A recent article in The Conversation questioned whether we should all get flu vaccinations, given 99 people would have to go through vaccination for one case of flu to be prevented.
But this position ignores the purpose of immunisation programs: whole populations of people need to take part for just a small number to benefit. So how do we decide what’s worth it and what’s not?
Decision-making in public health
When we consider a treatment for a patient, such as antibiotics for an infection, we first consider the evidence on the benefits and potential harms of treatment. Ideally, this is based on clinical trials, where we assume the proportion of people in the trial who respond represents the chance…
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