New Brunswick — As health experts share concerns about a second wave of Covid-19 during flu season, The Manatee has tracked down CBC, CTV and Global’s comment army of anti-vaxxers to reevaluate their questionable theories about the annual flu vaccine.
“I go to the gym three days a week, I eat healthy, and I’m totally OCD about washing my hands,” said CERB super-fan Jennifer Kelly. “However, after speaking with actual health-care professionals like doctors, pharmacists and nurses, I learned that viruses can spread through respiratory droplets that I can’t ward off through good hygiene alone. Also, my exaggerated and ignorant use of ‘OCD’ isn’t just a fun slang word. It’s actually pretty offensive! Learning is fun!”
With criticism and a reduced following surrounding the People’s Alliance after the provincial election, anti-vax rally attendance is at an all-time low.
“I used to show up carrying a big purple sign against Big Pharma. Then my local pharmacist pointed out to me that they get paid through dispensing fees, not giant novelty cheques from drug companies,” said Alicia Wortman.
“Also, after adding in extra staffing and supplies, it makes up a pretty insignificant portion of their annual revenue. In hindsight, it’s a pretty strange argument to say that someone spends the first nine months of the year serving the public, and then all of a sudden mid-October they become a money-hungry slave to the drug companies. Am I right?” she added with a shrug.
Some residents are even picking up basic knowledge about their immune system.
“My go-to response to pro-vaccine articles was always ‘I HAVE THIS THING CALLED AN IMMUNE SYSTEM, BOOMER!’ written in all caps,” bragged keyboard-warrior asthmatic Josh Gallant. “But now, I’ve discovered that I’ll miss less time at work, decrease my risk of hospitalization, and keep my family and friends healthy by letting a vaccine activate my immune system and develop antibodies…instead of the actual virus. Do other people know about this?! You should get on that.”
The morning coffee crowd seems to have changed their tune about the vaccine as well.
“I’ve been going around telling friends and family for years that ‘I know a guy who got really sick after he received his flu shot,’ coughed ‘Roll Up The Rim’ prodigy Allan Eagles. “In all honesty, I didn’t know him that well. I just eavesdropped on a conversation in the lineup here at Tims one morning. He had about half his teeth, a pretty viscous smoker’s cough, and an ankle bracelet. Reminded me of Relic from Beachcombers, but more rough around the edges.
“I’ve been scared of needles since I was a kid, so his reason made me sound like less of a wuss. I became a granddad in June, so I’d better suck it up and get my flu shot to make sure she’s protected.”
However, a few residents are still resistant to give up their old beliefs. As we sat down to interview the province’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Russell, she was approached and screamed at by concerned resident Colleen Holland.
“How can you go around promoting the flu shot? Do you know what they put in those vaccines?!”
“Actually, I do,” Dr. Russell replied with an eye roll.
“Oh. Right. Of course you do. But sometimes they’re only 10% effective! Why even bother?!” replied Colleen.
“Yes, it’s difficult for companies to get an exact match as the predominant strain of the virus can change from year to year,” explained Dr. Russell. “But even in years that it’s a poor match, it’s better than doing…What is it you do?”
Colleen was ready.
“Uhhhh….yeah, but flu vaccines have mercury. Do you know what else has mercury? Thermometers. Do you know what else thermometers measure? Climate change. Do you know who spreads information about climate change? Al Gore. If you rearrange the letters in his name, it spells Real O.G. Yeah. The original gangster. I don’t support gang violence, and that’s why I’ll never get a flu shot.”
After this outburst of rock-solid logic, Colleen retreated to her ham and cheese biscuit, and Crossword ticket.
Dr. Russell sighed in exhaustion.
“The vaccine is the best line of defence we have against the seasonal flu, which results in unnecessary illness, time off of work, hospitalizations, and worst of all, the death of loved ones with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions.
“Oh, and please don’t listen to Colleen.”