Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

Foolishness on the Montel Williams radio show

Apparently Montel Williams – who for some reason liquifies most of his food – proudly doesn’t take flu shots. (He also sells or advertises food liquifiers.) He has on right now a guest who is talking about not taking flu shots and instead ‘detoxifying’ and so forth. As justification for not taking a flu shot, she characterizes the educated guesses that go into flu vaccine design as gambling, and claims that, as a kid, she got a mild case of smallpox from the smallpox vaccine.

An obvious response is that smallpox vaccine is not flu vaccine, and another is that a vaccine causing some of the symptoms of the disease it treats is neither unusual nor surprising, but what makes this specific doltishness worse is that the smallpox vaccine was made from cowpox, not smallpox. It is a very old and primitive vaccine, essentially pus from a cowpox-infected cow, heavily watered down, and luckily it gives humans resistance to smallpox. They did stop giving it after smallpox seemed to disappear, because then the risk of the vaccine exceeded the risk of smallpox. But no way did she get smallpox from it.

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