CANADA ― In an unforeseen turn of events, anti-vaxxers across Canada suddenly announced their willingness to take a Covid shot today, after realizing that lollipops would be available afterward.
Since the Pfizer vaccine was approved for children ages 5-11, vaccination clinics have been stocking up on candy in order to persuade Canadian youth to yield their arms to the big, scary needles. Providers hope that the sweets will prevent kids from throwing screaming temper tantrums like their parents and grandparents have been doing for months.
“It’s an amazing case study in human behaviour. For months, politicians, their advisors, vaccine producers, and CEOs have been cajoling and threatening the vaccine-hesitant in the hopes of convincing them to undergo a five-second injection. We’ve tried lotteries, doughnuts, beer, celebrity endorsements, passports, and it turns out that all they ever wanted was the same reward they received when they got their childhood shots,” marveled psychologist and expert in vaccine-hesitancy Myron Campbell.
“I don’t really know why we didn’t say so earlier. Some of us just didn’t know what would make the boo-boo better, and some of us didn’t want to admit that we were afraid of the needle, because big people aren’t scared of anything,” said Jenny Tyler, a 46-year-old resident of Saskatchewan who had recently received her first dose of Moderna after making sure that the local clinic had grape flavour.
Albertan doctor Veronica Blair has seen a surge of appointments in the past few days. “Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca… they’ll take whatever we have.” She noted that she had a lot of patients asking for the Sputnik V vaccine because the name sounded ‘cool, like the satellite,’ but that those who were upset to learn it wasn’t approved in Canada were quickly mollified by a Spongebob Squarepants bandage.
“Here’s your wowwipop, you brave young man,” Blair added, ruffling the graying hair of a newly-vaccinated patient, before allowing him to skip back to his pickup truck and drive away.
Campbell noted that the approach was proving to be just as successful as giving out stickers for voting and offering bubblegum toothpaste or treasure chests full of toys at the dentist. Similar strategies are being implemented outside Canada, with French doctors following veterinarians’ advice to hide the vaccine in only the best Roquefort cheese, and gun-lovers worldwide being offered the used syringe to keep as a water gun. One exception is Australia, where the preferred method is to simply grab the vaccine-hesitant in a headlock and jab them in the buttocks.
At press time, the nation’s eleven-year-olds were rejecting the lollipops en masse, asserting that “those things are for stupid babies.”