An Excerpt from Flu Shot Review Quarterly’s Winter 2004 Issue
As you all know, the 2004 flu season is one of the most highly anticipated in recent years. I recently spent an afternoon with my doctor, a dozen of his sharpest needles, and tried all the latest vaccines.
Let’s start with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals’ Flu-Ex. Wyeth isn’t one of the most noted vaccine producers. Frankly, they sell mostly to the less-discriminating blue states, if you know what I mean. But this formula, as opposed to last year’s, which was the medical equivalent of half an Alka-Seltzer in a watered down Zima, is a naughty potion with hints of rhubarb, persimmon, and snap beans. In the arm, it was spicy and reminded me of the lingering warmth I felt on those youthful and bygone days when my older brother, Carl, used to punch my shoulder and call me a “dinkle berry”. Carl, I still love you. Kisses to your seven darling kids, even the one with the big nostrils (I forget his name)!
The British import Fluacel, by Evans Vaccines, is another pleasant surprise. British vaccines often conjure thoughts of dark, acrid mixtures like the bitter aftertaste of a Doc Martin boot—which I had the unpleasant chance to same back in my club days (don’t ask!). Not so with Fluacel. It’s a blanched, yet mischievous, almost frothy affair, which made me think of a long, midnight limousine ride with an intriguing blond stranger. While it might be criticized for being too superficial, too ‘one-night stand and a left-behind phone number that rings a pay phone on the corner of 32nd,’ I foresee a big hit. And it’s quite reasonably priced. Be sure to check your local insurance purveyor.
SmithKline has an engaging concoction for us impishly named, Flu-U. It’s a hazy mixture that, when held up to the light, looks like 7-Up with a splash of Bailey’s (a ‘Tummy Blower’, I believe). But it has a positively peppery aroma and hit my arm like a small-gauge firearm. I found it astringent and a little harsh at first, but it soon mellowed to a full-bodied richness that seemed to flow around my circulatory system like a toboggan gliding down a mountain of Puffs Plus Lotion facial tissues.
I’ve saved the best for last, people! Do you remember that roguishly good Hepatitis A vaccine from Mérieux Connaught ’93? We were all raving about it for months here at F.S.R.Q. Well, our microbe-murdering friends at Connaught have outdone themselves this year with a marvelous whooping-cough shot. Wait, I know you’re saying to yourself, whooping cough was so ’91, Dan. But, trust me, the winking, chocolate brown of this serum promises and delivers. It starts with piercing high notes, but soon rounds out with touches of tobacco, caramel, nougat, and peanut—a Philip Morris Snickers bar! Anyway, it left a warm bump, the size of one of Cher’s pre-surgery breasts, on my arm that lingered for twenty delicious minutes. Trust me, this is terrific for holiday entertaining and goes well with Allegra and Flonase.