Is that a religious issue?

10/29/2014 at 7:37 AM Leave a comment

A significant number of patients tell me that they don’t believe in flu shots, or even that the flu is a real issue . I presume they mean that they don’t think the flu shot helps or works. But when pushed they act much more like I challenged a cherished religious belief, which i would never do. But it never occurred to me that a common vaccine would be involved in such a belief system.

I see all kinds of people and their personal belief systems are only an issue when it comes in conflict with my recommendations, which in reality is nearly never. But no, they say it is not an issue of faith, but a fear that ‘The Government’ has put something in there to control them. How to respond to this? Where do these ideas come from? Not that i trust the government explicitly but I understand the entire production chain and the millions of people involved and the idea that a secret that large could be kept is ridiculous. Besides, I tell them, if the government was so disposed to poison its people it would be in the water or food, why go through the enormous effort to put  it in something people can choose to avoid?

At the end of the day i suspect that these ‘reasons’ are a proxy for “I don’t want a needle”. Which saddens me, for I don’t see myself as pushy; I offer the shot, stress my professional opinion that it is a good idea and perhaps mention that I won’t go a winter without my shot (32 years in a row now) and if they say no, then no it is.


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