The Curmudgeon


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Swine, Flu

The Turkey Twizzler salesman in charge of the NHS has given a bizarre response to an inquiry by his Labour shadow about the number of expectant mothers who have received seasonal flu vaccinations. Andrew Lansley, whose public health credentials include being an excess expense in the civil service and an office boy to Norman Tebbit, said that less than thirty per cent of pregnant women have received the injection, possibly because the remainder share the two main parties' mistrust of mere science. Lansley came over all coy about the number of pregnant women who have died of the flu this winter, saying only that the figure is "between one and four". He refused to be more specific than that "in order to safeguard the confidentiality of the patients concerned", since patient confidentiality is invariably ruptured when one resorts to integers. Lansley also defended the decision not to mount a national advertising campaign on the grounds that it "would have wastefully focused on the entire population when only at-risk groups are being invited for vaccination", and in these austere times nobody wants to risk wasting the advertising budget on the eyeballs of the non-pregnant. However, by virtue of his access to an alternate universe in which a campaign did take place, Lansley was able to proclaim that "the lack of an advertising campaign this year has had no discernible impact on uptake of flu vaccine".


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