okay. I’ve stocked my pantry with several levels of flu fighting drugs, soup, and boned up on my how to keep a virus down knowledge. (For instance, did you know sugar feeds a virus? So eating processed foods, and anything sweet, including fruit juice, only adds fuel to the fire. Be gone, OJ!) I’ve been washing my hands like I have OCD and am not touching my face.
After all, this is just a flu. Yes, some people have had not so great experiences with it, especially those with weakened lungs. I’m not saying the ICU is out of the realm of possibility in my scenario, because you never know, but for the moment, I’m poised to kick some flu booty. Besides, I like to know that what I’m putting in my body isn’t a bunch of junk, and I really don’t know that about this vaccine. I’d rather be vaccinated nature’s way, even if it is a pain.