The moment after I call everyone who avoids the flu shot lazy and stupid I get an email from the President of Dana-Farber saying exactly the same thing. OK, he says it nicely because he is the head doctor here but I can be more pointed. Or I will let Rubber Duck and DFCI tell you why you need to get the vaccine.
DFCI: Influenza hospitalizes and kills more people in this country than any other vaccine-preventable disease, and DFCI has made the decision to require universal vaccination for the good of our patients, staff, and visitors.
Rubber Duck: If you do not get a shot you can be a resevoir of virus infecting everyone you cough on. Don’t be an idiot, get a shot.
DFCI: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires that all hospital staff document their vaccination status. To meet this requirement, staff who are unable to receive the flu vaccine for medical reasons and those who receive the vaccine anywhere other than Dana-Farber, Brigham and Women’s, or Boston Children’s Hospitals will be required to provide written documentation to Occupational Health Services.
Rubber Duck: And the medical reasons better be good. Allergy to eggs does not cut it anymore.
DFCI: Last year at Dana-Farber, we had 100% compliance for flu vaccination!
Rubber Duck: Imagine if everyone on Cape Ann (older than six months) got the shot. There might not be a big spike in flu cases, less people would die of the flu or complications from the flu this winter.
Rubber Duck Facts of Life: Influenza is a virus. It does not appear as if by magic from a passing seagull. Each and every person in Massachusetts who gets the flu received that virus from another person. That person likely was not vaccinated. Do not be that idiot.
The Flu and Ebola: Ebola is also a virus just like the flu. Anecdotal story: Just a few weeks ago Francis lived in Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia. He helped his sick neighbor into a taxi. A few days later as he lay dying in the hospital he told the doctors how he was infected. He leaves his father, son, brother, wife, to grieve. Francis and his neighbor were ignorant of how the virus was transmitted.
Ebola is not the flu. It has killed far fewer but it strikes so quickly one can connect the dots. Each person in the United States (estimated at around 50,000 each winter) who dies of the flu is infected the same way, by another person. Flu virus does not grow on trees. Do not be that infectious person. If you do not believe in vaccines, do me a favor and write IDIOT on your forehead so Rubber Duck and I can stay away from you. We have had our shots but the vaccine does not work 100% of the time. You can still kill us.
As author I am in charge of comments. If you post bullshit from a pseudo-scientific web site I will delete it. Sue me. Science works. Bullshit kills.
– Paul Morrison & Rubber Duck