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Witless
Ok, so Swine flu's no longer in fashion, Bird Flu's a distant memory and most people don't even remember SARS being the "in thing" to worry about back in 2002.
I am of the personal belief that the paranoia part of these paranoia outbreaks is mainly created by the media. I am not some crazy saying these illnesses don't exist. But let's put these things in context here using swine flu as an example since it's still fresh in people's minds and I am going by the UK statistics since I don't know the names of any "official" bodies doing statistics elsewhere, and if networks like fox news are to be listened to, then swine flu probably kills 99% of people infected and might have infected 75% of the world's population.

Between July 14th (the first UK swine flu death) and November 14th there were 214 deaths to swine flu in the UK according to the health Health Protection Agency, the statistics have been handily put together here. 214 deaths over four months Assuming the death rate was constant that makes a 642 deaths a year in the UK rate. That is rough figure since the swine flu death rate is far from constant, but lets use that for now for the next game I like to call "Things More Likely To Kill You Than Swine Flu!".

Falling in your own home (1650 people in 1998)
Accidental drug poisoning (649 people in 1998)
Road Accidents (3501 people in 1998)
Mental and behavioural disorders (14563 in 2005)
Smoking related (112,337 in 2002)

This isn't meant to be a morbid what will kill you type post, but that we know these things happen and are not running around everyday being worried about it (well perhaps some smokers are). I understand that papers are businesses like any other and have the primary purpose of selling as many copies as possible. So hyping how bad something is for the sake selling more copies is going to happen. But it is a worrying sign that people will believe papers more than trained doctors and medical professionals.
Ask your average person whether they believe their doctor or a journalist more and most people will say their doctor, yet oddly enough when faced with a big headline claiming one thing and a a doctor in the other. Most people will weirdly revert to feeling like the doctor is some distant figure that is not in touch with how things really are and that the papers are the real ones uncovering the truth of things. I find that bizarre personally. The media seem to use that power really badly too.

For example, one of the most irresponsible claims I have ever heard, the fear that the MMR jab causes autism. For those outside the UK that didn't hear the full crazy level that occured. One report made an observation (not conclusion) that every child in a 12 person case study showed signs of austism soon after receiving the MMR vaccine. Now bare in mind here that the original study took place in a school with a large number of autistic children. Since almost all children in the area had the vaccine, it wasn't particularly unluckily that going back in the kids records would show they took the vaccine before they started in that school. Many kids in the UK have the vaccine not long before nursery starting age. One random journalist saw the paper and drew his own conclusion that the MMR jab must be causing autism. 5 years of news paper headlines and parents refusing to get their kids immunised followed.

Some interesting things to note about the possible repurcusions of that. Firstly, the MMR jab vaccinates against Rubella. Rubella is known to increase the chances of a child developing Austism. Secondly, if you ever wanted statistical evidence for not being immunised causing problems then here it is. The MMR vaccine also immunises against measles. Adult on-set measles can cause blindness. In the early 90s there was a vaccine shortage meaning a lot of kids went un-vaccinated. 15 years later the measles rate shot up in the UK (remember all those measles adverts suddenly appearing on tv). 50% of people with adult on-set blindness in the UK in their 20s today have it because of that vaccine shortage (read Bad Science for more about that).

I find it scary that nowadays the media has the power to replicate such an event. If I believed for a moment that the media was merely reporting the currently believed evidence and therefore wasn't at fault it wouldn't be so bad, but sadly it's not.

The MRSA nonsence was a rediculous made up story. Now I am not so annoyed by the MRSA stuff as other invented stories. Since the MRSA story did genuinely get people to start paying attention to some of the bad hygiene in some UK hospitals. But I was very confused by it. MRSA is a bacteria that can lead you pretty ill. If you get it while your immune system is already in a bad way it can be fatal. But it's not too bad to a healthy person. Understandably it's not something you would want to get in hospital. People genuinely do die to it in hospitals around the world.
What is weird is that it is not a particularly big problem in the UK. There are plenty of other bacteria that kill people needlessly in UK hospitals, but MRSA isn't really a big one. But to read the papers during a 3 year period in the UK you'd be forgiven for thinking that the MRSA super bug was about to bring the world to it's knees through bad hygiene. The papers at the time reported that an independant lab found MRSA everywhere in UK hospitals. The lab was called "Chemsol Group Ltd". It turns out the lab was actually a shed in the garden of an MRSA Expert, Dr Malyszewicz. Or to quote his real title Mr Malyszewicz since his qualifications amounted to a non-accredited correspondence course PhD from America. Apparently the Chemsol Group always "gave positive results". Results that no other lab in the country managed to duplicate.

Like I said, in the MRSA case it's not so bad since there was a genuine problem in UK hospitals even if it was a different one from the one the media was trying to raise. I am willing to bet good money that medias around the world spout other nonsense that can actually do real damage to people if they listen to and follow. People will always make bad medical decisions, and doctors are not perfect, but when parents stop vaccinating their kids for poor reasons then I think then a discussion needs to be brought up.

Free media is great, I love it. But sometimes I think the media needs at least a little accountability when it can invent medical facts up fully in the knowledge that we live in an era where a great deal of people will listen to them. I know I do. I don't visit Iraq to see the situation, I have to hesitantly read/watch it through someone elses point of view. It's just in certain cases I either know from personal experience or the experience of someone I trust more than them how much crap they can invent.

So what do you guys think of the medias constant habit of making us feel like everything is going trash our health, and that all medications will as well.
.. and an additional point, how do you feel that it is only conventional medicines that get hammered, and never the alternative ones like homeopathy etc..
Pixelgoth
No news is good news...is a phrase that has come about for a reason....just that! There's no story is things being 'fine' and 'ok' and we as people do tend to appreciate 'car crash' style television more than 'phew, we're all ok' stuff. I'm not saying it's right but it tends to be a trend. I do however agree and wish that media was less sensational about things like swine flu. You mention asking my doctor about my concerns with swine flu....I would but most of my local surgery's docs [i[have[/i] swine flu!! Ahh the irony! laugh.gif

I have been referred to a specialist recently and I may have an underlying medical condition so I will be speaking to my doctors about the vacination against swine flu as I am in the key demographic for catching/dying from it.

