Nobody is talking about influenza.
I had a patient yesterday who refused to take the flu vaccine because she said, "I don't know what shit the government is putting in those vaccines. I might get Ebola from it. Nuh-Uh. I am NOT getting Ebola from the flu shot."
NOTHING I said would change her mind. She really believed this.
I am sorry, but this is the stupidest thing ANYONE has ever said to me. EVER.
I have heard a lot of excuses for not getting the flu vaccine.
- "My next door neighbor's cousin's son got sick from the flu shot."
- "I get sick EVERY TIME I get the flu shot."
- "Nothing you say will convince me to take it."
- "I never get sick."
- "I've never gotten the flu. I don't need it."
Okay people. You are freaking out about 3 cases of Ebola and yet you don't want to protect yourself against something that is WAY more common and can also kill you?
Few of us have been in car accidents. We all hope that we won't be, and we wear our seat belts to protect ourselves from dying in a car accident-- EVEN IF WE'VE NEVER BEEN IN A CAR ACCIDENT. Seatbelts PREVENT death in a car accident.
Accidents aren't predictable.
NEITHER IS THE FLU. NEITHER ARE OTHER VACCINE PREVENTABLE DISEASES.
We take the influenza vaccine to PREVENT OURSELVES FROM GETTING SICK ENOUGH TO DIE FROM FLU.
MORE IMPORTANT. If you have any sense of caring for those around you, get the flu vaccine.
You are contagious the day before you get sick with the flu.
That means that when you visit your elderly mother or father, or your cousin on chemo, or your best friend whose sister had a bone marrow transplant, you've JUST EXPOSED THEM AND PUT THEM AT RISK OF DEATH FROM INFLUENZA, YOU SELFISH JERK!
Children, old people, diabetics, asthmatics, people with emphysema or autoimmune diseases, and people who are on chemo, radiation therapy or who've had bone marrow transplants:
OFTEN DIE FROM INFLUENZA.
You could infect someone at the grocery store. They go home and a couple of days later infect their baby, spouse, cousin, best friend. They die. YOU JUST CAUSED A PREVENTABLE DEATH.
Yes, it's harsh.
Life is not fair.
You live in a society and have an obligation to it's members to keep them safe.
There's a reason they call it "public health."
Do you realize how freaking lucky we are to have safe and effective vaccines?
Do you think the people in Africa would refuse an Ebola vaccine if it were available?