The CDC in the US have come out with some interesting new numbers on H1N1.
They now estimate that 22,000,000 US residents have contracted H1N1. Of those, 98,000 have been hospitalized and 3,900 have died.
Several weeks ago I very conservatively estimated an 11 in 1,000,000 chance of dying from H1N1 and a 176 in 1,000,000 chance of being hospitalized because of it, vs. a 10 in 1,000,000 chance of serious vaccine complications. I advised that the shot was therefore a good bet.
The chance of serious vaccine complications has not changed, so we’re still looking at 10 in a million there. But those US numbers now indicate that we’re comparing that to a 177 in 1,000,000 chance of death and a 4,454 in 1,000,000 chance of hospitalization from H1N1 itself (that’s about 1 in 224).
It seems you are in fact 445 times more likely to end up in hospital because of H1N1 than because of the vaccine for it. And of course those numbers also indicate that you’re 17 times more likely to die of H1N1 than you are to have a serious complication from the vaccine.
The numbers will keep changing, of course, as H1N1 progresses and as we keep figuring out new ways to count things, and those US numbers may not reflect the situation in Canada, but at this point there’s no way it’ll ever look better than my conservative estimates.
So yes. Get the shot, when you can.
(Also, I admit I am amused that people are calling H1N1 “hiney”. Heh.)