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MLA Full: "H1N1 Vaccine Fears." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 9 November 2009,
MLA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2009)
APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2009, November 9). H1N1 Vaccine Fears [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2009)
Chicago Full: vlogbrothers, "H1N1 Vaccine Fears.", November 9, 2009, YouTube, 02:59,
In which John discusses the (more complicated than it seemed) story of Desiree Jennings (whose name he gets wrong). He also discusses fears surrounding the swine flu vaccine, and the difficulty of comprehending that choosing the status quo is just as much a choice as choosing change.


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A Bunny
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Good morning Hank, it's Sunday.

No more puff! I'm 9000 words behind on NaNoWriMo but I'm doing fantastic in Neanderthal November. Today we're gonna talk about the Swine Flu vaccine, the illusion of not choosing, and injecting filtered urine into your hip. [Intro] So Hank, to be totally honest, even though I know it's irrational, I felt a little bit nervous about getting the H1N1 vaccine. (Which actually hasn't been a problem yet because I'm not a health care worker or a child or a pregnant lady.) So I'm not in the high-risk group, although I do hang out with a lot of children (said the creeper).

Which reminds me, Nerdfighters, I'm gonna be in Hinsdale, Illinois this week; you should come hang out, more info in the doobly-doo! And to be honest Hank, the reason I've been worried is because of one woman, Denise Jennings, who was like a cheerleader for the Washington Redskins, and then she got a flu shot and all of a sudden, she couldn't walk or talk and she was having seizures and she was diagnosed with this horrible incurable disease called Dystonia that she got as a result of her flu vaccine. And I was like, oh, man, even if there's a one in ten million chance of that side effect, I really don't want it to happen to me.

But just as I was having all these misgivings about the oink-barf vaccine, I read a study that only 40% of parents of American school children plan to get their kids vaccinated. And the number one reason they cited was that they were afraid of side effects. And then I found myself thinking, you know, there's also a side effect to not getting the oink-barf vaccine...

Oink-barf. Which is by any measure much more dangerous to school children than the vaccine, which isn't dangerous at all but more on that in a second. But because getting the vaccine is an active choice, and not getting the vaccine is a passive choice, it feels more conservative not to get the vaccine.

Ok, so back to Denise Jennings. I've got good news, Hank. She's making a full recovery, she can talk, she stopped moving weird - which mean that she did not in fact have Dystonia.

And the other thing that hasn't been widely reported is that the doctor who purportedly cured Denise Jennings is bonkers. For instance, he believes in this terrifyingly horrible thing called Urine Injection Therapy, wherein your urine is filtered and then put back into your body via a syringe to boost your immune system. Which, by the way, doesn't work.

This dude, Dr. Rashid Buttar, is also one of the charming guys who cons late-stage cancer patients out of their money. You know, with promises of miracle cures that never come to pass.

Now of course there's always the possibility that this crazy dude's crazy treatments actually do cure Dystonia. But if that's the case, he sure is a jerk, because he's never been willing to have a clinical trial. It's almost like he knows he's full of crap.

So why is Denise Jennings better? Maybe it's because her initial diagnosis acknowledged that there was probably a significant psychogenic component to her illness. Or maybe it's because she saw a doctor who injects people with pee.

By the way, Hank, I am not trying to enter the vaccine debate because I fear the giant squids of anger being like, "Blah, you're not gonna get a vaccine to keep me from kicking your butt." I love you, giant squids of anger, but I also fear you. So Hank, I'm really not talking about that. What I'm talking about is the fact that each moment in our lives we are playing the odds, and we tend to play best when we play rationally.

I'll see you on Tuesday. [Black screen] You like my hair cut? [Spins on chair.] Ow. That hurt. That, I shouldn't have done that.