Swine Flue vaccines began last week in Buncomb County and North Carolina shipped 180,000 doses to health clinics around the state. They are the first to have a public H1N1 clinic. State and Federal Centers for Disease Control are asking that health workers distribute the vaccine as quickly as possible but there are no requirements. Those that qualify for the vaccine are the most in need such as pregnant women, children under the age of 4, people 5-24 years old who have certain health disorders and people under 49 years old who care for infants under 6 months. 86 children have died from swine flu in the United States since last spring, which is higher than the 40-50 number that has been reported by the CDC for an entire flu season.
With the above information a rational person would conclude that mass hysteria is not occurring. The perception would be that most people are not in danger and reasonable precautions are being taken. Still, there is an unavoidable ripple in the stream of public consciousness that is creating fear, tension and frantic facebook posts that quote articles describing a vaccine gone bad in the 1970's. People also don't trust the government. Liberals and conservatives both think the government is wiggity whack. Some 'fringe' conservatives don't even think Obama was born in America. Some 'fringe' Liberals think BushCheney plotted to allow 9-11 to happen. A mixture of both think the CIA killed Kennedy and remember failures like asbestos that were allowed in our walls and has lead to a deadly cancer called mesothelioma to kill thousands.
So it is safe to say that some speculation is warranted while other speculation is just a time kill to fill our scared souls. But then it is also safe to say the perfectly smart people think that 95% of the population is about to regret their decision to receive the vaccine. If you read that article, it is troubling that all of the elite can agree on one thing: there are way to many people in this world. There are way too many people having kids that should not be reproducing. A government funded flu vaccine, if you read the article, can instantly seem like the beginning of the end for a bunch of people. According to Wiki the number has risen above 5,000 total and mostly in South America. That is an unhealthy number of people but in light of the world population, it's not that many. Certainly it does not warrant the mass panic that the media has been able to leverage.
So how do we resolve this issue? We don't, I suppose. I'm going to sit back and observe. I'm not getting any free vaccine or discounted vaccine. I don't trust drug companies, their pocketbooks or the politicians that write their laws. But mostly, as of now I feel fine, so as of now I'm not going to worry about it.
You're hitting on THE issues
of our time, which are population growth, exacerbated by an obsession with extending life longer and longer longer.
I don't have a magic answer, but, to use a ranching analogy, our herd needs thinning. Unfortunately, the free market fundamentalists agree, preferring for the "thinning" to take out to those who happen to be born into poverty.
But let's face it, human beings love nothing more than a good mass panic. George Bush played to that passion every day of his miserable presidency.