Also, we're only just entering the flu season so I think you'll find that although it's gone quiet on the swine flu front in the media at the moment it'll resurface soon I'm sure sad.gif
Yannick
QUOTE (Pixiegoth @ Nov 24 2009, 05:00 PM) *
I have been referred to a specialist recently and I may have an underlying medical condition so I will be speaking to my doctors about the vacination against swine flu as I am in the key demographic for catching/dying from it.

Eh, tbh, I think you're better off without the vaccination. This isn't media-crazed info. My mom works in a doctor's office, and out of the five (six?) doctors that work there, *one* felt brave enough to get it. They (the ones who didn't get it) think it was created too fast to meet all safety requirements, but of course it doens't stop them from recommending the vaccinations to patients.

As for the media *shrugs* just keep in mind which sources are reliable. If it's Glenn Beck vs. your doctor, only morons would trust Glenn Beck to begin with, so it's a good way of weaving out the morons from the intelligent. The media is, I suppose, good for worst case scenarios, but remember that actual statistics can be found, so the "gmoz 99% of people are going to die from swine flu!!!" should just be ignored.

I think the only reason alternative medicines aren't really attacked is because it'll look like the media is attacking a minority, so they're likely to get pissy, and try to sue. If anything, the media's going to promote alternative treatments, which is frustrating, because it makes for a good story.
Hobbes
QUOTE (Witless @ Nov 24 2009, 04:38 PM) *
one of the most irresponsible claims I have ever heard: the fear that the MMR jab causes autism.


I was only thinking about this the other day. I too was appalled by the longevity this story had, considering that there had been no GOOD evidence to suggest it was true. The allegations were mostly conjecture. And yes, as a result of the coverage, I personally know several people, and am aware of thousands more, that chose NOT to give their child the MMR. Admittedly, a large proportion of these people chose to pay privately for the vaccines to be given separately. But others refused all vaccination options. And, as a result, many diseases that are otherwise pretty much unheard of in our country these days, have begun occuring once again.
gothictheysay
Yeah, I was under the impression that it had been pretty much proven vaccines DON'T cause autism. Thank god. But the fact that people don't vaccinate their kids because of this fear is awful... and it just occurred to me, how do people get away with it? Usually you need vaccines to attend school and such... do they go so far as to homeschool?

Also you may think the swine flu panic is winding down, but it sure as heck isn't where I am. Then again, I am at a university, which is a breeding ground for germs... but I heard a "swine flu"/seasonal flu announcement on the radio just earlier today. There are hand sanitizing stations EVERYWHERE on campus.

Also, i really don't think a swine flu vaccine would be released if it wasn't safe. There are people who have reactions to vaccines - there always are; you can trigger a problem that was dormant in a person's system perhaps (I think someone I spoke to recently cited kids having seizures in Georgia, USA or something), but do you really believe they rushed something out on the market that is a huge threat to people's health? I will probably get the vaccine when I can because I'm at a university and the virus is pretty bad on young, normally healthy people.
Yannick
QUOTE (gothictheysay @ Nov 24 2009, 11:05 PM) *
but do you really believe they rushed something out on the market that is a huge threat to people's health?

Well, it kinda seems like it was. There was such a huge demand for it, and it was brought out so quickly that there's *no way* the long-term effects of the vaccination could have been studied. That said, I'm sure it's fine. I'm not getting it, because tbh, I don't think I need it (it's going around my school, I personally know maybe seven kids who have had it, they're all fine and say it's not a big deal), if I get swine flu I'll be fine, and I'd rather see the effects it has on other people first.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
QUOTE (Yannick @ Nov 25 2009, 02:11 AM) *
QUOTE (gothictheysay @ Nov 24 2009, 11:05 PM) *
but do you really believe they rushed something out on the market that is a huge threat to people's health?

Well, it kinda seems like it was. There was such a huge demand for it, and it was brought out so quickly that there's *no way* the long-term effects of the vaccination could have been studied. That said, I'm sure it's fine. I'm not getting it, because tbh, I don't think I need it (it's going around my school, I personally know maybe seven kids who have had it, they're all fine and say it's not a big deal), if I get swine flu I'll be fine, and I'd rather see the effects it has on other people first.

Um what? It was brought out so quickly because it's a friggin' pandemic! If they studied it any longer there wouldn't be any more of that strain left!

Flu vaccines as a whole are nothing new so the people making decisions related to distributing the vaccine are pretty aware of the risks. It's unlikely that they would see anything in a long term study that they missed in the clinical trials. It's also not in their interests to release a vaccine that is more dangerous than the disease it prevents.*

Regardless of whether you think you can handle not getting vaccinated and catching swine flu, to do so would be to knowingly infect the people around you. This is not very nice. There is also the additional strain on hospitals etc to think about, as twice as many people are getting the flu at this time of the year.

* Unless they part of Obama's secret socialist plan to murder old people of course

QUOTE (Yannick @ Nov 24 2009, 08:18 PM) *
My mom works in a doctor's office, and out of the five (six?) doctors that work there, *one* felt brave enough to get it. They (the ones who didn't get it) think it was created too fast to meet all safety requirements

Proof that being a doctor doesn't make you immune from idiocy.
Yannick
QUOTE (crazymat @ Nov 25 2009, 05:38 AM) *
Um what? It was brought out so quickly because it's a friggin' pandemic! If they studied it any longer there wouldn't be any more of that strain left!

Dude, swine flu *is not* a big deal. You're sick for a few days, oh noes, vomiting. I personally prefer being sick for a few days than injecting (getting the spray, etc.) something I personally don't know the effects of. I'm willing to take the swine flu risk.

The worst thing about swine flu, aside from the handful of people that have died, is that it's done away with exam exemptions in my county.

