Essay:The hidden costs of the polio vaccine

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"The Hidden Costs of the Polio Vaccine" Proscriptus Voce per Eira[edit]

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The article makes some very ridiculous statements, chief among those:

The cost for buying and administering the three-dose vaccine is about $500 per child. Accordingly, the cost of vaccinating 100 children will be about $50,000, but only 3 out of that 100 will ever be exposed to the HPV types targeted by the vaccine. The average age of diagnosis of cervical cancer is 48 years old. Accordingly, the cost is $15,000 to $50,000 per child to possibly protect her against a cancer over 30 years in the future. There is not yet a clear plan in place for funding this vaccine.

Ok, let's do the math on say... the polio vaccine. According to wikipedia concerning the vaccine they correctly note that Polio has been erradicated in many countries, one of the most specific ones, being the USA. So, from somewhere in the 1950's we started vaccinating all of our children, and we continue to vaccinate them today (only with injections, as the oral version has a greater risk than the chances of a child being exposed to Polio.) So, considering the entire population of the United States that was born in 1991 or beyond (the last year a wild polio case was observed in all of the Americas) as of the 2000 Census, we get approximately 39,737,050. So, there are some 39.7 million children who were vaccinated against Polio with the possiblity that they would ever encounter the polio virus at zero. (In more accurate mathematical terms: ε, a number that is extremely small, but still non-zero). So, assuming at worst a 1% chance of a child from the USA encountering a Polio virus. The cost of a polio virus vacine being at least $0.10, we're spending about $3.97 million USD to vaccinate children where only 397 thousand of them will ever be exposed to the virus. That moves the cost to vaccinate only the necessary up to $1. But that's at 1%. In fact, as that value gets smaller, the cost is inversly proportional to that precentage. So, that at just 0.1% of the children being exposed, the cost goes up to $10. At 0.01% up to $100. Bring the number extremely close to zero and the value becomes unbounded. Now, let's assume just one hundred child, were exposed to the Polio virus (an entirely valid assumption at this point in the eradication process) we get that only 0.00000251% are ever exposed to the virus. The total cost per necessary dose? $397,000 USD.

I'm no math whiz (oh wait, I am) but $397,000 > at worst $50,000. Using some math, in order to be more costly than this HPV vaccine, we would need only about 800 children exposed to polio. And this is only counting the data from 1994-2000! The United States logically has to have eradicated Polio domestically before Peru's last case. (Can't seem to find a good source for the last US case.) This brings the total up even higher and higher!

Considering that we have money available to pay for Polio vaccines, I do not believe it impossible to come up with a mere $50,000 to vacinate per 1 child to encounter HPV.

The moral? Jesus Christ people! Just because it prevents a small subset of HPV, specifically, the ones most likely of all cases of HPV to cause cancer, which is an STD, it's immediately something bad? The vaccine is not intended to prevent an STD, but rather to prevent CANCER. If you had a process that would cost $50/person, which would prevent the most common forms of... heart disease. Wouldn't it only be prudent of a Government to require and actually pay for it regardless of cost? If they're so specific about the Government having the right to deny same-sex marriage on the grounds that a state is allowed to protect its self-preservation, and only provide benefits to opposite-sex marriages, then why do they have a problem with the government protecting its self-interests by protecting 581 thousand children (female births from 1994-2000) from cervical cancer later in life? Regardless of the cause, or method of transmission.

Postscriptum: According to wikipedia, 90% of the people infected by polio don't develop any symptoms at all. So, our vanishing small precentage of children at risk is now even smaller, as it would require only 8,000 children to be infected with the polio virus.

Postscriptum: According to wikipedia, there were only 2,000 cases of polio in the entire world. Even if every single case had been in the USA, our vaccination per necessary dose would be incredibly higher than I noted above.