H1N1 vaccine safe as yearly flu vaccine

CBS’s pharmaceutic advertisers trotted out their shills at 60 Minutes to herd the American public toward the awaiting H1N1 vaccine. The segment featured a worst case scenario, lots of anxious Kool-aid drinkers, and directions for where to get yours. The story purported to quell the fears of apparently 40% of Americans about the vaccine’s efficacy and safety. But the interviewer had to pretend the answers were conclusive, because quite oddly they were not. 60 Minutes might have hoped the industry spokesman would answer “yes” to whether the H1N1 vaccine was safe, instead he replied, “as safe as the flu vaccines.” Are these folks not even reading the reports they’re up against? Fatal side effects of the infamous Swine Flu vaccine were dismissed as aberrant, although the industry still does not know what went wrong.

3 thoughts on “H1N1 vaccine safe as yearly flu vaccine

  1. ‘Fatal side effects of the infamous Swine Flu vaccine were dismissed as aberrant, although the industry still does not know what went wrong.’

    And what are you talking about? Nothing ‘went wrong’ with this vaccine so far since there haven’t been any fatal deaths from Swine Flu vaccine. So why make it up like there have been?

    I wonder where’d we be if this sort of fear mongering against vaccines, like how you are now engaging in, Eric, had been done with the polio and small pox vaccines in the past? A pox on all you who spread fears about vaccines, fluoride, and ‘socialized medicine’.

    Certainly though the Swine Flu has not mutated and become all that deadly yet. That doesn’t mean that public health authorities should just sit around doing nothing until that happens though. They do little enough as it is!

  2. From the CDC is a nice graph about how many deaths occur because of under-utilization of vaccines worldwide. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5518a4.htm They calculate about 2.5 million deaths of children under age 5 because of inadequate vaccination campaigns.

    That still is a small number compared to how many of this same age bracket of children are killed through infectious diseases caused by contamination of air and water. If they pushed for changing those conditions as hard as they push vaccinations then that would be a great advance in global disease prevention!

  3. Safe is a relative word, of course. Is it possible to die from a vaccine? Sure, but the odds are a lot higher of dying from the disease it’s meant to prevent. Also, when it comes to H1N1, keep in mind that the worst case scenario — while not likely to happen this time — is truly catastrophic. Between 50 and 100 million people died of H1N1 variant in the 1918-1920 pandemic. When weighed against this downside a bit of uncertainty about the side effects seems pretty inconsequential.

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