In light of a perceived swine flu outbreak, the World Health Organization raised its influenza pandemic alert to its second highest level in May – but evidence reveals the agency may have made it easier to classify the flu outbreak as a pandemic by changing its definition to omit "enormous numbers of deaths and illness" just prior to making its declaration...
I'm on the fence when it comes to the swine flu / H1N1.
It floated through my mind when they first hyped the flu to epic proportions that it was possibly, possibly just a manufactured distraction, or that there was money to be made, or something nefarious going on behind the scenes.
However, it's been a PR nightmare for the Obama administration. They can't get us the vaccines, which means that IF they blew this one into a huge deal for reasons unknown, it backfired.
How can the government expect us to believe they can handle health care if they can't handle one measly ol' flu?
I heard and read a while back that the real reason we don't have the vaccines in sufficient numbers is a result of Kathleen Sebelius, Health & Human Services (HHS), changing the parameters on the type vaccine ordered making it impossible for the companies to produce the numbers committed to initially. You may want to go look that one up for yourself, it's been a while since I heard that and it could have been proved incorrect. If it's true, government meddling is what caused the lack of needed vaccines. Even if it's not true, they're still not able to handle the problem.
Regardless of whether it was blown out of proportion and /or the WHO changing their definition on pandemic plays into this as the article I posted above suggests, lots of people are dying from H1N1 according to news reports.
Despite the fact that the number of deaths seem to be fairly high, and early in the usual flu outbreak time frame, I have yet to find a doctor who is willing to give the vaccine to their children. And I'm asking. My friends and family have been asking their medical friends... no dice. The medical professionals we've encountered are not willing to take the vaccines themselves nor do they want their children to be vaccinated.
If the medical profession doesn't want the vaccine, should I?
Another thing I can't help but wonder, and have wondered from the beginning, is why the older population, the one with the weaker immune systems and higher inability to fight illness, ended up in the lower risk category? That one tweaked my skeptic bone (OK, OK, I admit I have more than one skeptic bone) and has me wondering about the future of health care rationing. Now, give me a choice between saving my kids, grandkids, nieces, pregnant daughter or whoever and me? I'd save them in a half a heartbeat. But that doesn't mean that I want the government via some bureaucrat telling me I can't have something that's available simply because I've reached a certain age, or they don't like me, or they're having a bad day...
The stats I last heard say that the older population may not be in the highest risk category to get the flu, but they're dying at a higher rate than the "at risk" group. Said another way, if you're older and get the swine flu your chances of ending up in an early grave are much higher than your grandchild.
However, you can't get the vaccine even if it's available.
If you're in the older group, according to some stories I've read, you have to get special permission from the health department (government) to get the vaccine even if your doctor has the vaccine, even if your doctor says you're in a high risk category. I'm not sure if that's just in certain areas or universal. This is a blog, I am just passing along anecdotal info and hope you will go check it out yourself. Please.
I will tell you that for the first time this year I rolled up MY sleeve and let them give me the flu vaccine (not the H1N1, the regular flu vaccine). All those doctors, nurses, physicians assistants who said they wouldn't take the H1N1 vaccine said they never missed their regular annual flu vaccine. They say it works, that by getting it annually you seem to build up an immunity to more than just the flu they're inoculating against.
I guess I have at least a month to decide whether to get the H1N1 vaccine. Chance are high it'll have made the rounds and be over by the time the vaccine is available to my age group.