Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Public Health Poetry

The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu, I tell him.
It's dead virus, there's nothing alive about it.
It can't make you sick.  That's a myth.

But if we bury it in the grassy knoll of your shoulder,
an inch under the stratum corneum, as sanctioned by your signature
in a white-coated ceremony presided over by my medical assistant
and then mark the grave with a temporary non-stick headstone,

the trivalent spirit of that vaccine
has a 70 to 90 percent chance of warding off the Evil One,
and that's the God's honest truth.

"Myth Dispelled" by Adam Possner, from JAMA, December 5, 2012.
© American Medical Association, 2012.

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