I did say that I don't actually think the vaccine is going to harm anyone. I'm just _not sure_, and since at this moment we can't actually know, I don't see why avoiding it is a problem. I mean, if swine flu actually got the way the media said it would, I'd probably get vaccinated. At this point, there's no need.




QUOTE
Regardless of whether you think you can handle not getting vaccinated and catching swine flu, to do so would be to knowingly infect the people around you. This is not very nice. There is also the additional strain on hospitals etc to think about, as twice as many people are getting the flu at this time of the year.

Knowingly infect the people that also have the choice of getting vaccinated. If they get vaccinated, they can't catch it. If they don't, we're infecting each other, so it's fair. Btw, it's not like you stay in the hospital. You go in somewhere, have like a 15 minute exam, get some meds prescribed, and then you chill at home for a week.

I mean, it's not different from the flu vaccine. Has everyone arguing so adamantly about getting vaccines gotten both of those?
Pikasyuu
QUOTE
they're all fine and say it's not a big deal


I don't have an opinion one way or the other on the vaccine because I didn't get it, but I did have swine flu, and it was pretty much the most awful flu you can imagine. I've never felt that sick and scared during a normal flu - the big difference for me was the difficulty breathing, which meant if I wanted a sweater in the other room, too bad. I'd be hyperventilating by the time I got back. There's a reason people are all afraid of it..well, outside of media fearmongering.
Pixelgoth
That's horrid syuu sad.gif I don't know if everyone gets affected that badly though. I know people who've had it and didn't have vaccines, felt like poop for a while and stayed at home. No worse than ordinary flu. I've only had flu once and it was horrible but not as bad as you described it.

For some reason the media are saying that people in my age range are most at risk and if I have a serious underlying medical condition so much more so sad.gif I will wait and see what my doctor says. I think there's no smoke without fire though so I want to get it double checked.

As an aside I have been under self imposed quarantine for 2 weeks now due to my illness and I don't even know what was wrong with me! I just thought it was nice NOT to pass my germs on.
Hobbes
QUOTE (syuu @ Nov 25 2009, 02:42 PM) *
QUOTE
they're all fine and say it's not a big deal


I don't have an opinion one way or the other on the vaccine because I didn't get it, but I did have swine flu, and it was pretty much the most awful flu you can imagine. I've never felt that sick and scared during a normal flu - the big difference for me was the difficulty breathing, which meant if I wanted a sweater in the other room, too bad. I'd be hyperventilating by the time I got back. There's a reason people are all afraid of it..well, outside of media fearmongering.


In a forum-related twist, today my brother-in-law was diagnosed with the dreaded pig flu. He's been feeling unwell since Thursday, but the last two days has been particularly unwell. I spoke to him today, and he said he has never felt as bad as he currently does; that it is worse than any flu he's had before.

Generally, I don't feel particularly concerned on a personal level about getting it. My gut instict is that I have probably been subjected to it already, and it has either not affected me (some people simply carry the germs, but aren't susceptible to the symptoms), or it has been fairly light on me (I had a few days earlier in the year when I wasn't too good). I tend to avoid flu each year anyway, as I think I have a relatively effective immune system.

HAVING SAID THAT...

If I was in a higher-risk group, that could suffer a lot more as a result of swine flu, I would accept the vaccination. Whilst there certainly have been cases in history where medications have turned out to be dangerous, and doing more harm than good, they are the minority. And a very small minority at that. They just might SEEM to be a more regular occurence because the media will only ever report on medication not working, as opposed to all those that do. Tell me all the conspiracies, blunders, and scientific misadventures you like, I will still happily assume that any and all medication that is released to the public is thought to be as safe as is humanly possible to check. Yes, time may tell differently, and tragedies have occurred in the past due to new results from alternative testing, but a vaccine with a high chance of risk would never be released.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
QUOTE (Yannick @ Nov 25 2009, 02:03 PM) *
QUOTE (crazymat @ Nov 25 2009, 05:38 AM) *
Um what? It was brought out so quickly because it's a friggin' pandemic! If they studied it any longer there wouldn't be any more of that strain left!

Dude, swine flu *is not* a big deal. You're sick for a few days, oh noes, vomiting. I personally prefer being sick for a few days than injecting (getting the spray, etc.) something I personally don't know the effects of. I'm willing to take the swine flu risk.

The worst thing about swine flu, aside from the handful of people that have died, is that it's done away with exam exemptions in my county.

I did say that I don't actually think the vaccine is going to harm anyone. I'm just _not sure_, and since at this moment we can't actually know, I don't see why avoiding it is a problem. I mean, if swine flu actually got the way the media said it would, I'd probably get vaccinated. At this point, there's no need.


QUOTE
Regardless of whether you think you can handle not getting vaccinated and catching swine flu, to do so would be to knowingly infect the people around you. This is not very nice. There is also the additional strain on hospitals etc to think about, as twice as many people are getting the flu at this time of the year.

Knowingly infect the people that also have the choice of getting vaccinated. If they get vaccinated, they can't catch it. If they don't, we're infecting each other, so it's fair. Btw, it's not like you stay in the hospital. You go in somewhere, have like a 15 minute exam, get some meds prescribed, and then you chill at home for a week.

  1. It is not necessarily true that everybody has a choice of getting vaccinated. Doctors might not recommend it for some people if they have other health problems, and it's obviously not feasible to vaccinate everyone who wants one, which is why high risk groups are given priority. Nevertheless, healthy adults can and have died from this (and regular flu too), so the more people vaccinated the better. Btw, I'm not arguing that you in particular should get the vaccine, I just object to your reasoning and your (imo unjustified) suspicion of the vaccine, which many people seem to share.
  2. "They brought it upon themselves" is a pretty crappy attitude to have no matter what the issue.
  3. It doesn't matter that most people don't need to go to doctors. My point was simply that increase in patients = more work for doctors and if this isn't handled well then quality of care could suffer as a result. From this perspective it doesn't matter how much risk there is to an individual, if loads of people get infected it is a serious problem. This is why I don't think the mainstream media in general has blown swine flu out of proportion (although I don't doubt there are news sources that have done a crappy job of reporting it).

