Anton Joseph

Vaccination is the only way to enjoy the X-factor

Today I’ve spent several hours searching for my keys, which have mysteriously disappeared.

The most likely scenario is that, during an episode of the impressive multi-tasking required to keep this household afloat, I’ve made what is known as a ‘human error’ and instead of replacing the keys in their proper place (the fruit bowl) I’ve put them somewhere really stupid. 

This kind of thing is becoming disturbingly frequent, and I’m seriously beginning to wonder whether my husband isn’t practicing some sinister Fanny by Gaslight scenario and deliberately hiding things to make me think I’m going mad. 

Every time I enter or leave a room I now have to complete a mental checklist to make sure I haven’t forgotten something.

Or, of course, it could be an after-effect of the swine flu vaccine I had this week, causing my cerebral hemispheres to gradually disintegrate so that by the end of the week I’m going to be enjoying the X-factor.

Despite the whole swine flu thing obviously being part of a huge government and pharmaceutical company conspiracy, I decided to take the jab. My reasons for this are A. young fit people are dying of swine flu which, in my book, tilts the risk/benefit see-saw towards doing something to avoid it, and B. if the rest of my family go down with the disease I want to be well enough to look after them.

Also, I suppose it would be good if we had a few doctors still fit enough to care for patients, although given the uptake of the vaccine at work, I might be pretty much on my own.

Occupational Health have thrown all their resources (and she didn’t look too happy about it) into going round the wards offering the injections to front line staff so my trainee and I took turns to pop out of our orthopaedic list to be vaccinated. We were unable to persuade any of the surgeons to follow suit, but, as they pointed out, we could probably just about manage during a flu pandemic without relying on the help of orthopaedic surgeons.  

There are lots of reasons why people are choosing not to have the vaccine: a healthy distrust of authority and too much reading of tabloid newspapers, as well as rumours about how awful the vaccination makes some people feel. Although, I’m guessing, a dose of swine flu is going to be more awful.

A recent poll in a medical journal revealed that over half of doctors wouldn’t be vaccinated.

Obviously contracting swine flu simply isn’t pushing people’s panic button yet, and we are not alone in this skepticism. Polls in France reveal that only about 10% would have the vaccine. It will be interesting to see how many patients have to die – perhaps even a celebrity or two (I could nominate several expendable ones but then how would they run X-factor) – before the uptake improves.

So far I can report that, apart from the keys incident, my only ill effect has been a sore arm for 48 hours. I am feeling a bit tired today, but I’m putting that down to rashly agreeing to host a sleepover for a load of eight year-olds last night.

So far, so good…

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