Saturday, October 3, 2009

Some Swine Flu factoids

As at 2 October 2009, in Australia:

  • 36,670 people have been confirmed to have swine flu
  • 183 of them have died - that's about 1 in 200
  • 4,806 have been admitted to hospital
  • in the past week, 36 people have been admitted to hospital, 10 of them into intensive care
I found this data in the latest bulletin on the Australian Government's Health Emergency website, which has lots of info about the swine flu pandemic.

I dug this up while I was responding to a post on a forum, where a guy posted a link to an anti-vaccine video, which was referring to the 1976 swine flu vaccine in the US. In that case, 25 people died as complications from the vaccine, and about 500 more got Guillain-Barré syndrome.

But considering they vaccinated slightly north of 48 million people (48,161,019 according to Wikipedia), that's a death rate of 1 in 1,926,440, and a serious-side-effect rate of 1 in 90,528.

I'll take those odds over swine flu's 1-in-200 lethality rate any day!

To make it perfectly clear: For every person who died from the 1976 swine flu vaccine, it's possible that nearly ten thousand would have died from the swine flu itself, if not for the vaccine.

That's just deaths. Ignoring non-fatal complications, like having to have both of your feet amputated.

Now, I understand that modern influenza vaccines don't have anywhere near the rate of serious side effects as that 1976 swine flu vaccine. You'd think we'd hear about it if they did, considering there are literally hundreds of millions of doses given each and every year. But even if they did, they would still be saving tens of thousands of lives.

I know I'm getting the swine flu vaccine as soon as I can.

How about you?

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