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This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

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Re: Pick a number - any number -

This is a win win for government pals who will make a fortune out of producing vaccines for each and every scare, especially if that scare is hyped out of all proportion to the reality.
It reminds me of the story of a commuter carriage on a London train where eventually the curiosity of one regular was so great he overcame the normal reluctance to speak with the other regulars to ask one man why, every day, he got on the train and spent the journey tearing his newspaper into tiny bits and scattering them around on the floor.
"Why do you do it, old chap, if you don't mind my asking?"
"It is to keep the elephants away." came the reply in a friendly but very serious voice.
"But there aren't any elephants." protested the other.
"I know. Effective, isn't it?"
And that's the story of the vaccine.
There is no epidemic and if there never is it will be because of the vaccine. That there never would have been is something else again.

Re: Pick a number - any number -

Comparing 2009 with the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 - have we made progress?

Hospital Treatment - great improvements
Access to family doctors - subsantial deterioration
Pharmacy - substantial improvement with Tamiflu
Prevention of the disease from spreading - no progress
Prediction of the spread/virulence of the disease - no progress

So that's ten points to Big Pharma, ten points to hospitals, -5 points to family doctors and no points at all to the epidemiologists, who are no farther forward than they were in 1918. In fact, they were about as effective in 1318.