Thursday, December 10, 2009

Swine flu has hit about 1 in 6 Americans, CDC says

Los Angeles Times article "Swine flu has hit about 1 in 6 Americans, CDC says" (December 10th, 2009) neglects to mention a curiosity in mathematical epidemiology that appears to have been under-looked in our Swine Flu vaccination push.

At least 50 million Americans had contracted pandemic H1N1 influenza through Nov. 14, according to the newest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released today -- meaning that about 15% of the entire country has been infected, about one in every six people.


Swine flu vaccine supplies continue to grow, he said. There are now 85 million doses available, up by 12 million from last week. As supplies have continued to increase, many communities have begun to expand eligibility requirements for the vaccine to include the population at large.

Given the ever-present reminder of H1N1's potential for mutation, it is not apparent that vaccination is beneficial. While vaccination, elimination, and eradication contains massively monetarily valuable pursuits, when a vaccination supply does not outstrip the number of vaccinations required for herd immunity, then all vaccination does is to slow infection. More generations of a virus are visited upon a population, and the costs of delaying may be greater than what is essentially a rapid (but costly) "vaccination" system.

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