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Let's Revisit H1N1 Vaccine - Were the Dire Predictions Correct?

Jan 09, 2010 - 3 comments

h1n1 vaccine



At the beginning of the H1N1 epidemic which appears to be winding down, there was this frenzy of "Vaccine Hysteria".  Online dozens of sites were (mis)quoting the CDC as saying that "they expected 30,000 Americans to be maimed or killed by this vaccine." ***  This was actually taking the numbers of expected adverse reactions (1 in 100,000), out of context and then doing some bad math on top of some absurd assumptions.  Then others hearing these numbers quoted them. It went through the internet like wild-fire.

At this point, I would like to revisit the fear mongering.  It seems to me that too often there are predictions of doom, gloom and death BEFORE something happens, but after the event - when the predictions have not come true - no one takes another look too see if their dire predictions came true.  People should take responsibility when they work so hard at convincing others to refrain from getting protection for themselves and those around them.  Another reason this should be done, is so that we have some true ideas of what to expect the next time such an prospect comes up.  The people arguing that this "Swine Flu" would kill and maim, all point to the 1976 incident AS IF the medical and vaccine establishments would not have learned anything from the experience 33 years ago, and would not have worked to make the vaccine safer.

There have been a number of cases of Guillian-Barre, possibly a few more than would occur naturally.  I have not seen any solid numbers. The largest cause of Guillain-Barre is not vaccines, but wild viruses.  There have likely been some deaths that followed the vaccine, if nothing else from allergic reactions.  The question is, after nearly 100,000,000 doses of vaccine administered, have there indeed been 1 in 100,000 people maimed or killed by it?  This would be 1000 or so cases of people maimed and killed in the US alone according to the CDC "worst scenario" predictions and 10,000 cases according to the anti-vaccine groups bad math.

I did a search and found little.  On December 9, the Mercola site - ever the critic of the medical establishment - was holding up one case of Guillain-Barre in the US (in Virginia) and another in France as further evidence that this vaccine was dangerous.  His article went on to recount unspecified numbers of people in China who had reactions.  One here and one there?  Is that all there is?  Where are the 30,000 cases in the US?  Most stories, by sources less rabid then Mercola's, are admitting that the serious side effects have just not occurred in anywhere near the numbers that were touted.

BTW - this has been a deadly epidemic.  In the case of children (0 to 18), most years have around 190 pediatric deaths during the entire 12-month flu season each year.  This year we are only 4 months+ into the 2009-2010 flu season and we have already lost 229 children to the H1N1 virus.  In this same 4 month period there have been 1,738 total influenza-associated deaths so far reported.  We have 8 more months of counting.  This is, indeed, a fiercesome virus which has/had terrible potential.  The epidemic has peaked (we hope for good).  As we look back at the frenzy with which we were warned of the terrible effects of the H1N1 vaccine, we should also remember that we were facing a truly terrible potential pandemic. Is it possible that the use of the H1N1 vaccine did help stop this virus from doing more harm?

I am posting this for what you have found in the way of medically-confirmed cases of death and maiming from the H1N1 vaccine


***The number of "30,000 cases of maiming or death" was apparently arrived at by this bizarre calculation.  First an official at the CDC stated that the worst case scenario was that "in1 out of every 100,000 doses of vaccine they expect maiming or death."

Someone in the anti-vaccine group looked up the population of the US (304,000,000). Then they apparently divided this by 1 in 100,000 and came up with the wrong number, 30,000.  The correct number is 3,000.  The anti-vaccine people "mis"placed a decimal point to arrive at their number of 30,000.  Huh?  This is not nuclear physics!  It is simple math.  This is the number that I found all over the internet last fall as the reason that people should avoid the vaccine.  Everywhere I looked "30,000 maimed or killed" screamed in my face.

Then someone in the anti-vaccine group made the completely absurd assumption that EVERYONE - all 300,000,000 of us - would be vaccinated - to arrive at the 30,000 (should be 3,000) number who would die or be maimed by this vaccine.   In the best of times only about a third of the people get the flu vaccine, but even if they assumed the half the population would get it, the final correct "worst case" number would be 15,000 by their bad math and only 1,500 by the real numbers.

So those people who were swayed by hearing that the CDC had admitted that they expected 30,000 people to die or be maimed by the vaccine were justifiably frightened.  To the extent that the vaccine fear-mongerers persuaded people to refrain from getting the vaccine, I believe they hurt people terribly and yet I see no attempt to show people their numbers were off both by their calculations and by the real number of people who had problems.

To find the dozens of sites that advertised this number just google:

H1N1 vaccine 30,000 maimed or killed

I just feel that people spouting bogus information should be held to task.


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751951 tn?1406632863
by PastorDan, Jan 10, 2010
Dutch tulips.  Y2K.  H1N1.  Many years ago, someone noted the fact that household smoke detectors contain radioactive material (up to 1.0 microcuries of Americium 241), and a brief panic stopped people from putting them in their homes.  Go and test yours today, by the way; I am confident that barely 1 in 10,000 of you have done so this week.  Or was that 1 in 10,000,000?

I'm with you, Dr. Q.  I think that inducing panic is a crime in most parts of the USA, but sometimes I think I need to study those statutes, to understand why we're not pursuing such charges against 3 out of 4 experts -- or media outlets.

1068422 tn?1293684253
by legalgirl5, Jan 25, 2010
All I can say is I spent nine days in the hospital from December 1 - 9th with H1N1.  $15,000.00 dollars later, I am glad to be alive but I am still not back to my normal self.  

I have never been so sick that I did not understand I was sick.  Not to mention an unbelieveable fever and all my organs were shutting down.

Thank heavens for my husband understanding, that I needed help immeadiately.

I understand the point your trying to make but all the same this is nothing to mess with. I also pray no one I know ever gets it.

198419 tn?1360242356
by sllowe, Nov 10, 2010
Thank you for the easy to understand re-visit, Doc Q. I read this early on when you wrote it, and again today. I believe the vaccine made a bad situation better.

Loss of life from flu is nothing anyone should take lightly. I'm grateful for the availability of vaccines to minimize the risk.


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