Friday, August 27, 2010

H1N1 Vaccine issues: back in the news again in France - narcolepsy edition

Saw this in the news last night. It appears that narcolepsy is being linked to H1N1 vaccination. This set off my FUD alarm, so let's quickly look at the numbers:

  • 6 million French people were vaccinated against the swine flu virus. France's population is approximately 65 million; for convenience let's call it a 10%  vaccination rate;
  • There are approximately 500 new cases of narcolepsy reported annually in France;
  • 6 of these are being linked to the vaccination;
  • 30 million were vaccinated in Europe with 22 reported cases; 

So in summary:

~10% of the French population were vaccinnated: 

Reported new cases every year comprise 0.0008%  of the total French population;

Reported new casessuspected of links to the vaccine comprise 0.0001% of the vaccinated French population;  

reported new cases in the Europe comprise  0.00007% European vaccinated population

So what does this mean? Are the numbers of cases statistically significant? I'm no statistician, but I think given the huge populations involved and the tiny number of suspected cases, I have my doubts. At this point, as the Lepoint article below points out, a link hasn't been established. If there is one we should know about it, but given the numbers, I think it's premature to start shouting from the rooftops about this. People are already a little wary thanks to the antivax movement and the hysterical bleating last year surrounding the H1N1 vaccine.There's no need to add speculation to it.




Posted via email from John's posterous

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