"If you say, 'Well, I don't have any symptoms of the flu, ' well, great!"
But Texas televangelist Gloria Copeland thinks there's nothing to worry about.
"We know what's wrong with you". "We need to be a whole lot more serious about this ... you don't take the word of the guy trying to give the shot about what's good and what isn't". Fifty-three kids have died from the flu this year.
Speculations around the dangers of the flu shot have always been around, from the vaccine causing the illness itself to its (now debunked) link to autism in children, and Copeland's proclamations are just as unsafe because of her proximity to the highest seat in the country.
Copeland last week told her viewers to protect themselves with the "word of God". "That's the way it's supposed to be", she said. Just keep saying that.
But in a statement, she said she had some reservations about vaccines for "very young children with a family history of autism", hinting belief in a discredited study that linked vaccines to autism. I'll never have the flu.' Inoculate yourself with the word of God. "Inoculate yourself with the word of God".
Kenneth Copeland Ministries responded: "No, if you get the flu, it does not mean you didn't believe hard enough". According to the CDC, 9.7% of all USA deaths in the first week of February were due to the flu and pneumonia.
Using a verse from the Bible to make her point, Copeland said followers were already healed by Jesus' stripes, but for those who are dealing with the flu, she prayed for them.
The 2017-18 flu season has temporarily shut down school districts and sent many people to emergency rooms and urgent care centers. A report for the week ending January 20 shows the rate of people seeking care is on a par with that of the swine-flu pandemic of 2009.
Copeland's video is not the first time a member of the president's evangelical advisory board has made an outlandish suggestion. Agency officials have earlier predicted an unusually high number of pediatric deaths from the illness.
Despite her divine advice, the current flu season has actually been America's worst in the last decade, with most states around the county reporting a widespread outbreak of the contagious respiratory illness, and reporting more flu-related deaths than years past.