I was tempted to write this one yesterday, but I preferred to watch the footie which was a mistake. It’s this business about there being a shortage of flu vaccine. How on earth can the media point the finger of blame at government when it is the media itself that has caused the shortage?
Only a month or so ago, the headlines screamed “Bird Flu!” and Trevor McDonald’s grave tones told us that it’s on its way and we’re all going to die. Now call me naïve, that is going to pump up demand just a tad. Frighten every Daily Mail reader to death so that when they’re offered the routine seasonal flu vaccine there is a “Yes, please” response and take-up goes through the roof. Quelle surprise.
It got to the point that your correspondent became scared to sneeze in public in case I got quarantined or worse — taken out by DEFRA’s anti-flu armed response squad while innocently blowing my nose on the underground with several rounds of lead ballast to the back of my head.
What really annoys me is the way that media abdicates all responsibility for causing these irrational health scares and then blaming the government. It isn’t the state’s job to decide how many people may or may not take up the offer of the vaccine. That’s down to GPs who order the stuff and I’m not blaming them either. They are businesses and it’s not unreasonable that they base their orders on last year’s take-up.
No, blame, if there is any, lies at the door of the print and broadcast media. I’m also prepared to say that there will be no flu epi/pandemic this year, although not enough to lay this sort of wager. Wince!