The announcement last Friday that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved CSL’s vaccine against swine flu and that a national vaccination campaign will be rolled out in the next few weeks means two things:
• a lot of people must be working pretty hard and wondering how on earth they’re going to pull it all off
• we will be hearing and reading plenty of reports emphasising the potential benefits of vaccination and maximising concern about the impact of swine flu.
In one sense, this is what happens whenever there is a roll out of a new health program or intervention; the advocates talk it up. But this time, they will no doubt be even more determined to do this, given the questions that are being asked about the merits of the campaign and its timing.
In light of this second point, you might be interested in this piece calling for a “common sense” response to swine flu, recently published by Healthy Skepticism, a group which is not known for being overly enthusiastic about medical marketing.
It is by Juan Gérvas, a rural GP in Spain, and a Visiting Professor, Primary Care, International Department, National School of Public Health (Madrid), Spain. He is also Honorary Professor, Public Health, School of Medicine, Autonomous University (Madrid).