By David Burd
Last week, I visited a local RITE AID drugstore in my town of Alexandria, Virginia for some soap and eyeglass nose pads. At the front door was a big fancy sign proclaiming a $100 worth of RITE AID coupons would be given if a customer only took a flu shot, the shot itself for $24.99 (or free if covered by various plans).
As is my frequent interest I've just checked the latest on-line U.S. CDC weekly Fluview report that shows a very mild flu season so far, unlike last year’s H1N1 (Swine) cases that were in part an artifact brought by 20 times the usual number of flu tests.
Not incoincidentally, last year's caseload of seasonal flu began earlier than ever in September and coincided with the largest vaccine promotion ever (with enough Americans participating by taking the shots) of 150 million newly manufactured H1N1 flu shots.
Every year there’s been alarmist fears of a new(!), mutated(!), potentially deadly(!) flu virus, such as back in 2003 on the heels of the SARS farce, and in 2005 on the heels of a few folks in SE Asia allegedly dying of H5N1, flu shots have been hysterically promoted by U.S. officials, starting in September, as opposed to the usual December promotions. And, not incoincidentally, in tandem with earlier promotions have come earlier flu-related illnesses. It’s right there on CDC’s own records and beautiful graphs and charts.
How about this 2010-2011 flu year? Many stories have been written, even by the Wall Street Journal about the American public currently refusing to go along with ceaseless flu shot promotions. This is reflected by a recent TV news story about Rhode Island school kids with 80% of them refusing the offered shots.
By NBC 10 News
Published: December 29, 2010
The state Department of Health says only one-fifth of Rhode Island school children participated in school-based flu vaccine clinics this fall.
That's well below the 50 percent participation rate health officials were hoping for in an effort to lower infections in the state.
Children still had the option of getting the vaccine from their doctor.
Peter Hanney of the Rhode Island Department of Health talked with NBC 10's Patrice Wood.
Thus, I can now get $100 of drug store goods by merely taking this wonderful vaccine!! Wow!. No thanks, I’ll stick to my Vitamin B supplement and some winter sunshine. Not incoincidentally I never get the flu. If enough of my fellow Americans also refuse the shots I will predict we have a very mild flu year – all bets accepted.
David M. Burd is a Medical Technology Consultant.