Re: Vaccine efficacy

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Sun Feb 06 2000 - 08:58:20 MST

I wrote:
>How much have vaccines contributed to health?
>The answer ... seems to be: suprisingly low.

To be clear: low is not zero. Low is relative to all the other things that

have contributed to extended lifespan over that last century or two.

Damien Broderick wrote:

> ??!! I don't see too many people with polio around now, but two of my
> friends, one just slightly older than I, are now falling apart with
> post-polio syndrome.

As I wrote, the US polio death rate was only ~1/500 of the total USdeath
rate when polio vaccines were introduced. In contrast, for
each decade of extended lifespan we have experienced, the age-specific
death rate has dropped by about a factor of two.

I'll respond to other posts after I can get acess to sources at my office

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