H1N1: Finally Some Common Sense

Thank goodness! After weeks of H1N1 hysteria, finally, we're seeing a couple of developments that leave me with the distinct sense that you're getting some perspective on the pandemic.

Today, an EKOS poll done for CBC News finds that Canadians are evenly split over the federal government's handling of the swine flu, but more than half believe concerns over the risk of H1N1 are exaggerated. The poll found that fifty-three per cent said the level of concern about swine flu is exaggerated, considering the real risks involved with the virus. Thirty-seven per cent said the concern was consistent with the level of risk, and 10 per cent said the level of risk was understated.

As well, the headline in today's Globe and Mail reads "Cost of vaccinating nation hits $1.5-billion and climbing". For the first time. Among the cost overruns itemized in the article, the cost of immunizing us has gone up from an estimated $16 per Canadian to more than $30 and climbing.

What do these two developments mean? I hope they mean you've developed a healthy skepticism about the key messages coming from certain public health figures about the severity of the pandemic and the sense of panic people are feeling about the need to rush out and get the vaccine. More important, I hope we can now begin to ask the tough questions we should be asking about our response to this high volume low acuity outbreak.


Comments are closed.