Get Vaccinated, Stupid

Swine flu is most likely not going to kill you. It does suck, but it is pretty much no worse than the regular seasonal flu. So, you’d think that this crazy media hype and the apparant panic in average people is unwarranted. After all, these are the people who drive in cars that are thousands of times riskier than the worst pandemic flu infection. But really, I think this response is exactly how we should be reacting, because it’s a pragmatic, logical healthcare choice.

Some of you may be thinking that, because I’m in favor of lots of vaccinations, I’m a shill for Big Pharma (my dad’s even a pharmacist!) or some naive government puppet, but that is not at all the case. As taxpayers, we decide to support systems that require collective financing, because they benefit us all. Healthcare is one of those systems, and the mandate we give them is to provide us with the best care possible. So they should use the best cost effective tools available, and vaccines are right at the top of that list. Let’s remember now, our old viral friend smallpox was responsible for 300-500 million deaths in the 20th century alone (compared with the estimated 160 million deaths from all wars combined). We developed a vaccine, and within 20 years of a worldwide campaign of vaccination, we completely eradicated it from the planet. Nobody has contracted smallpox naturally since 1978, and that is soley because of an aggressive vaccination campaign. Much like the one we have going on right now to combat the swine flu.

Similar stories can be told for numerous other horrific diseases. The medical industry, hand in hand with the dreaded Big Pharma, develops effective inoculations against this shit, making a pretty penny in the process. Some of my friends think that this alone should make you skeptical of vaccines, like we’re ‘manufacturing diseases’ so that The Man can make money off your sickness. But this theory is bullshit, because if the man wanted to make money off of our suffering, they’d do much better to just let us get sick. Vaccines actually cut billions of dollars off of Big Pharma’s potential revenue, and yet they develop the vaccines anyway.

Maybe, just maybe this is due to our healthcare professionals doing their jobs, using the best tools available. When you have a new bug, it is easily passed between people who are without any immunity, and these people all end up in our hospitals that are often already over-capacity. If you can’t pass the disease on, those thousands of people you see every day who you could infect won’t get it from you. If they’re immunized too, we have some herd immunity that contains the spread, which can even stop those ignorant anti-vaxers from getting sick. But it only works if implemented on a mass scale, which is why I’m glad to see all the media attention. Hell, google even has a function on the maps that show you where the nearest immunization centre is.

At the end of the day, it will probably amount to a little wait in a line and a pinch in the arm. That’s it, and if the experience is really not worth saving yourself paying more taxes and saving lives, then you’re a lazy, inexcusable idiot.

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~ by Andrew on December 1, 2009.

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