Hog Wash

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Maybe it’s the fact that it contains genes from viruses that are typically found in pigs, birds and humans, or perhaps it’s residual cultural anxiety from the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, but something has seemed fishy about this whole swine flu H1N1 business from the very beginning. It just reeks of the fear tactics we’ve been dealing with in the years since 9/11 (ooo, did you shiver just now?).

All I know is that I get rather skeptical when it comes to the government pushing me to get vaccinated against something that some groups claim was created in a lab to begin with. Sound like a conspiracy theory? Maybe, but it’s certainly possible. The CDC admits as much in this post, which details how they “reconstructed the influenza virus that caused the 1918-1919 flu pandemic, which killed as many as 50 million people worldwide.”

Now I’m not saying the government is trying to kill us off, but all these things do add up to me never getting this f’ing vaccine. But in New York State, the Health Commissioner recently informed healthcare workers that they have no choice—he handed down a regulation making H1N1 vaccination mandatory for people working in hospitals, clinics and medical home care. I was upset when I heard this on the news, and wondered if they would go along with it. I’m happy to write that hundreds of healthcare workers protested against being forced to receive an inadequately tested vaccine for fear of losing their jobs.

Even better, the Public Employees Federation, the New York State United Teachers and four nurses sued to reverse the policy, and a New York State Supreme Court judge granted a temporary restraining order last Friday. A hearing will be held at the end of the month to determine if it will be made permanent. I hope they emerge victorious; mandating vaccinations in healthcare workers is just steps behind mandating them in the general population, and I seriously don’t have time to add another cause to my roster.

Are you worried about contracting H1N1? Had it already, like Miss London? What was your experience? Will you get the vaccine?

—Kenrya

P.S. Shouts to my husband for today’s banging post title.

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