Swine FLu Pandemic - a storm in a teacup?

Last July the Department of Health predicted that between 19,000 and 65,000 people in the UK would die from swine flu. Tamiflu was dished out like smarties and a vaccine was rushed in. By 8th November, the official death toll in the UK was 138. We also now know that the likelihood of a child under 5 (a group considered by the government to be at high-risk, and therefore a priority group to receive the vaccine) dying from swine from was 3 per one million population - or 1 in every 333,000. Even for those young children who catch swine flu sufficiently badly to have symptoms (which not everyone does), the risk of dying is 28 per 100,000 cases or, to look at another way, 1 in every 3,600 cases.( Compare that with a death rate of 1 in every 10 cases of bacterial meningitis.)
Up until 8th November, a total of 9 children under 5 years of age had died form swine flu. These 9 deaths are tragic, but do not reflect the risk to a healthy child. That is because all 9 children had serious underlying medical problems; none were in good health. Thus the risk of a healthy child under 5 dying from swine flu is extremely small and in fact, according to these official figures, approaches zero. Despite this, all children under 5 are being offered the swine flu vaccine - a vaccine that has been rushed out with extremely limited testing of its effectiveness or safety. Also, the vaccine given to nearly all children - GSK’s Pandemrix - contains thiomersal (mercury), a poisonous metal that has been removed from all routine childhood vaccines.
The over-reaction of the government to the swine flu is extraordinary. No wonder we’re hearing little about it now. We will look back at swine flu as one of the great unfounded scare stories of all time.

Added 8 Jan 2010