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The lessons to be learned from the pandemic

The biggest problem we on the front line have had is that swine flu has only ever been a mild illness.

It never lived up to the apocalyptic chaos originally predicted – 65,000 deaths, food and infrastructure shortages and so on.

But unfortunately the Government committed itself to 60 million doses of vaccine and a stockpile of Tamiflu due to expire in 2010.

There are two lessons to be learned from all this. First, a ‘pandemic' isn't always

a serious one – perhaps the old epidemiology definition needs to be restored. And second, if you can't engage healthcare teams and convince them of the value of vaccination, your stockpiles are going nowhere.

Dr Neil Tallant
Christchurch, Dorset

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