Time for your flu shot!

I got my flu shot yesterday. Have you gotten yours yet?

This time of the year is becoming a bit of an annual tradition for the Biodork blog: The posting of Dr. Mark Crislip’s A Budget of Dumb Asses. Dr. Crislip wrote A Budget of Dumb Asses to answer some of the most popular excuses that people often give for not getting the annual flu vaccine.

In 2010, Dr. Crislip added a bit of a caveat – he says that this list is specifically directed to health care providers, and not at patients. Perhaps it wasn’t P.C. for Dr. Crislip to be calling patients dumb asses; I don’t think he’s had qualms about that in the past. But listen up: I don’t care if you work in health care or not – the reasoning below is sound. If you glance through the list and see a phrase that you’ve uttered as an excuse for not getting vaccinated then you need to keep reading.

So, off you go to to the 2011 edition of A Budget of Dumb Asses

I wonder if you are one of those Dumb Asses who do not get the flu shot each year? Yes. Dumb Ass. Big D, big A. You may be allergic to the vaccine (most are not when tested), you may have had Guillain-Barre, in which case I will cut you some slack. But if you don’t have those conditions and you work in healthcare and you don’t get a vaccine for one of the following reasons, you are a Dumb Ass.

1. The vaccine gives me the flu. Dumb Ass. It is a killed vaccine. It cannot give you the influenza. It is impossible to get flu from the influenza vaccine.

2. I never get the flu, so I don’t need the vaccine. Irresponsible Dumb Ass. I have never had a head on collision, but I wear my seat belt. And you probably don’t use a condom either. So far you have been lucky, and you are a potential winner of a Darwin Award, although since you don’t use a condom, you are unfortunately still in the gene pool.

3. Only old people get the flu. Selfish Dumb Ass. Influenza can infect anyone, and the groups who are more likely to die of influenza are the very young, the pregnant, and the elderly. Often those most at risk for dying from influenza are those least able, due to age or underlying diseases, to respond to the vaccine. You can help prevent your old, sickly Grandmother or your newborn daughter from getting influenza by getting the vaccine, so you do not get flu and pass it one to her. Flu, by the way, is highly contagious, with 20% to 50% of contacts with an index case getting the flu.  However, Granny may be sitting on a fortune that will come to you, and killing her off with the flu is a great way to get her out of the way and never be caught.  That would make a good episode of CSI.

4. I can prevent influenza or treat it by taking echinacea, vitamin C, oscillococcinum or Airborne. Gullible Dumb Ass cubed then squared. None of these concoctions has any efficacy what so ever against influenza. And if you think oscillococcinum has any efficacy, I would like you to invest in a perpetual motion machine I have invented.  None of the above either prevent or treat influenza. And you can’t “boost” your immune system either. Anyone who suggests otherwise wants you money, not to improve your health.

5. Flu isn’t all that bad of a disease. Underestimating Dumb Ass. Part of the problem with the term flu is that it is used both as a generic term for damn near any viral illness with a fever and is also used for a severe viral pneumonia. Medical people are just as inaccurate about using the term as the general public. The influenza virus directly and indirectly kills 20,000 people  (depending on the circulating strain and year) and leads to the hospitalization of 200,000 in the US each year. Influenza is a nasty lung illness. And what is stomach ‘flu’? No such thing.

6. I am not at risk for flu. Denying Dumb Ass. If you breathe, you are risk for influenza. Here are the groups of people who should not get the flu vaccine (outside of people with severe adverse reactions to the vaccine): Former President Clinton, who evidently doesn’t inhale. Michele Bachmann. Wait, that’s the HPV vaccine.  And people who want to be safe from zombies. If you don’t get the vaccine you do not have to worry about the zombie apocalypse, because zombies eat brains.

7. The vaccine is worse than the disease. Dumb Ass AND a wimp. What a combination. Your mother must be proud. Unless you think a sore deltoid for a day is too high a price to pay to prevent two weeks of high fevers, severe muscles aches, and intractable cough.

8. I had the vaccine last year, so I do not need it this year. Uneducated Dumb Ass. Each year new strains of influenza circulate across the world. Last year’s vaccine at best provides only partial protection. Every year you need a new shot.

9. The vaccine costs too much. Cheap Dumb Ass. The vaccine costs less than a funeral, less than Tamiflu, and less than a week in the hospital.

10.  I received the vaccine and I got the flu anyway. Inexact Dumb AssThe vaccine is not perfect and you may have indeed had the flu.  More likely you called one of the many respiratory viruses (viri?) people get each year the flu.  Remember there are hundreds of potential causes of a respiratory infection circulating, the vaccine only covers influenza, the virus most likely to kill you and yours.

