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View Diary: Glenn Beck And The Fringe View Of Pandemic Flu (382 comments)

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  •  CDC has commented on this (4+ / 0-)

    and finds no merit in the story or the canadian position.

    Tom Maugh: hi.  There were two potentially concerning reports this week.  I would appreciate it if you would address them.  One is the paper showing that flu mist is not effective against seasonal flu as the decibel vaccine and the second is the so-called Canadian problem.  Can you talk about those?  

    Thomas Frieden: so taking them one at a time, a very carefully done study in the new England journal of medicine showed that for one particular mix of flu mist and one particular season of flu, that flu mist was a little less effective than the flu shot.  There are other scientific studies that suggest that for children, for example, the flu mist is a little more effective than the flu shot.  And for this flu season, with this flu vaccine, all betts are off in terms of which is better.  Any time you try and make a prediction about flu, you have to stop yourself.  You can make predictions about flu, but you're likely to be wrong.  I will anticipate and say I do think it's likely that both the nasal spray and the injectable flu vaccine for h1n1 are both likely to be quite effective against this year's h1n1 strain because the match is so close for both and because the flu mist spray that's being used is just a single type of flu virus.  It′s not mixed with others which might be one of the reasons why there's some problems with or slightly less effective than some flu mist.  But the great thing is that we know that both of them are effective and both of them will be available in the coming weeks.  In terms of the media reports coming out of Canada, there are reports that the -- in some analyses, people who received the seasonal flu vaccine were more likely to get h1n1 infection.  We have looked at our data at the CDC nationally.  I have looked carefully at the data from New York City where we had a very large outbreak and lots of information about what vaccine was received.  The Australians have looked at it and published their information.  And in none of those data is there any suggestion that the seasonal flu vaccine has any impact on your likelihood of getting h1n1.  It doesn't protect you at all and there's no suggestion from any of the other data sets that it increases your risks.  If data is published in the scientific literature, but all means, we would love to see it.  If there's preliminary data, we would love to see it.  But nothing that wove seen suggests that that is likely to be a problem.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 08:23:17 AM PDT

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    •  That's interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zmom

      Thanks for your comment, but with all due respect, that's one man's opinion against the public health considerations of five (and now possibly six) Canadian provinces. The Canadians are doing the right thing by suspending the vaccination in light of their findings.

      •  It's not just "one man's opinion". (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lindmere, QuestionAuthority

        He's speaking for the CDC, and lots of other people have taken issue with that study as well. It seems like you're just believing what you want to believe instead of looking at the evidence and recommendations as a whole. The fact is, most public health agencies worldwide don't agree with the Canadians.

        •  I personally know (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dkosdan

          medical doctors who will refuse to take the H1N1 vaccination because they are concerned that it has not been adequately tested nor proven safe. Further, they state that the severity of swine flu symptoms doesn't warrant a mass vaccination program. Are these physicians "just believing what they want to believe," or are they looking at the evidence and recommendations as a whole?

          •  Doctors aren't infallible. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lindmere

            And yes, there are risks. They just aren't as bad as the risks associated with not doing it.

          •  actually, they are believing what they want (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lindmere, QuestionAuthority

            if you lok at their professional societies rather than individual docs, the recommendations are crystal clear... roll up your sleeve. See APHA data  I posted, and note also that I am a doc, with a sore arm from a shot.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 09:21:34 AM PDT

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          •  I'm all for taking "personal responsibility for (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lindmere, ebohlman, QuestionAuthority

            your health," but here's where a little knowledge comes in handy.  The H1N1 is manufactured using the same process as the annual seasonal vaccine, and furthermore, the annual vaccine, since it's made anew with new strains each year is tested approximately as rigeorously.

            As for the handful of doctors who won't get the shot - you can find a handful doctors who reject evolution too.

            We have always known that heedless self interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. - FDR 1936

            by AndersOSU on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 10:15:53 AM PDT

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      •  if this is "one man's opinion" (0+ / 0-)

        then so is the Canadian study.

