Friday, September 25, 2009

VERITAS: FUMBLE - FLU ME ONCE, SHAME ON ... WHO?


Ontario seniors will be getting their regular flu shots first this year, ahead of the rest of us, in October. That’s because older folks aren’t as succeptible to the swine flu, also known as H1N1. But Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Arlene King, says all of us will get the swine flu shots when they become available in November. And then, after that, the under-60 crowd will get back in line for the regular flu shot. And all of this comes in the midst of an “unpublished” report based on data from three Canadian provinces which shows that last year, people who got the regular flu shot were about twice as likely to come down with the swine flu compared to those who didn’t get the standard flu vaccine. Whaaaaat? Confused? You bet. What shot do I get when? And getting the regular flu shot puts me at risk of the swine flu? This is the result when people are bombarded with information and yet no clear direction is provided. Yes, all the information is there in the news stories, but based on the panicked reaction to open-line radio shows, this thing had no clear sales proposition and way too much room for fear-mongering and misinterpretation. Tell people what they need to do, and when. Keep it simple. If there are several moving parts that might be confusing all at once, dole them out over time. Now, which shot do I get when, again?

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