QUOTE (Yannick @ Nov 25 2009, 02:03 PM) *
I mean, it's not different from the flu vaccine. Has everyone arguing so adamantly about getting vaccines gotten both of those?

I haven't got either of them simply because I haven't been offered them, and I'm not the kind of person who would go to my doctor demanding one. If I was offered the choice then yeah, I would - being sick's no fun. And yeah, nobodies saying seasonal flu is any less dangerous. But it's predictable. It happens every year and we're equipped to deal with it.

Hope your brother in law gets well soon and you manage to avoid catching it Hobbes.
Pikasyuu
QUOTE (Pixiegoth @ Nov 25 2009, 07:39 AM) *
That's horrid syuu sad.gif I don't know if everyone gets affected that badly though. I know people who've had it and didn't have vaccines, felt like poop for a while and stayed at home. No worse than ordinary flu. I've only had flu once and it was horrible but not as bad as you described it.


Yes, but like Hobbes said, his brother in law has a flu that sounds about as bad as mine was - my point is that while not every single human being experiences it to the extent I or he did, ordinary people without underlying causes are getting the worst of these symptoms. Downplaying something you don't understand (and this is more directed towards Izzy) is, no offense, pretty ignorant. 'You stay at home and vomit and feel like poop'. It really isn't that simple. Our school alone has seen two people die from the flu and a few more were out for months in the hospital. These people got off much worse than I did, and I'm still afraid of ever being that sick again.

Soo-oo, until you have a strain, the 'it isn't that bad' argument doesn't fly. Sorry.

And this isn't me disagreeing about vaccine - I don't think we know the long term effects of it at all, personally, and I think those being vaccinated are taking a 50/50 chance with the unknown. But unless you've had swine flu, don't act like the symptoms are 'no big deal'.
monkey_called_narth
As far as the Swine flu- Not everyone can get vaccinated. ATM, in this state, they are only allowing certain people to get it. It is also quite costly, and not every insurance is covering it. As far as I know, most of the vaccines are being administered in Saturday clinics. The clinics are being divided among age groups, to cover as many people as possible. The problem is, if you couldn't hop into that one day this month for your shot... you can't get it until next month. -Like I said, that's what my state is doing at least. I currently can't get one, however, I get to give them to all the people at the rehab center I work at next month. :/

Oh the irony.

MRSA- MRSA doesn't kill anyone, it's a combination of MRSA with other problems that kills people. In fact, most people today have some form of MRSA.... You just haven't had it located yet.
Yannick
1. ..The vaccine I object can go to someone who actually wants it. How is it unjustified to take an "I don't know." stance? I'm openly admitting ignorance of the vaccine because _I don't know_ the effects it can have. To not suspect a possible risk is irresponsible, because you don't know what can go wrong. The seasonal flu vaccine I might actually get, because we've had it long enough to know it's safe. We seriously don't know what's going to happen with swine flu vaccines, and pretending you do is lying to yourself.
2. I'm not blaming them for their illness. But yeah, if I get swine flu after knowingly not getting vaccinated (it hasn't been offered to be, I'm not seeking it out, if it gets offered I'm likely to decline), it is sort of my fault. It's not my fault I got sick, it's my fault I didn't take the possible precautions.
3. *shrugs* Get more doctors? Dude, doctors at this moment are more overwhelmed by the amount of people coming in for shots than the amount of people coming in with swine flu. According to my mom, in a typical day, in a small office with like two doctors per day, 70 or so people will come in for a vaccine, maybe 1 with swine flu. I'm not saying vaccines are bad, but the time of doctors is taken up either way.
Hobbes
QUOTE (Yannick @ Nov 26 2009, 03:28 AM) *
3. Dude, doctors at this moment are more overwhelmed by the amount of people coming in for shots than the amount of people coming in with swine flu. According to my mom, in a typical day, in a small office with like two doctors per day, 70 or so people will come in for a vaccine, maybe 1 with swine flu. I'm not saying vaccines are bad, but the time of doctors is taken up either way. [/color]


[devil's advocate]
A vaccine, though, takes perhaps just a couple of minutes to administer. Individuals suffering with flu symptoms and visiting their doctor will require diagnosis, treatment discussion, treatment provision, possible further appointments/home-visits. Those affected particularly badly by the flu might need hospitalisation, which means more ward/bed-space is used up, as well as staff time.

So, potentially, a queue of people requiring vaccination might be preferable (as regards to the use of doctors'/nurses' time) to the alternative.

Plus, nobody likes sitting in a waiting room full of flu-ridden people - and I can't imagine doctors enjoy being subjected to the flu virus each day either - so, again, having a load of healthier people waiting for and receiving protection is preferable.
[/devil's advocate]
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
QUOTE (Yannick @ Nov 26 2009, 03:28 AM) *
1. ..The vaccine I object can go to someone who actually wants it. How is it unjustified to take an "I don't know." stance? I'm openly admitting ignorance of the vaccine because _I don't know_ the effects it can have. To not suspect a possible risk is irresponsible, because you don't know what can go wrong. The seasonal flu vaccine I might actually get, because we've had it long enough to know it's safe. We seriously don't know what's going to happen with swine flu vaccines, and pretending you do is lying to yourself.
Unless you can predict the future, you don't know what's going to happen with any form of treatment. Asking for 100% certainty is a pretty tall order. What qualifies something as "safe" for you? From what we know now, the vaccine is orders of magnitude less risky than swine flu itself:
QUOTE (Wikipedia @ Nov 26 2009)
As of November 19, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that 65 million doses of vaccine had been administered and that it had the same safety profile as the seasonal flu vaccine, with no significant differences in the side-effects produced by the different types of vaccine.[52] There has been one report of an adverse event per 10,000 doses of vaccine, with only five percent of these adverse events being serious, an overall rate of serious effects of one in 200,000 doses.[52]

In Canada, after 6.6 million doses of vaccine had been shipped across the country between October 21 and November 7, there were reports of mild side-effects in 598 people vaccinated, who experienced nausea, dizziness, headache, fever, vomiting, and swelling or soreness at the injection site. There were additional reports of tingling lips or tongue, difficulty breathing, hives, and skin rashes. Thirty six people experienced serious adverse effects, including anaphylaxis and febrile convulsions; one woman in her 80s died in Quebec. The rate of serious adverse events is 0.54 per 100,000 doses distributed, which according to David Butler-Jones, Canada's chief public health officer, is less than what is generally expected for the seasonal flu vaccine.
Ok, so that's a 0.00054% chance of something bad happening due to the vaccine.

