We appreciate Howard Markel’s desire to clarify his personal position on flu. As the article says, many experts believe flu vaccine is effective; some believe it is not. The point of the story is that we really don’t know one way or the other: our public health policy is built on a very thin base of evidence.Wow, is that irresponsible. Thousands of studies show the vaccine to be effective, a handful do not. Therefore, "we really don't know one way or the other." By that standard, we have no idea whether germs carry disease, whether cigarettes cause cancer, or whether the Earth is flat or round. We should debate these things.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Howard Markel, a physician who was interviewed for that Atlantic article on flu vaccines, wrote a letter to the editors clarifying his views and affirming that vaccinations are important for fighting the disease. The writers respond:
Posted by Seth Masket at 11/15/2009 08:19:00 AM