Simple questions to antidote swine-flu media hype

November 2, 2009

swine flu panic

Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle

As an antidote to swine media hype and fear mongering I like to use my own experience to gauge the need for the vaccine.

It’s as simple as a couple of questions:

How many people do I know who have contracted the swine flu?

(In the past six months, including the entire winter period.)

  • Five family members of someone from work – test status unknown
  • A friend and her son – not tested
  • 1 friend of my daughter – test status unknown
  • 2 extended family members – test status unknown
  • 1 extended family member – incorrectly diagnosed as swine flu by GP, found to be a bee sting when they arrived at hospital!

Total personally known incidence of swine flu in six months of ‘pandemic’:

  • Swine flu:  9 possible incidents and 1 incorrectly diagnosed
  • Complications:  Zero
  • Hospitalizations:  Zero
  • Deaths:  Zero

How many people do I know who have been vaccinated against swine flu?

(In one month since vaccination began.)

  • 2 elderly neighbours of a coworker – reaction unknown
  • 1 co-worker’s 93 year-old grandmother – no reaction
  • 1 friend of my daughter absent from school for two days, sick from swine flu vaccine
  • A friend of her friend ended up in hospital after vaccination
  • Cousin received email from a friend that his four grandchildren were vaccinated.  Two children had no reaction.  One had a high temperature and fever – doctor stated it was not related to vaccine, despite parents insisting it started after vaccination.  One child rushed to hospital with severe reaction put on oxygen and steroids.

Total personally known incidence of swine flu vaccination in one month since vaccination began:

  • Vaccinated:  9
  • Complications:  4
  • Hospitalizations: 2
  • Deaths: Zero

Let me think about that:  no complications from swine flu in six months, four complications, including two hospitalizations from the vaccine in one month. 

Do you think I’ll be taking the vaccine?  

It might be a bit early for people in the northern hemisphere to use their personal experience gauge the reactions of the vaccine, as it has only just been introducted, but try asking those questions a few weeks down the track.

2 Responses to “Simple questions to antidote swine-flu media hype”


  1. [...] I happen to know two people in Australia who’ve had adverse reactions (the other two were from Canada), one of whom was [...]


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