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Earlier Vaccination in Flu Pandemic Would Save Lives and Dollars — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 20, 2014

Earlier Vaccination in Flu Pandemic Would Save Lives and Dollars

By Amy Orciari Herman

In a severe flu pandemic, vaccinating individuals by 4 to 6 months into the pandemic — rather than by 9 months, as seen in the 2009 H1N1 pandemic — is necessary to substantially reduce infections, deaths, and health costs, according to a modeling study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

U.S. researchers modeled a severe influenza A pandemic in a large metropolitan city of 8.3 million people with no preexisting immunity to the virus. They found that vaccinating 30% of residents at 6 months would avert roughly 230,000 additional infections and 5800 deaths citywide, relative to 9 months. And vaccinating by 4 months would avoid an additional 225,000 infections and 5600 deaths, relative to 6 months.

Earlier vaccination would also save some $100 million citywide in short-term treatment costs.

Dr. Stephen G. Baum writes in NEJM Journal Watch Infectious Diseases that the study has significant limitations. "Nonetheless, this model does support efforts to accelerate vaccine production."

Reader Comments (1)

herman medow, Ph.D Other Healthcare Professional, Psychology Consultants, Inc.

in the absence of validity studies of their model, this reads
like a puff piece to support a quite costly effort- no question
of benefits of certain vaccination treatments- for some like
flu, very conflicting results in real-world data - whole area
of chaos theory in math emerged from observations that
predictive equations within a specific range , fell apart, as in
the water wheel phenomena - in tghe year 2014 science has
advanced so much, it is disappointing to to see print pages
like this with the sole redeeming comment ". . does support
efforts to accelerate vaccine production"

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