Although it was clear as early as August of 2009 that swine flu was not going to be a "record-breaking outbreak," Alcabes said, this flu was fought with a record-breaking vaccine campaign that largely made already wealthy private parties even wealthier.
Billions of dollars worldwide were spent to stockpile vaccines for a virus that turned out to not be that much of a problem, he added, and the vaccines were largely unused as the virus petered out.
Many influenza experts would disagree and cite the extensive campaign as a reason H1N1 turned out milder than feared.
In a way, the WHO's statement this morning also served as a public reminder and endorsement of influenza vaccinations, and it comes as the United States ramps up for flu season.
But whether the CDC's nearly universal recommendation for flu vaccination this season will be able to overcome Americans' historically reluctant attitude toward the vaccine remains to be seen.