In her latest column, Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon shares her thoughts on the H1N1 virus:
I like my school district. Here I am standing in front of their sign that announces the anticipated vaccination event was cancelled. The school district was going to host a flu shot clinic, but could not get the vaccines. Some of my constituents are asking me questions about the process. Beyond this being an interesting study of supply and demand, here are my thoughts:
I think I’m one of those who are immune to the virus. That’s good because I shake a lot of hands. I never really worried about getting either the flu or the vaccine, although I realize many of my constituents are very concerned. People have been getting sick since sin entered the world. Germs spread far and fast. This one was remarkable because of media attention received. Usually we don’t know from where a virus originated, and complications are simply treated with antibiotics.
Here are some facts to consider:
1.) Don’t worry about what you call it. We all know that it is referred to as both “The Swine Flu” and “H1N1”. I am not at all concerned that the readers of my report go out and shoot their hogs or will think they can get the swine flu from eating pork.
2.) While it is true that this flu is highly contagious, it is not virulent. Experts are saying it is actually milder than the regular seasonal flu. You can scare a lot of people with statistics, but the reality is that people die in our country every day from many different causes, so those numbers are deceiving. It would be more helpful if the statistics were broken down by the complications from which they die rather than just calling it the flu. The majority of those who have died had underlying high-risk medical conditions before they got the flu.
3.) It is not the job of the government or the schools to provide vaccines. Schools are educational institutions, not health institutions. The ones that have offered vaccinations were trying to be helpful, but ultimately this decision should be worked out between you and your doctor. The Fort Zumwalt, Francis Howell and Wentzville School Districts have been helpful in offering their facilities as vaccination clinics. Link here to read what our school districts are doing to secure H1N1 vaccines.
4.) A lesson in reverse psychology: Since they acted like there would not be enough vaccines, there was more demand than usual. If the government had implemented a mandatory vaccination program where everybody would be forced to get it, fewer may have wanted one. I will not join those who are bashing our government or calling them inept because of the availability impediments. The drug companies are doing all they can to make these vaccines.
5.) If you get the flu, it will most likely give you more immunity when a similar virus comes around again. The reason I didn’t get the flu while everyone around me was getting it probably was because I had the version that went around in the 70’s. I am going to pass on my vaccination so that someone elderly or with a weaker immune system can have mine.
6.) Plenty of the vaccine is on its way, although many states are reporting to be past the peak of people coming down with this flu. The State of Missouri has set up a toll free phone line to answer your questions: 1-877-FLU-4141.