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Game theoretic H1N1 vaccination

  1. Oct 25, 2009 #1
    Well, what does game theory say about this?

    Game theory, depending on the odds, suggests that you might promote taking the N1H1 flu shot for others, while obstaining yourself.

    What action should you take as an individial or member of a group?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2009 #2


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    How about not care, and not talk about this stupid flu.

    You die, you die.

    You live, you live.

    Either way it's out of your hands.
  4. Oct 25, 2009 #3
    Put number of deaths per year or number of people died from certain outbreak or average lifespan on y-axis and time scale in decades on the x-axis.... and see if it tells the same thing.
  5. Oct 25, 2009 #4


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    Is a graph going to prevent me from getting this flu, or increase my chances of getting it ?

    Unless you're willing to spend the next 50 years in isolation in some sort of bubble 300m below the earth's surface, once again, it's out of your hands.
  6. Oct 25, 2009 #5


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    Odds of what? Getting the flu naturally or getting it from the vaccine (or dying from the flu with or without the vaccine...)? You'll have to use scientific notation on your calculator to figure out how good of an idea it is to abstain!
  7. Oct 25, 2009 #6


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    The question is a sensible one. Consider:

    1) The more people who get the vaccine, the less chance any given person catches the flu (regardless of whether they got the vaccine or not)

    2) Every person who grets the vaccine has a chance of getting hit by side effects

    So we see instantly that nobody getting the vaccine is probably not a Nash equilibrium, but everyone getting the vaccine isn't either, since each individual person would want to not get the vaccine in that case. So there's probably a mixed strategy (e.g. 95% chance of getting vaccinated) that is optimal for the population.
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