Flu vaccine lessons
It's still too early to say for
sure, but it looks as though despite the fact that the flu vaccine
is in very short supply, we just might have a very light year of
people coming down with this sometimes deadly illness.
This in comparison to last year
(2003) when there was an adequate supply of flu vaccine available,
but when the CDC made it's biggest mistake ever in guessing which
flu strains would be the most common.
Last year people who got the
vaccine felt protected against this killer, but many suffered anyway
and then of course were contagious to others around them.
The flu (influenza) is not
something to mess around with, especially when you are old, or very
young, or you are in poor health. Complications from the flu
are deadly and kill 10's of thousands of people every year.
What one has to wonder however, is
whether the lack of such a flu vaccine has actually been healthy for
the nation if we only learn our lessons about it. With the
absence of adequate vaccine, many people are more conscious of their
health and hygiene habits.
Would Americans be quite so careful
if we had the vaccine available to us? Nobody will ever know
of course. But the fact that we had the vaccine last year,
depended on it when we shouldn't, and so much of the nation became
sick, makes this reporter question how much reliance we should be
putting on science.
Have we have traded common sense
and those warnings from our mothers to wash hands for the supposed
security offered to us by scientists? I believe we have
and much to the shock and horror of community after community who
last year saw their loved ones dying or in seriously bad
health. Maybe we should still heed Mom's advice with one
little change. "Wash your hands... anyway!"