Swine Flu Vaccine PANIC: Do We Have Enough, and Will It Kill Us?

Swine flu vaccines will be in New York schools next week -- unless they run out: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius admits there's not enough to go around at present. "Demand is ahead of the yield," she says; Senator Joe Lieberman says there are 30 million doses available, as opposed to the 40 million expected.

"H1N1 Running Rampant Amid Shortage of Vaccine," claims Fox News. CDC reports a large spike in "Influenza-like Illness (ILI) Reported by the U.S. Outpatient," though it's hard to tell how many of these cases pan out as H1N1. (CDC advised states to stop testing for swine flu in July.) CDC's most recent weekly report shows 10 confirmed "flu-related pediatric deaths" during October 4-10, and says "influenza activity continued to increase in the United States from the previous week."

But even if you can get the shot, do you want it?...

Despite expert testimony, most recently from New Scientist magazine ("The risk of getting Guillain-Barre from a flu vaccine is almost certainly less than 1 in a million; the risk of getting it from flu itself is more than 40 in a million"), and the FDA's approval of the vaccine for children, commentators such as Bill Maher and Louis Farrakhan think it's a big risk. Some polls show many citizens planning to give the vaccine a miss.

Great, more for the rest of us -- or the rest of you. We figure there are enough killer epidemics out there -- like the "distracted-driver epidemic", the obesity epidemic, the sleep deprivation epidemic, etc -- that we can't waste time picking and choosing which to defend against. We expect the strength of our paranoia alone to save us. At least our cats are safe.


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