Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Swine flu vaccine - an odds-on winner?

SINCE no one can guarantee 100 per cent that the swine flu vaccine is safe, I disucssed yesterday about the pure statistics of it as a risk management exercise - which is the greater risk: getting complications from swine flu or getting complications from the vaccine. So very timely, this week's New Scientist will discuss that very issue. And here's a sneak glimpse at their reasoning:

"The risk of getting Guillain-Barré 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. Swine flu is estimated to have killed 800 people in the US already, or more than 2 in every million so far. And during the first wave of swine flu this summer, 1 out of every 20,000 children aged 4 or under in the US ended up in hospital."

It adds: "Still think it's safe not to get vaccinate?". Find out more at The New Scientist.

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