According to http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/estimates_2009_h1n1.htm, the number of swine flu cases in the US is estimated at around 22 million, and the number of hospitalizations 98,000, so roughly 0.4% are not having fun times.

Even if you give yourself just a 5% chance of catching it, that's still a 0.02% chance of you being hospitalized due to swine flu.

P.S. the seasonal flu vaccine changes every year.

QUOTE (Yannick @ Nov 26 2009, 03:28 AM) *
2. I'm not blaming them for their illness. But yeah, if I get swine flu after knowingly not getting vaccinated (it hasn't been offered to be, I'm not seeking it out, if it gets offered I'm likely to decline), it is sort of my fault. It's not my fault I got sick, it's my fault I didn't take the possible precautions.
3. *shrugs* Get more doctors? Dude, doctors at this moment are more overwhelmed by the amount of people coming in for shots than the amount of people coming in with swine flu. According to my mom, in a typical day, in a small office with like two doctors per day, 70 or so people will come in for a vaccine, maybe 1 with swine flu. I'm not saying vaccines are bad, but the time of doctors is taken up either way.
Yes. I think I have missed your point here.
Yannick
Hobbes: In the 70 shots vs. 2 flu patient scenarios. Each patient, fill out paperwork. 10 minutes. Each patient go through the part where a nurse comes in and checks your blood pressure, heart rate, etc. 10 minutes. For group A, administer shot. 3 minutes (gloves, cleaning the area, getting the person to hold still, telling them it won't hurt, etc.) For group B, find a diagnosis. Okay, they stick this thing up your nose, and wipe it on this papery thing. 15 minutes. Positive for swine flu? Write prescriptions. 1 minute. Negative? Search for other problems, which may take up to half an hour, but as it's irrelevant to swine flu numbers, doesn't matter for right now. Both groups, pay. 2 minutes. Math.

Group A consumes 29 hours of office time a day. Divide this up among various doctors and have people fill out paperwork simultaneously to be realistic, but yeah.
Group B consumes 76 minutes of office time.

Even if you play with the numbers a little bit, like maybe only 50 coming in for a shot and 5 with swine flu, group a will continue to consume way more time than group b.

It's not like every single person in Group A is going to get swine flu due to not getting vaccinated. Maybe 5 will. This would still take up more time than if those people got vaccinated (like, not those people specifically, but if they *all* did.)

Yeah, healthier people, preferred, however that doesn't make the sick people disappear.

Mat: I'm really sleepy, I'll respond later.
gothictheysay
Ok, bull$#%(, Izzy. I think Hobbes' point is more, oh, I dunno, the fact that hospitals are now much more busy and their time is being taken up by taking care of tons of people who have the swine flu and are really suffering. My roommate was in the ER twice. 2 minutes of getting a vaccine would've prevented her from spending like 6 or 7 hours in the ER. Plus, there are lots of different ways to give shots, like special flu clinics. This is where you pretty much go in, get in a line, sign something real quick, and get a shot. I did this for my seasonal flu shot. And the fact that the seasonal flu shot changes every year is a good point. You never know the "long-term" risks of a vaccine. Do you think that they give the shot to one person, wait till they got old and die, and then investigate to see if anything bad happened? You think they waited ten years to see if the polio vaccine was okay?

And yeah, you might want to tell the people who have died of swine flu that "it's no big deal". Sure, does the panic seem a little much at times? Yeah. But the swine flu, just like the seasonal flu, kills a lot of people every year. And the swine flu also targets healthier people, like the Spanish flu did in World War I. I personally would rather get a little jab with a needle than feel miserable for a week (my roommate is only now just recovering after spending like 3 weeks in bed). After all, I've been getting seasonal flu shots every year for probably my whole life, and I'm fine.

(not that this is really going to change your mind or anything, but this particular point was too ludicrous to not respond to.)
Pixelgoth
QUOTE (syuu @ Nov 25 2009, 08:56 PM) *
QUOTE (Pixiegoth @ Nov 25 2009, 07:39 AM) *
That's horrid syuu sad.gif I don't know if everyone gets affected that badly though. I know people who've had it and didn't have vaccines, felt like poop for a while and stayed at home. No worse than ordinary flu. I've only had flu once and it was horrible but not as bad as you described it.


Yes, but like Hobbes said, his brother in law has a flu that sounds about as bad as mine was - my point is that while not every single human being experiences it to the extent I or he did, ordinary people without underlying causes are getting the worst of these symptoms. Downplaying something you don't understand (and this is more directed towards Izzy) is, no offense, pretty ignorant. 'You stay at home and vomit and feel like poop'. It really isn't that simple. Our school alone has seen two people die from the flu and a few more were out for months in the hospital. These people got off much worse than I did, and I'm still afraid of ever being that sick again.

Soo-oo, until you have a strain, the 'it isn't that bad' argument doesn't fly. Sorry.

And this isn't me disagreeing about vaccine - I don't think we know the long term effects of it at all, personally, and I think those being vaccinated are taking a 50/50 chance with the unknown. But unless you've had swine flu, don't act like the symptoms are 'no big deal'.


