Sunday, February 7, 2010

H1N1 vaccine: they can't give it away

There's been a fair amount of media coverage on the latest Harvard poll on H1N1. I just went through the results of the poll, which can be viewed here, Slightly over 1,400 persons nationally were interviewed, and the poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.2% at a 95% confidence interval. The poll found that only 21% of adults have received the H1N1 vaccine, and of those who did not receive it, 58% cite they are concerned about the safety of the vaccine. Of those with children surveyed, only 36% reported that all of their children had been vaccinated with another 4% reporting that some of their children had been vaccinated. Of those whose children were unvaccinated, 75% cited safety concerns. Lastly, only 48% felt that healthcare workers should be required to receive the vaccine.

Given the amount of money and effort that has gone into this public health endeavor, I would rate the vaccination campaign as a failure. But I don't think that CDC should bear most of the blame for this. Unfortunately, the public couldn't be convinced that this vaccine is safe. Overcoming the constant stream of misinformation wasn't possible, and many people have difficulty sorting out the information that is credible. What I thought was particularly striking is that only half wanted healthcare workers to be required to get the vaccine. Given how tough consumers have become on healthcare workers with regards to transmission of infection in the hospital, I think that's a true measure of how badly this vaccine was viewed.

Unless there is an upsurge of H1N1 cases in the near future, I doubt that vaccine uptake will increase. The cake is baked.

1 comment:

  1. A relative sent me a link from "Newsmax" (I put it in quotation marks because I think they intend to be ironic as a news organization) regarding asthma treatment tips. A brief excerpt:

    "So, what can we do about this to help prevent and control asthma?

    • Avoid further vaccinations. This applies especially to the flu vaccines, which contain a full dose of mercury. Vaccines have a very low rate of effectively preventing the flu, and large studies found no protection at all in children under the age of 2. "

    -http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/dr_blaylock/prevent_control_asthma/2010/02/04/312719.html

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