A few months ago, researchers at Stanford Medical School’s Center for Clinical Immunology made a shocking announcement: the cootie shot does not, as previously believed, confer lifelong immunity to the devastating cooties disease. The first indication of a problem came earlier this month when Stanford junior Rebecca Neal fell ill with cooties despite her claim of having received the shot at age eight. The Center’s researchers quickly contacted Rebecca’s second-grade teacher, Mrs. Bailey, who verified that one of Rebecca’s classmates had correctly administered the traditional “circle, circle, dot, dot” cootie shot to her. “Rebecca’s case thoroughly shook our assumptions and spurred us to conduct further experiments,” explained Dr. Malcolm Flint, director of the Immunology center.
Now, several weeks later, science has definitively shown that the cootie shot only
provides full protection against cooties for fifteen years. Even those who received the booster shot (“circle, circle, square, square, now you’ve got it everywhere”) can only count on twenty years of immunity. In response to this finding, Stanford University has activated its AlertSU system to urge all students to re-vaccinate as soon as possible. Provost John Etchemendy weighed in on the crisis in a memo posted online. “Because most Stanford students have relatively little contact with members of the opposite sex,” he wrote, “the cooties disease will not be able to spread very effectively. I fully believe that the Stanford community can and will get through this frightening time.”