No one likes a flu jab, but the rewards are great

Stickers rescue my furious son from a virulent new strain of anti-vaxxer menace

This week my son got his flu booster, which was about as pleasant an experience as it ever is, but now comes freighted with the added pang of political concerns. People don’t read this column for agitprop. Or rather, if they do it’s about my usual bugbears – the demented politics of Paw Patrol, the tyranny of heated plates, my continued exasperation that British people don’t thank their drivers as they exit a bus. But, occasionally, bigger themes do emerge. I speak not of my excoriating attacks on the Irish seasonal calendar or the practice of serving lasagne with coleslaw, but of vaccines – and specifically those who wish to muddy the waters around their efficacy.

Like many, I’ve witnessed a small number of acquaintances becoming entrenched in their scepticism about vaccines. Darkly muttered doggerel about micro-chips and new world orders crept in during the pandemic and is now uttered regarding flu, MMR and other jabs. That these take the form of hastily pasted screeds about Bill Gates’s sudden desire to control the mind of Auntie Pauline in South Armagh, is admittedly quite funny. The fact they’re in reaction to a global pandemic, against which vaccines and boosters have been shown to be our best rebuke, is just depressing.

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