Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Revised epidemiology

Currently H1N1 vaccines are being doled out to particularly at risk populations: kids, old folx, health workers. Of these, only health workers are chosen because they're likely to infect others, but might that not be the right paradigm? Could it not make sense target vaccine distribution at people who are particularly likely to pass the disease on to others? Food service workers, for example. Might that not slow the rate of infection and thus the total footprint on the population more than focusing on people at risk of harm from it?

I dunno. It seems to me that the goal of epidemiology should be to minimize the impact of an event on a population in general, rather than on specific sub-segments of it.

That said, they should absolutely vaccinate my kids first. Then they can do whatever they want.


Steed said...

Sounds like a good idea to me, Clark, but it's not my area. I think I'll get the flu shot, but the swine flu vaccine itself was sickening in 1976, so I'll avoid that one.

Anonymous said...

You have a lot more to worry about if your food service workers prep techniques allow the spread of H1N1. Hepatitis, E. coli, and Salmonella are spread the same way. It's much more cost-effective to have sick food service workers stay home, wash their hands and cover their hair than to vaccinate against the flu.