Should you get a swine flu shot?

swine flu

This 1976 photograph showed an adult female receiving a vaccination that was administered by a public health clinician, by way of a jet injector during the nationwide swine flu vaccination campaign, which began October 1, 1976. (Public Health Image Library photo)

The great debate of the past week has been whether or not people should be getting the H1N1 (swine flu) immunization. 

A lot of people are getting them. Here in Ottawa, the lineups yesterday were five hours longer, and that was early in the day.

*As a side note, can we stop showing pictures of needles, and people getting injected by needles? I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

But there are a lot of people who are scared of the risks. And honestly, the Internet is to blame.

People try to research these types of things, and find crazy conspiracy stories. Then they start to believe those stories, and all of a sudden, the injection is part of a government plot where aliens can keep track of everyone and decide who they should kidnap for different types of probes (or something like that).

A colleague at work this morning was talking about how her chiropractor told her 50 per cent of nurses and doctors won’t be getting the H1N1 shot. First off, there’s lots wrong with that statement. Such as, how can you have a number on something that hasn’t happened? That’s like saying 50 per cent of hockey teams won’t be scoring a goal this weekend. How can you tell?

And how did the chiropractor manage to ask enough doctors and nurses that he could give out a number like that? Did he have a hotline set up? Did he ask two of his friends and base it on that?

It’s a silly number, but now my co-worker believes it, and because of it, won’t be getting her shot.

People, the swine flu was given as a shot back in the 70s. It’s not that big a deal. You don’t hear horror stories about the shots from back then, do you?

I don’t think it’s that tough a decision. If you want to get it, get it. If you don’t, then don’t. There doesn’t need to be that much research involved.

I’m in the no camp for now, because I have a needle phobia, and because I have never had a flu shot (mostly because of the needle phobia).

I don’t think spending five hours in a line to get this immunization is for me. That doesn’t mean I won’t get it, but it’s not something I plan on doing, unless the lines die down quickly.

But please, if you’re going to do research, make sure you check with reputable sources, and not some crazy theorists.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Should you get a swine flu shot?

  1. there is so much propaganda about this thing. Too bad the chiro is spewing crazy data. People need to be evidence based these days, especially when they are in the position to give advise….news reports included.

    anyways, to further the craziness I heard a funny story on 102.1 the edge radio station that a girl in the states got the swine flu shot and now she can only walk backwards and has trouble speaking unless she is running. sounds completly crazy but I haven’t checked the sources yet.

  2. Steve Penney

    Here’s the “girl walks backwards after flu shot story”…

    here’s some more kinks going around the web…

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6696666502913965744#

    I have more H1N1 stuff at work, I’ll see if I can dig it up.

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