Tag Archives: Slate

Have you had your flu shot yet?

It’s totally understandable, after the public reactions to the H1N1 scare and controversy a few years back, that the drug cartel PR machine would be re-calibrated for the new environment. And this year it seems we’re starting to see some of the next generation of “grey magic” from those quarters. Amy Parker’s story, “Growing Up Unvaccinated”, excerpted below from Slate, and which has been widely reprinted, including in the Toronto Star, takes aim squarely at the advocates of a natural lifestyle, perhaps because they have been vaccination’s most outspoken critics.

It’s also worth noting that there was a recent controversy in Canada recently in which stocks of free vaccine were supposedly depleted and the question was, is it right for a drug store to take advantage of the situation by charging people $20 for a flu shot from the store’s own supply. The (not so hidden) message here is that the flu shot is so popular that stocks run out and people — Canadians even — willingly pay $20 to get it. Could the vaccine makers be taking a page from Steve Jobs’ playbook in creating artificial shortages to boost buzz around their product?

Screen grab from the Slate story by Amy Parker

“I am the ’70s child of a health nut. I wasn’t vaccinated. I was brought up on an incredibly healthy diet: no sugar till I was 1, breastfed for over a year, organic homegrown vegetables, raw milk, no MSG, no additives, no aspartame. My mother used homeopathy, aromatherapy, osteopathy; we took daily supplements of vitamin C, echinacea, cod liver oil.

I had an outdoor lifestyle; I grew up next to a farm in England’s Lake District, walked everywhere, did sports and danced twice a week, drank plenty of water. I wasn’t even allowed pop; even my fresh juice was watered down to protect my teeth, and I would’ve killed for white, shop-bought bread in my lunchbox once in a while and biscuits instead of fruit, like all the other kids. Continue reading

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