Reflex: September 12, 2011

NIH study finds two doses of HPV vaccine may be as protective as full course, says the NIH. “Worldwide, approximately 500,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed every year, and about 250,000 women die from the disease. An overwhelming majority of these new cases and deaths occur in low-resource countries. Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are caused by persistent infection with HPV… The cost of the vaccine as well as the logistical difficulties of administering three doses to an adolescent population in resource-poor countries is greater than administering two doses.” Aaron’s comment: Vaccine policy has become needlessly political recently. The purpose of the HPV vaccine is to prevent HPV infection which causes cervical cancer. Let’s not cut off our nose to spite our face.

The American Hospital Association warns that Obama’s jobs bill will lead to lower health care jobs, reports Matt Dobias (Politico). “Health care providers are warning that President Barack Obama’s new jobs plan could actually siphon jobs from one of the few industries still hiring —because the only way to pay for it would be to make deeper cuts in the health care entitlement programs. […] AHA President and Chief Executive Rich Umbdenstock [urged lawmakers to] ‘Reject cuts to hospital services that could create devastating job losses to communities.'” Austin’s comment: The AHA has a point. However, a fair question is, are new jobs in health care the best use of taxpayer funds? In Massachusetts, at least, new jobs in the health sector have been predominantly in administrative positions. Where’s the increase in productivity we need from the health care sector if we’re ever to get control of national debt? 

“Duh” science: why research the obvious? Eryn Brown (LA Times) writes that it is in order to influence public policy and public opinion as well as to refute conventional wisdom when the obvious is wrong. There are also some really dumb studies conducted! Don’s commentI haven’t provided a link to a blog post for this one, but pass it along without embellishment in honor of the folks that write bloggers and say “what you wrote was completely obvious, why waste the time?” Seems as though someone thinks that about every post ever written.

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