Initially I spent time composing something that would get across my annoyance at being called ignorant but trying not to offend in return and my computer deleted it dry.gif

Anyway, you are entitled to your opinion as am I but my main question and point of joining this thread was not, as some people seem to think, to contribute to an argument about which illness is worse rolleyes.gif but to ask what people think about getting the vaccine if I have a as yet undiagnosed medical condition which our media, government, NHS is saying that means I am MOST at risk. Is this not the case in the US or rest of the world? I have been suffering from serious diahorrea, vomiting, fevers, shivers, severe colds and other weird complications for over 2 months now. I've not been told I have swine flu but I imagine it's comparable. So far I'm been referred to someone about my immune system which worries me as if it's not working properly I would be up s*** creek if swine flu appeared.

I'm very ill and bloody scared (what with the family history) so I'm not gonna post in this thread anymore as I'm just getting worked up sad.gif
Yannick
Bleh, alright, tell you what. In ten years, bump this thread, tell me how wrong I was, fine. Until then, just because nothing catastrophic has happened yet, doesn't mean it won't.

*withdraws*
Witless
I had a feeling coming back to this thread, the "vaccination" thing was going to be the focus.

Anyway. My take on it is simple. If you yourself feel worried, take the vaccine. As Crazymat pointed out the percentage chances of something going bad from the vaccine are slim to to point where at those low level percentages everything can kill you. I bet undiagnosed peanut allergy percentages approach the vaccine percentages for negative side affects (bit hard to prove that one, but I still bet they do).

If the worry is wasting hospital time.. then put simply at least wasting hospital time with a real disease (over hyped as it is) is better than the normal wasting of hospital time with fake ones.

Anyway, my original point in this thread was less about people wasting hospital time. That has always been true (media or not). Some people will worry about every tingle their body has. My point was more that the media is in a position of great power now. People listen to them a lot. It's all well and good to say "that's their own problem then". But in my opinion it's a little bit more complicated than that.

Sometimes the media base their nonsense on real scientific reports but misinterpret them. The only people that can then see through their bull**** is people that know enough about statistics to spot the when they are talking nonsense. On top of that, some of these people are people making decisions for their whole family, or people that are their dependants.

If anyone else were to do that in their professional life and get found out, they'd be in trouble. If a doctor, lawyer or dietician said some of the things a newspaper can say, they'd be punished for claiming these things as fact. Yet for some reason once you are only a journalist or author, even if you are actually knowingly writing down a lie, you only need say sorry on page 50 of a random local paper, and it all goes away. Does anyone else think that behaviour like that is following the letter of the law, but not really following the spirit of the law?
Pixelgoth
The doctor actually just told me that the virus has mutated since the vaccination was released and most people are refusing the vaccination. She is very dubious as to the effectiveness of it. She also confirmed I was not at risk and shouldn't really bother. Just take sensible precautions like eating healthily, drinking lots of water, taking vitamins, etc. Now I'm not saying she's 100% right before anyone jumps down my throat but she is a health care professional and I would say I would trust her comments over the media.
Witless
Well, I have never really been convinced by the power of flu vaccinations to be honest. It's the flu. We vaccinate people every year and then get it again the next year. It's a mutate-o-holic (I should add that word to urban dictionary).
Hobbes
QUOTE (Witless @ Nov 27 2009, 07:14 PM) *
Well, I have never really been convinced by the power of flu vaccinations to be honest. It's the flu. We vaccinate people every year and then get it again the next year. It's a mutate-o-holic (I should add that word to urban dictionary).


A bit like the rabbit disease, myxomatosis: the vaccine they provide for pet rabbits is usually based on the strain from six months earlier, which has often already mutated to some extent. It is constantly a case of playing catch-up.

I suppose I would rather be partially protected, or possibly protected, than have no protection at all.

QUOTE (Pixiegoth)
Just take sensible precautions like eating healthily, drinking lots of water, taking vitamins, etc


Good, sound advice. My thoughts with sickness has always been that, essentially, the body wants to be rid of it as much as you do. And a good way to speed it up is to get plenty of fluids in the body, so that the bug might be flushed out when the fluids.. uh.. leave the body. I might be barking up the wrong scientific tree here, though, but it makes some kind of sense to me?

QUOTE (Witless)
If anyone else were to do that in their professional life and get found out, they'd be in trouble. If a doctor, lawyer or dietician said some of the things a newspaper can say, they'd be punished for claiming these things as fact. Yet for some reason once you are only a journalist or author, even if you are actually knowingly writing down a lie, you only need say sorry on page 50 of a random local paper, and it all goes away. Does anyone else think that behaviour like that is following the letter of the law, but not really following the spirit of the law?


Absolutely. Our press, particularly (specifically?) the tabloids, seem to be able to publish pretty much anything they want, regardless of the facts. And a retraction appears, to me at least, to be a very rare occurence.
Pikasyuu
QUOTE
Initially I spent time composing something that would get across my annoyance at being called ignorant but trying not to offend in return and my computer deleted it dry.gif


If you say something ignorant, I will call it ignorant. What I was calling ignorant was anybody brushing off the symptoms of this flu, because they aren't simple or easy for the majority of people who catch it. I did not call any person ignorant. Second, did you miss the part where I said that was mainly directed towards Izzy? And what I said wasn't an opinion, it is fact. People are experiencing symptoms worse than a regular flu typical with H1N1. Fact. I'm sorry if that, too, annoys or offends you.

I'm also sorry you're scared and sick and hope that you get whatever is happening to to figured out soon. Just wanted to clear that up.
Pixelgoth
QUOTE (syuu @ Nov 28 2009, 01:49 AM) *
QUOTE
Initially I spent time composing something that would get across my annoyance at being called ignorant but trying not to offend in return and my computer deleted it dry.gif


If you say something ignorant, I will call it ignorant. What I was calling ignorant was anybody brushing off the symptoms of this flu, because they aren't simple or easy for the majority of people who catch it. I did not call any person ignorant. Second, did you miss the part where I said that was mainly directed towards Izzy? And what I said wasn't an opinion, it is fact. People are experiencing symptoms worse than a regular flu typical with H1N1. Fact. I'm sorry if that, too, annoys or offends you.

