Monday, December 14, 2009

More on influenza vaccinations

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health newsfeed for today had a link to an interesting site.  The site points out the seeming inconsistencies between what different parts of the United States government are telling us about the combination of mercury and the influenza vaccination, particularly when it comes to pregnant women.

If everything that is reported at the site is true, then it certainly raises some interesting questions about the tradeoffs that society is ready to make.

As importantly, reflects the difficulties or organizing the control disease within a large organization like the United States federal government.  Even within an organization, if there are not strong incentives, the outcomes will not necessarily be optimal.  As I told a class I teach last week, this is a great example of the concept of transaction costs, where individuals in an organization have a cost to interacting with each other and finding ways to minimize these costs is important to the organization's success at achieving its goal.  It is interesting intersection between economics and organizational studies.

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