Wait... I thought that H1N1 was such a huge threat that we needed to rush out a vaccine to everyone on the planet with as little as five days of safety testing, and that HHS "anticipated" being voluntary, but could be made mandatory for everyone.
But apparently is it also so small a threat that we don't even need to track how big the threat is any more.
You have got to be kidding me.
Apparently they mentioned this little tidbit under their breath as they were leaving a room or something, because their official spokesman was baffled when someone asked him about it.
I try very hard not to become cynical on vaccine issues and rush to blame over zealous vaccination policies on motives of financial gain, but I don't know how not to go there when the agency calling for world wide swine flu uptake stops measuring the need for such uptake.
As soon as they stop counting, no one can make the arguement that this vaccine will be necessary because we won't know how many people are actually dying from it. Which is fewer and fewer, now that the number of people infected is actually in the millions.
So we are just supposed to take WHO's advice to take a minimally tested vaccine, with out knowing if it really is necessary? Knowing full well that THEY don't even know if it is necessary?
When will health policy makers begin acting in good faith with the people who are supposed to be following their polices? Because now they know that we know that they don't even know if this shot is necessary?
I just we are just supposed to turn off our brains, not think for ourselves, have no desire to make informed health decisions and hand over our cash (via taxes, insurance premiums or actual cash) and get a shot because some people we don't know with letters after their names said so.
Come to think of it, who is the WHO anyway? Who are they accountable to, what do they know about me and my family, and why do I care what they think? If they are wrong in their recommendations and policies, or even criminal, what recourse do I have? Writing a strongly worded letter?
W.H.O. Says It Plans to Stop Tracking Swine Flu Cases
New York Times
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
Published: July 16, 2009
In a move that caught many public health experts by surprise, the World Health Organization quietly announced Thursday that it would stop tracking swine flu cases and deaths around the world.
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Times Topics: Swine Flu (AH1N1 Virus) | World Health Organization
The announcement, made in a “briefing note” posted on the organization’s Web site late in the day, perplexed some experts, and even baffled a W.H.O. spokesman, Gregory Hartl, who said in an e-mail message, “I don’t have reliable info” about what his agency would track instead.
Only a little earlier in the day, Mr. Hartl had confirmed that Argentina, with 137 swine flu deaths since June, had surpassed Mexico, where the epidemic began in February, as the country with second largest number of swine flu deaths. Mexico has 121, and the United States, with a much larger population, has 211.
The last W.H.O. update, issued on July 6, showed 94,512 confirmed cases in 122 countries, with 429 deaths.
Many epidemiologists have pointed out that, in reality, millions of people have had swine flu, usually in a mild form, so the numbers of laboratory-confirmed cases were actually meaningless. And performing the tests has overwhelmed many national laboratories.
The briefing note said countries would still be asked to report their first few confirmed cases. It also said countries should watch for clusters of fatalities, which could indicate that the virus had mutated to a more lethal form. Other “signals to be vigilant for,” it said, were spikes in school absenteeism and surges in hospital visits.