The wages of hysteria

RemainCalmThis past May I opined that the reaction to the swine flu “epidemic” was overblown and hysterical.  Now there is concern over in Britain that mass vaccination against the swine flu may result in some vaccine recipients contracting Guillain-Barre syndrome, an uncommon neurological ailment that can be fatal.  This is exactly what happened in 1976 when the U.S. government felt it had to do “something” to address the swine flu.  But as economist Thomas Sowell has noted “[Y]ou cannot simply ‘do something.’ You have to do something specific.”  The specific something the U.S. government did was rush a vaccine into production that killed more people than the flu itself and resulted in 500 cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome.  The vaccination program was terminated after just 10 weeks.  The lesson is not being lost on the British medical community.  As one physician across the pond put it:

For people with serious underlying health problems, the risk of dying from swine flu is probably greater than the risk of side effects from the vaccine.

But it would be tragic if we repeated the US example and ended up with more casualties from the jabs.

I applaud the Government for recognising the risk but in most cases this is a mild virus which needs a few days in bed. I’d question why we need a vaccine at all.

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