October 12, 2004

Dose of Reality


FoxNews reports: CDC to Allot Flu Vaccine to High-Risk Patients.

The government moved Tuesday to direct scarce remaining flu shots straight to pediatricians, nursing homes and other places that care for the patients who need them most.

But only a fraction of the 22.4 million doses that maker Aventis Pasteur has yet to ship can be diverted to areas with the biggest shortages. And officials acknowledged Tuesday that even if planned rationing goes well, there will be high-risk patients who struggle to get shots but can't find them.

"We're sorry for the people who need flu vaccine and may not be able to get it this year," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is what we get from government control of the flu vaccine.

UPDATE I -- October 18: CNN reports: Health secretary: No flu vaccine crisis.

The shortage of flu vaccine in the United States is "not a health crisis," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said, urging people to be patient as the government works to reallocate the nation's limited number of vaccines.

"I would like to tell individuals just be calm and don't stand in line, because we have approximately 24 million doses of vaccine that have not been shipped yet," Thompson said Sunday. "We're reallocating those vaccines and shipments to regions that have a shortage, and we want to make sure first off that our elderly citizens, those age 65 and older, get the vaccine first because that is where the biggest number of vulnerabilities really are."

UPDATE II -- October 19: This cartoon appears in today's (Tuesday's) The Detroit News.

Posted by Forkum at October 12, 2004 10:52 PM