Monday, September 28, 2009

In the News Swine Flu Shots

with any pharmaceutical preventative product you want to know the risks and benefits

well with the swine flu shot let's focus on the benefits

less chance of contracting the swine flu
less chance of dying from the swine flu

what are the baseline risks? we don't know how many people have had the swine flu. we have only a tip of the iceberg view since most people are never tested for influenza when they have this mild viral illness and even they are tested our best estimates of the test accuracy is 50%. whatever your risk might be, that number is rapidly dropping as most of the country has outbreaks now effectively vaccinating the population the old fashioned way.

The chance of DYING of the swine flu decreases as the outbreak fizzles out and the mortality numbers just aren't out there that I can find. I saw somewhere the chance of hospitalization with swine flu is about 2 out of 100,000.

So we have 2 unknowns then we give the shot; we have no idea how effective the shot is but assuming it's 100% effective we'll vaccinate all 197 million of the people the government has kindly purchased vaccine doses for and then hope there's more people helped than harmed.

Sound public health spending if I ever heard it

I wonder who makes a profit from all this "medicine" and "science"

I wonder who foots the bill

All this for a medicine that has a small but unknown benefit IN THEORY and an unknown risk; how can we counsel patients on whether to get this vaccine when there's so little to gain and no proof of effectiveness?

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