I found this article from Vaccine Markets a bit disturbing. The article indicated that a number of governments were having to cancel vaccine orders for H1N1 as the percentages of people seeking vaccines was much lower than expected - even among health care workers.
Some of the reasons cited for this was perceived "hype" by the media as to the severity of the H1N1 pandemic and also fear among consumers of adverse effects or even non-effectiveness of the vaccine. Given that the Gates foundation - correctly in my view - agreed to pump $10 B into vaccine research and cited Vaccines as one of the true miracles of modern medicine in its effects on disease prevention and death - I find this attitude in an educated public to be alarmingly - well uneducated.
Don't people remember that Small Pox - that virtually emptied the new world of people at one time - was eradicated through a systemic WHO program of vaccination. Anybody remember polio, Jonas Salk, the March of Dimes?
The media may well have over-hyped the pandemic possibilities of H1N1 but it is still a good idea to get a flu vaccination - especially when you are part of an at risk population and it is free! But more than likely, this is another sad sad sad repercussion of Dr. Andrew Wakefield's, Lancet article in 1998 erroneously linking MMR to autism. That single article may have done more harm to public health efforts - and probably to autism research - than any other single publication in medical history.
Apparently, we need to do some re-education on this topic now that this article has been fully retracted by Lancet - albeit 12 years too late. Go Bill & Melinda.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Feb 26, 2010