I'm also sorry you're scared and sick and hope that you get whatever is happening to to figured out soon. Just wanted to clear that up.


If telling you what my doctor has said is being ignorant I am sorry you feel that way too. But I'm guessing they re slightly more reliable than the media and some other people's comments. I don't think that speaking out from personal experience and friend's experiences is being ignorant. I was simply stating that the people I know who have/had it are just feeling poop for a week just like ordinary flu. In fact you are the first person I know to say otherwise. YOUR experience may not be that easy or nice and for that I am sorry but you can't really state that I am ignorant for commenting that some people DON'T experience swine fu as badly as you and that is also a fact as much as yours is. I never dismissed your opinion about people suffering badly I was just stating that some also don't suffer that badly. I know you were mainly aiming your comments at Izzy but I just wanted to explain that giving my opinion as it has been shaped by actual experience of friends, myself and my local NHS does not make my comments ignorant. If I knew no one who had experienced it and also not spent the past 2 weeks in and out of my local doctors surgery talking to doctors about illnesses like this then fair enough my comments may be ignorant.

And thank you for the well wishes. I too hope I get well soon. As a final comment when I asked my doctor about swine flu she said that I may well have been what I had for 2 months and everything else was added on top masking their initial diagnosis so not only may I have had swine flu but lots of nasty bugs on top of that. Yay for me dry.gif Thankfully, so far, I am feeling better but then I had a period between the last two bouts of about 4/5 weeks where I felt fine so fingers crossed it doens't come back again. She recommended rest, vitamins, water as I said before to help that.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
QUOTE (Pixiegoth @ Nov 27 2009, 06:21 PM) *
The doctor actually just told me that the virus has mutated since the vaccination was released and most people are refusing the vaccination. She is very dubious as to the effectiveness of it. She also confirmed I was not at risk and shouldn't really bother. Just take sensible precautions like eating healthily, drinking lots of water, taking vitamins, etc. Now I'm not saying she's 100% right before anyone jumps down my throat but she is a health care professional and I would say I would trust her comments over the media.
That's good news, hope this has put your mind at rest. Regarding your doctors doubts over its effectiveness, this is something where I would actually trust the news more than my doctor's advice, as it's not all that clear what they are basing thier opinion on.

QUOTE (Hobbes @ Nov 27 2009, 09:01 PM) *
QUOTE (Witless @ Nov 27 2009, 07:14 PM) *
Well, I have never really been convinced by the power of flu vaccinations to be honest. It's the flu. We vaccinate people every year and then get it again the next year. It's a mutate-o-holic (I should add that word to urban dictionary).


A bit like the rabbit disease, myxomatosis: the vaccine they provide for pet rabbits is usually based on the strain from six months earlier, which has often already mutated to some extent. It is constantly a case of playing catch-up.

I suppose I would rather be partially protected, or possibly protected, than have no protection at all.
From what I've read it's more a case of predicting which strains will be will be most common in advance: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaccineeffect.htm

QUOTE (Witless @ Nov 27 2009, 05:34 PM) *
Anyway, my original point in this thread was less about people wasting hospital time. That has always been true (media or not). Some people will worry about every tingle their body has. My point was more that the media is in a position of great power now. People listen to them a lot. It's all well and good to say "that's their own problem then". But in my opinion it's a little bit more complicated than that.

Sometimes the media base their nonsense on real scientific reports but misinterpret them. The only people that can then see through their bull**** is people that know enough about statistics to spot the when they are talking nonsense. On top of that, some of these people are people making decisions for their whole family, or people that are their dependants.

If anyone else were to do that in their professional life and get found out, they'd be in trouble. If a doctor, lawyer or dietician said some of the things a newspaper can say, they'd be punished for claiming these things as fact. Yet for some reason once you are only a journalist or author, even if you are actually knowingly writing down a lie, you only need say sorry on page 50 of a random local paper, and it all goes away. Does anyone else think that behaviour like that is following the letter of the law, but not really following the spirit of the law?
I guess this is the price we pay for free press. The bizarre thing is, while it's fair game to publish whatever absurd claims you want, you can get sued for libel if you criticize them. I don't believe in censorship (unless it's of adverts that claim a product will make my hair 200% more shiny, god I hate those!) but it infuriates me how terrible newspapers are at presenting scientific information.

I think it's important for the scientific community to call them out on their bull**** when their work or field is misrepresented in the media, and to speak out against pseudoscience and quackery. There are lots of people who do a great job of this already, like Ben Goldacre's bad science column, and I would strongly recommend the skeptics guide to the universe podcast to anyone fed up with crappy science reporting in the mainstream media. Ultimately the problem is a lack of critical thinking skills in the general public; the tabloids are basically just publishing what sells papers, which sadly doesn't include good science.
Pikasyuu
QUOTE
but you can't really state that I am ignorant for commenting that some people DON'T experience swine fu as badly as you and that is also a fact as much as yours is.


For literally the third time, I did not call you ignorant. I don't know if your personal problems are making you more sensitive or if you act constantly defensive in here on the regular, but would you please read this part? Read it again. I never called you ignorant, and I'm getting extremely fed up with you accusing me of doing so. In the most polite way I can say this, knock it off and stop acting like I'm picking on you. It's grating. This is the issues forum and I am not moving this thread.

To address your point, I never once said NOBODY experiences weak swine flu symptoms. Again, here's an example of something I never said that you threw in there for whatever reason. I said that the reason for a lot of the panic is that many people experience it the way I did, so using what your doctor said as a blanket for deeming the swine flu harmless is ignorant. Let me note something. I am not calling you or your doctor ignorant, before you get super offended again. I am saying that that mindset or statement is ignorant, and I doubt that you YOURSELF are ignorant enough to believe that it is a walk in the park for the majority of people.