11. I don’t believe in the flu vaccine. Superstitious, premodern, magical thinking Dumb Ass. What is there to believe in?  Belief is what you do when there is no data. Probably don’t believe in gravity or germ theory either. Everyone, I suppose, has to believe in something, and I believe I will have a beer.

12. I will wait until I have symptoms and stay homeDangerous Dumb Ass.  Despite often coming to work ill, especially second year residents, about 1 in 5 cases of influenza are subclinical, hospitalized patients are more susceptible to acquiring influenza from HCW’s than the general population,  and 27% of nosocomial acquired H1N1 died. And you wil never realize that you were the one responsible for killing that patient by passing on the flu.

13. The flu vaccine is not safe and has not been evaluated for safety.  Computer illiterate Dumb Ass.  There are 1342 references on the PubMeds on safety of the flu vaccine, and the vaccine causes only short term, mild reactions.  All health care requires weighing the risks of an intervention against the benefits. For the flu vaccine all the data suggests huge benefit for negligible risk. And as a HCW, it could be argued that we have a moral responsibility to maximize the safety of our patients.

14. The government puts tracking nanobots in the vaccine as well as RFID chips as part of the mark of the beast, and the vaccine doesn’t work since it is part of a big government sponsored conspiracy to keep Americans ill, fill hospital beds, line the pockets of big pharma and inject the American sheeple with exotic new infections in an attempt to control population growth and help usher in a New World Order. Well, that excuse is at least reasonable. Paranoid Dumb Ass.

So get the vaccine.  And pass this essay on to someone else.  The life you may save may be your own. Or be a Dumb Ass.

And if you and yours are admitted to the hospital or visit a HCW during the flu season, ask if your provider has had the vaccine. If not, ask for a new provider.  Who wants their health care provided by a Dumb Ass?

Time for your flu shot!
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22 thoughts on “Time for your flu shot!

  1. 2

    I didn’t used to get the flu shot, only because I get sick pretty rarely. But now that AmoebaJr is on the way, I respect him/her more. So last year and this year, I’ve gotten one.

    1. 2.1

      Sure. I get that.

      I used to not get the flu shot because I used to think that flu shots were made of the attenuated virus, and that I had a chance of getting the flu from the vaccine. Also, I’d never gotten the flu in my adult life, so I thought I’d just take my chances of catching the flu, which really is just a fever, head cold, achy muscles and a desire to sleep all the time, right? That’s a nice combo of excuses #1, #2 and #5!

  2. 3

    As the grandmother of a special needs granddaughter I no longer believe all the “dumb ass” medical professionals who want to belittle the growing number of individuals with concerns with immunizations. Their “safe” vacines left a healthy, active 15 month old with brain, liver and heart damage. All the specialists tried unsuccessfuly, to find another cause for the 2 hour seizure that left her on a 4 month old level ( she will be 3 years old in December ) and have admitted it was the vacine. She has had some of the best specialists in the country test and retest so they could blame anything else, to no avail. This doc needs a reality check and a foot up his a–.

    1. 3.1

      …and there’s a tiny chance penicillin will kill you. But untreated infection will almost definitely kill you (or at least maim you). It’s so easy to discount the deadliness of vaccine-controlled diseases that took so many lives in our parents or grandparent’s generation.

      I too long for the day when powerful medications carry no risks or side effects.

    2. 3.2

      Tell your doctor to immediately fill out a VAERS form
      (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System). It’s online.
      You can do it yourself if your doctor refuses. The family will be in for the fight of their lives but just may receive financial compensation from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund. God Bless!

    3. 3.3

      By all means, Virginia. If you believe that your granddaughter has been harmed by a vaccine, do have her parents file a VAERS report. “healthcare worker” (HCW) is throwing in a nice bit of scare tactics by implying that your doctor would refuse to help you file one, or at least provide information to help you file one. Also, “the family will be in for the fight of their lives” is absolutely unfounded and HCW provides no information about why he or she thinks this might be. From the VAERS website, it looks like you will be asked to provide information about your specific case and answer questions in some forum or another. If this is what HCW means by “the fight of your life”, then I’d say HCW has had a pretty easy life so far.

      Also, the VAERS is a reporting system that helps identify, assess and track vaccine adverse events (VAEs); it does *not* pay out money for vaccine injuries. If you are looking for financial compensation for your granddaughter’s injuries, her parents will want to report your suspicions to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VCIP).

      The more information the better. Everything in this world has risks, and if injuries are being caused by vaccines, then we need evidence of this so unsafe vaccines can be pulled from the market. BUT, this doesn’t mean that all vaccines are unsafe, nor does it mean that every injury that happens in the same time period as a vaccine is given is caused by the vaccine.

