Untested vaccines Assume that there is an epidemic coming, which may affect its victims very seriously. There is a vaccine available. Two scenarios are possible: i) The vaccine is known to be highly effective but it also leads to bothersome (though not dangerous) side effects. What considerations would you need to take into account to decide whether you ask to be vaccinated (for free)? And if you were the government deciding whether to order the vaccines from the manufacturer? ii) The vaccine has not been properly tested, either at its efficacy or at its potential side effects. How do your answers above change with the extent of uncertainty? Relate your discussion to the current debate about the swine flu vaccine.


The reference we received from our teacher. Can you please use one or two of these.

– Buxton Bridges, Carolyn, William W. Thompson; Martin I. Meltzer; et al.
“Effectiveness and Cost-Benefit of Influenza Vaccination of Healthy Working Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial,”; Journal of the American Medical Association (2000), 284(13):1655-1663
– Maurer, Jurgen. “Who has a clue to preventing the flu? Unravelling supply and demand effects on the take-up of influenza vaccinations,” Journal of Health Economics (2009), 28, 704-717


Vaccination is a very important activity in the health of individuals. Its administration is meant to prevent disease although currently, there are many fears coming from untested vaccines and so some people opt not to be vaccinated. People fear the side effects that come as a result of being vaccinated yet due to this failure even more effects are felt. Lack of vaccinations results in adverse economic effects of any country.