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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Vaccinations... bah!

11 June 2018

Some weeks ago I got my annual flu vaccine.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the efficacy and safety of such vaccinations but I'm a born risk-taker so every year I allow the nurse to thrust her steely needle deep into the rugged musculature of my arm and dispense some kind of concoction of egg-white and viral protein deep into the tissues that dwell within.

Usually, this injection produces a small amount of discomfort, somewhat akin to a bee-sting.

Being a "real man", I seldom need more than a single handful of tissues to soak up the tears and my screens rarely carry more than a block or two -- so the inoculation is a relatively straight-forward process. In fact, within a few hours, the only way anyone could tell that I'd been given a flu shot is by the fact that my arm is now in a sling and every second phrase that passes my lips is "oh the pain Will Robinson".

I haven't had any of the adverse reactions that some claim to have experienced from viral inoculations, aside from the uncontrolled drooling -- which strangely enough, subsided immediately that I left the surgery and could no longer see the pretty young 20-something nurse in short skirt and low-cut top.

But do these vaccinations really work?

Well hell, I'm starting to have my doubts!

The reason today's column is so late is because I'm sitting here, leaking at almost every orifice (too much information?) whilst coughing, sneezing and making muffled moaning noises due to the headache and general discomfort that has invaded my body.

Hell, I've got a cold!

Yes, I know that there's a significant difference between a good, old-fashioned cold and influenza... but hell, the least these injections could do is protect you from colds as well... eh?

But it gets worse...

Despite enduring the torment of having a hypo thrust into my arm, I still haven't won Lotto, petrol is still over $2 a litre and the weather is wet and windy.

Yes, I'm really starting to lose faith in these inoculations -- they're doing nothing to improve my lot at all.

And how many chicken eggs were sacrificed for this ineffectiveness?

Worst of all... the old sheila also has this cold. In fact, she got it about six days before I did so I'm pretty sure she was the Typhoid Mary who infected me. Although I'm feeling like crap right now, so is she... which means I've got another six days of purgatory to endure before there's the remotest chance I'll start to feel normal again.

Oh the humanity!

I think that next year I will make my own flu-shot. In past years, regular readers have suggested various formulas that are likely to be just as effective as the "store bought" version. Most of these recipes involve copious amounts of whiskey or other forms of alcohol, liberally mixed with such organic components as lemon-juice, honey etc.

Personally, I feel that since "symptomatic relief" is the best treatment that modern medicine can offer for victims of the common cold, I'd might as well do that job properly and simply get completely blotto for the duration. Or maybe not.

Knowing my luck, I'd run out of such a potion long before the cold had left and then I'd have to simultaneously deal with the effects of a cold *and* a hang-over.

Oh well, I guess what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger (or sicker).

Stay tuned... I might as well share my discomfort with everyone I can for the next few days. Yes, I'm talking to you :-)

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