  3. 4

    Seems Crisplin got a lot more nasty flak for his inappropriate and unprofessional article this year than he did last year.

    Seasonal Flu Vaccination “mandates” are the direct and deliberate result of a World Health Organization plan to increase demand for seasonal flu vaccine. In addition to costing US taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, increasing demand for seasonal flu vaccine is one part of a larger plan to supposedly prepare the world for a flu pandemic.
    {WHO Assistant Director-General for Innovation, Information, Evidence and Research Marie-Paule Kieny, said that a plan called GAP had been put together in 2006 in response to worries from the international community about the gap between demand and supply of flu pandemic vaccines. Increasing the capacity of seasonal flu vaccine production is considered a prerequisite for the world to be able to produce sufficient vaccine in the event of a global pandemic. GAP was constructed around three pillars, Kieny said: an increase in seasonal vaccine use to combat seasonal influenza, driving the market and increasing production capacity; an increase in vaccine production capacity both in developed and in developing countries; and an increase in the efforts of research and development for better vaccines with broader spectrum. Since 2006, GAP has been a catalyst in the significant expansion of global flu vaccine manufacturing capacity, she said}
    WHO is now in the process of launching the 2nd phase of the GAP plan. I guess that’s great news, but forcing people to get a seasonal flu shot by government mandates, threats, name-calling, intimidation and termination of employment SHOULD NOT be a part of this plan. People need to protect their right to refuse. Vaccines are STILL considered drugs, and further, they are drugs given to HEALTHY people. ALL DRUGS HAVE SIDE EFFECTS, some of which are not realized until many years later (Some polio vaccine administered from 1955-1963 was contaminated with a virus, called simian virus 40 or SV40. The virus came from the monkey kidney cell cultures used to produce the vaccine. Most, but not all, of the contamination was in the inactivated polio vaccine. Once the contamination was recognized, steps were taken to eliminate it from future vaccines. Not sure how long the contamination lasted, but some reports suggest well into the 1980’s or even the 90’s. Researchers have long wondered about the effects of the contaminated vaccine on people who received it. Although SV40 has biological properties consistent with a cancer-causing virus, it has not been conclusively established whether it might have caused cancer in humans. SV40 has been found in human brain cancers.)PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO REFUSE VACCINES.
    Vaccines are now a huge profit-driven business, protected from liability, embraced by the federal government and concerned with the big-picture. It’s your responsibility to determine what’s right for you as an individual, your health and your children’s health. Don’t be intimidated by blow hards who act like they know everything and bully you by over simplifying the issue with a one-size-fits-all solution. Nothing in life is ever that easy.

    1. 4.1

      “Health” care worker,

      I have the feeling you cut and pasted this response.

      You obviously understand anything about vaccinations.

      You should kindly — and I mean this with utmost respect — reevaluate your cut and paste.


      Jeremy “Fuck Off” Witteveen

    2. 4.2

      First, the author of A Budget of Dumbasses is Dr. Mark Crislip – not Crisplin. If you’re going to badmouth someone, at least have the decency to get his name right.

      Second, Jeremy’s right: You’re entire disjointed “essay” looks like you strung together a bunch of paragraphs from various websites. If you’ve got something specific to discuss, let’s do that. I’m not going to respond to a lengthy diatribe of complex ideas that requires me to do hours of research unless we’re discussing a specific idea – not fallacious arguments or baseless attacks against faceless boogeymen.

      Third, I gather that you’re concerned about the government forcing all of us to get vaccinated against something, but that’s not what I was discussing in this post. And Dr. Crislip’s article is all about choice. He happens to believe that the flu vaccine is something that all healthcare workers should decide to get, and that if you don’t for any of the reasons listed above, you are – as he so subtly states – a dumbass. But still, it’s your choice, and nowhere in A Budget of Dumbasses does he suggest that the government should force anybody to get vaccinated.

  4. 5

    Her parents have filed VAERS and VCIP paperwork and it is crawling along in the system, but, at least it is progressing. 3 of her 5 Drs, support the filing with 1 on the fence and 1 more that doesn’t object but would still like to find another cause. 4 of the 5 agree she should not receive any kind of vacinations in the future, 1 would like to try the flu vacination. I thank all who responded for your help and since I have 16 grandchildren I realize not all children are affected this way. After speaking with other parents with similar issues I personally believe vacinations need to be split up and timed out alot more. I feel childrens immune systems would handle them with less side affects if they weren’t overloaded in the rush to get them all in. Thanks

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