A vaccine skeptic on twitter believes “10% of the decline in infectious disease mortality in the 20th century in the US was due to vaccines.”
I don’t know, that’s what some random anti-vaxxer on Twitter claimed. I’m still doing the quantitative investigation. My point is, even if that’s true, it’s misleading in isolation, and arguably cherry-picked
(Indirect) Attributions added.
10% still seems like a big deal to me, especially over a century. (What’s the other 90% from, adopting a policy of washing hands?)
Fair enough. Again, I don’t know if it’s 10%—could be more or even less.
The rest, I think, is mostly from antibiotics, and maybe general hygiene.
The history and causation here is nuanced and difficult. E.g., tuberculosis was basically solved by antibiotics—*but*, it was also declining for many decades *before* that. And I’m not sure if anyone really knows why. Hand-washing? Better diet? Less spitting in the streets? (I’m not kidding, there were actually campaigns to get people to spit less, although I’m not sure if they worked.)
Anyway I’m still researching all this.
10% is a big deal but there are many different ways to persue better health outcomes and if we overrate particular approaches and underfund others that can be a problem.
At the moment we have 35 vaccine candiates in clinical evaluation for COVID-19 while on the other hand we have trouble spending 20 million to have decent studies on whether the top 8 most promissing antivirals helps with COVID-19.