I normally wouldn't go this far, but a lot of your posts do have a defensive tone lately and I'm really sick of them being directed at me. If it has to do with you being under the weather and sensitive (which I understand completely), just let me know. I would happily let you vent in a PM with me and try to give advice or comfort, or you could make a thread in personal concerns. Either way, just try not to let it flavor your posts in issues.
Pixelgoth
QUOTE (syuu @ Nov 29 2009, 08:05 PM) *
QUOTE
but you can't really state that I am ignorant for commenting that some people DON'T experience swine fu as badly as you and that is also a fact as much as yours is.


For literally the third time, I did not call you ignorant. I don't know if your personal problems are making you more sensitive or if you act constantly defensive in here on the regular, but would you please read this part? Read it again. I never called you ignorant, and I'm getting extremely fed up with you accusing me of doing so. In the most polite way I can say this, knock it off and stop acting like I'm picking on you. It's grating. This is the issues forum and I am not moving this thread.

To address your point, I never once said NOBODY experiences weak swine flu symptoms. Again, here's an example of something I never said that you threw in there for whatever reason. I said that the reason for a lot of the panic is that many people experience it the way I did, so using what your doctor said as a blanket for deeming the swine flu harmless is ignorant. Let me note something. I am not calling you or your doctor ignorant, before you get super offended again. I am saying that that mindset or statement is ignorant, and I doubt that you YOURSELF are ignorant enough to believe that it is a walk in the park for the majority of people.

I normally wouldn't go this far, but a lot of your posts do have a defensive tone lately and I'm really sick of them being directed at me. If it has to do with you being under the weather and sensitive (which I understand completely), just let me know. I would happily let you vent in a PM with me and try to give advice or comfort, or you could make a thread in personal concerns. Either way, just try not to let it flavor your posts in issues.


Whoa! Seriously I don't know what's happened here. I was just trying to express my views. I'm sorry if I got the wrong end of the stick and you feel picked upon yourself. That was not my intention. Let's agree to disagree on this one. I'm not sure what you mean by 'a lot of my posts' I've only posted in 2 threads that you have posted in. Perhaps it is because I have been ill but perhaps I also felt that I have had to defend my opinions which I thought it was OK to do on here? Apologies if this has caused you or anyone else offence. I stand by my comments but I do apologise for upsetting you although I do feel this last post was a little harsh. Sorry but I just wanted to express my concern about that. Maybe it's just the way tone comes across...or not...online which can sometimes be a problem.

Crazymat, I'm not sure I would trust the media over my doctors advice about the vaccinations. Surely the health professionals know more? unsure.gif
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
In general yeah, and your doctor is obviously the best person to tell you whether you are at risk or not. Sorry if that wasn't clear. I meant that when seeking advice on whether to get the vaccine, as someone who isn't part of a high risk group, I would want to follow the official NHS advice (or possibly some other source if I was very concerned) rather than my GP's personal opinion, if the two conflicted at all. It's kind of a moot point as right now it seems it's only people in high risk groups who are getting vaccinated, but I just thought I'd mention it as it ties into the original topic a bit. smile.gif
Pikasyuu
QUOTE (Pixiegoth @ Nov 30 2009, 04:12 AM) *
QUOTE (syuu @ Nov 29 2009, 08:05 PM) *
QUOTE
but you can't really state that I am ignorant for commenting that some people DON'T experience swine fu as badly as you and that is also a fact as much as yours is.


For literally the third time, I did not call you ignorant. I don't know if your personal problems are making you more sensitive or if you act constantly defensive in here on the regular, but would you please read this part? Read it again. I never called you ignorant, and I'm getting extremely fed up with you accusing me of doing so. In the most polite way I can say this, knock it off and stop acting like I'm picking on you. It's grating. This is the issues forum and I am not moving this thread.

To address your point, I never once said NOBODY experiences weak swine flu symptoms. Again, here's an example of something I never said that you threw in there for whatever reason. I said that the reason for a lot of the panic is that many people experience it the way I did, so using what your doctor said as a blanket for deeming the swine flu harmless is ignorant. Let me note something. I am not calling you or your doctor ignorant, before you get super offended again. I am saying that that mindset or statement is ignorant, and I doubt that you YOURSELF are ignorant enough to believe that it is a walk in the park for the majority of people.

I normally wouldn't go this far, but a lot of your posts do have a defensive tone lately and I'm really sick of them being directed at me. If it has to do with you being under the weather and sensitive (which I understand completely), just let me know. I would happily let you vent in a PM with me and try to give advice or comfort, or you could make a thread in personal concerns. Either way, just try not to let it flavor your posts in issues.


Whoa! Seriously I don't know what's happened here. I was just trying to express my views. I'm sorry if I got the wrong end of the stick and you feel picked upon yourself. That was not my intention. Let's agree to disagree on this one. I'm not sure what you mean by 'a lot of my posts' I've only posted in 2 threads that you have posted in. Perhaps it is because I have been ill but perhaps I also felt that I have had to defend my opinions which I thought it was OK to do on here? Apologies if this has caused you or anyone else offence. I stand by my comments but I do apologise for upsetting you although I do feel this last post was a little harsh. Sorry but I just wanted to express my concern about that. Maybe it's just the way tone comes across...or not...online which can sometimes be a problem.

Crazymat, I'm not sure I would trust the media over my doctors advice about the vaccinations. Surely the health professionals know more? unsure.gif


I didn't mean to come across that harsh, but my irritation came from you acting like I had personally insulted you repeatedly, no matter how many times I said that wasn't the intention.

And since that is so OT and I've already expressed my flu views here, I'll hush now. >w>
gothictheysay
Ok so I got my swine flu shot today! I'll let you know if anything goes awry. Right now my arm just hurts.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
Just came across this awesome chart from information is beautiful, which includes a visual comparison of the odds of flu/swine flu/vaccine mishaps. It's probably more accurate than my efforts to calculate them myself earlier, and it has pretty graphs, so I thought I'd post it for anyone that's curious. smile.gif

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2009...u-vaccine-safe/
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.