        In reality, both opinions were developed with a team and based on a careful analysis of a data set.  It also appears that the CDC's data set is larger than the Canadian's.

        We have always known that heedless self interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. - FDR 1936

        by AndersOSU on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 10:12:38 AM PDT

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      •  I'm taking this approach (0+ / 0-)

        Since the seasonal flu typically strikes later in the year and swine flu is here now, I'm going to wait to get the seasonal flu vaccine until after the Canadian data are published to see if there's anything to this.

    •  Also (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT

      Doctors who have thus far been polled are split about whether they will take the vaccine. See, for example, this report from England:

      Up to 60% of GPs may choose not to be vaccinated against swine flu, with many concerned about the safety of the vaccine, a GP newspaper survey suggests.

      Of 216 GPs who responded to the survey, 29% said they would not opt to receive the swine flu vaccine and a further 29% said they were not sure whether they would or not.

      Of those who would refuse vaccination, 71% said they were concerned that the vaccine had not been through sufficient trials to guarantee its safety.

      http://www.healthcarerepublic.com/...

      There are several other polls I can link to that point to doctors' reluctance to take the H1N1 vaccine, here and abroad.

      So, like the general public, health care workers are split as to whether the vaccine is safe.

      In any case, those who take the vaccination should be immune from contracting the disease, and therefore have no right to pressure or ridicule those who refuse to take the vaccination.

      •  Public health is not a popularity contest. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        QuestionAuthority
        •  Certainly (0+ / 0-)

          And perhaps you'd like to tell that to the 500 unfortunates who contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome after taking the swine flu vaccine in 1976.

          •  interesting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            QuestionAuthority

            because Guillain Barre occurs 1 in 100,000 people every year, so you need to know what it was above baseline, not hpow many cases there were. there was a wonderful article in the wapo sunday asking if you got the shot and then had a heart attack whether you'd be blaming the shot or the lifetime of french fries.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 10:13:31 AM PDT

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            •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

              I saw that article. However, note that this time:

              Vaccine makers and federal officials will be immune from lawsuits that result from any new swine flu vaccine, under a document signed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, government health officials said Friday.

              http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

              Note also that the package inserts for the Novartis 2009 vaccine lists GBS as one of its possible side effects. In any case, I understand that health care providers have been asked to carefully monitor their vaccinated patients for GBS; unfortunately, should people again contract the brain disease, they will have no legal recourse to sue the vaccine makers for having created it.

              •  That's how most vaccines work. (2+ / 0-)

                We give the makers legal immunity, and the government pays out to victims of adverse effects from a compensation fund. The reason is because otherwise companies wouldn't make vaccines, due to the fact that some people will inevitably have negative effects from them. You're prioritizing that tiny group (who DO get compensated, just not via a lawsuit against the vaccine makers) over all the good the vaccines do.

                •  And note that the standards for (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  johnva

                  receiving compensation from that fund are much more relaxed than the burden of proof needed to successfully sue a vaccine manufacturer. To get VICP compensation, you merely need to show that it's plausible that the vaccine caused your problem. To sue a manufacturer, you also have to show that the manufacturer was negligent or that the vaccine itself was defective.

                  There is nothing so practical as a good theory—Kurt Lewin

                  by ebohlman on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 11:52:47 AM PDT

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          •  same thing applies to miscarriages and seizures (0+ / 0-)

            it needs to be carefully tracked (that's why there's VAERS and a very robust tracking system for H1N1 vaccine.)

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 10:14:52 AM PDT

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      •  there's lots of misinformation even amongst HCW (0+ / 0-)

        and in england and  to some extent the US there's no 'vaccine is the norm' culture to encourage the vax.

        One good thing about this discussion is that it gets it in the open so it can be addressed.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 09:23:35 AM PDT

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    •  correction (0+ / 0-)

      the story was accurate (the reporter got it right). The meat of the story was of questionable value in terms of how it is being used now, since the reporter was careful to label this as preliminary.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 10:17:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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