Vaccine for Shopping

Two women shopping. August Macke: Zwei Frauen vor dem Hutladen (1913-14). Public Domain, available at

Is Shopping a Painful Experience for You? Try this New Vaccine!

Do you know that awful feeling you get after spending too much time in a store? The glazed eyes, the aching head, the tightly clenched jaw muscles? If you have experienced symptoms like these, you may be a candidate for a new, experimental vaccine, developed by scientists at the University of Oslo in collaboration with Pfizoid Pfarma®.

Immunologists at the University of Oslo found that the unpleasant effects of shopping are due to an immune response directly triggered by the experience of entering a store, and are directly proportional to the size of the store. “This was very surprising,” says Sabrina Bergström, who was in charge of the vaccine development. “The immune system was responding not to a pathogen, not to a virus or bacterium, but to a situation. We were absolutely fascinated, and immediately began experiments to see if we could induce immunity to the negative effects of the experience.”

Since shopping is a uniquely human activity, Bergström and her team performed all of their trials on human subjects. Initial experiments involved simulating the experience of going shopping by subjecting volunteers to electric shock, vibration, bright lights, and unpleasant sounds and odors. While this experience did accurately simulate the experience of shopping, they failed to provide any sort of shopping immunity.

The successful vaccine avoids electric shocks altogether, and acts directly on the central nervous system. By using nanotechnology to alter the amygdala, the part of the brain involved in sensations of fear and loathing,1 the vaccine successfully deadens the brain’s response to shopping. Because the vaccine is injected directly into the brain through three small holes drilled in the skull.

Two women shopping. August Macke: Zwei Frauen vor dem Hutladen (1913-14). Public Domain, available at

  1. Steffen Schmitt, “Fear and Loathing, A Neuroscientific Explanation” Brain and Neuron 42 (2013): 102-10047

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