Um, I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but my understanding of influenza vaccines is that:
1. they are not 100% effective
2. they reduce mortality, but do not eliminate it
3. they reduce disease retransmission in populations with high immunization rates.
So, if we are actually able to immunize 4.5B humans 8 weeks before a flu pandemic hits, then we lose (based on 1919 flu data) 10% of 50 million deaths instead of 50 million.
Which is a big win.
But my q's:
1. how do we handle the "if" the clause. Ever been to Pakistan or the "Violencia" sections of Peru? There are gonna be huge populations that will never get the vaccine.
2. And if all my neighbors are Sante FE NM kooks, and decide not to get shots, I'm gonna be barraged by such a high titer of virsues that I'll get sick anyway.
Both of these are social and legal questions, not really scientific, but we live in a world of human beings.... and you know how well Science, Politics, and Religion mix.
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