Saturday, February 13, 2010

Swine Flu - is the plague over? Rich countries are having trouble to get rid of the H1N1 vaccine

New York Times

  • FEB. 9, 2010 A poll finds that most Americans do not intend to get the H1N1 vaccine, assume the pandemic is over and think that the threat was overblown. — NYT
  • FEB. 2, 2010 There is now so much unused swine flu vaccine in the world that rich nations, including the United States, are trying to get rid of their surpluses. But the world’s poorest countries — a few still facing the brunt of the pandemic — are receiving very little of it. — NYT
  • JAN. 4, 2010 Although it is too early to write the obituary for swine flu, medical experts, already assessing how the first pandemic in 40 years has been handled, have found that while luck played a part, a series of rapid but conservative decisions by federal officials worked out better than many had dared hope. — NYT
  • DEC. 18, 2009 Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, said at a news conference it was time to “focus on the next phase of H1N1,” and she pressed everyone to get vaccinated. — NYT

We British are such a bunch of drama queens

"However, let's talk about overestimating. Chief medical officer Liam Donaldson said at worst swine flu could claim 65,000 lives. Health secretary, Andy Burnham estimated 100,000 new cases a day (figures now say 5,000 cases a week, far below the average for regular flu). Meanwhile, drug companies enjoyed an estimated £4bn pandemic bonanza. That's rather a lot of time, money, and angst expended on what was for the majority a bit of a heavy cold.

Even at the time, some of us had our suspicions (the new Black Death or just the new bird flu?), but we found ourselves screamed down by not just the powers that be but also the Tamiflu-crazed masses. Indeed, isn't it the case that, while diseases are said to be forever changing, the climate of public reaction in Britain has changed too – to over-reaction?"

This is part of the article and you can take a look at the discussion at the page the entire article is published. How can we trust the media?

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