Friday, October 08, 2004


Who says you're entitled?

This weeks announcement about the Flu Vaccine shortage has raised many cries of "How can this happen?"

Let's put things into perspective.

First of all, who says you are entitled to live disease free? Is that in the Bill of Rights or something? If the stuff is available, I'm all for getting it to as many people as possible, but we're talking about the flu, not cancer.

CNN reports (10/8/04) says that 30,000 Americans die every year from the flu. These are chronically ill people, the aged and people with compromised immune systems. With Chiron's 40 million flu vaccines coming off the market, reducing the number of available vaccines by 50%, that leaves 40 million more vaccines. I think somewhere in that 40 million available doses, we can find enough for those 30,000 at risk individuals.

So there are plenty of doses of vaccines available for the people who need them. The problem is neurotic, paranoid hypocondriacs who feel the need to have scientific assurances that they will live forever, at any cost.

What happens when you get the flu? For most people, you will have cold-like symptoms (runny nose, teary eyes), chills, fever, sore muscles, you may be tired . . . sounds like me after a night of partying.

Now, if there's a flu vaccine available, I'd like to have it, but lets stop this complaining about how the government needs to do something. All we need is another bloated government agency to mismanage vaccines.

I wonder how many people who are "missing out" on the flu vaccine are at risk of dying this year because they're overweight, or they have high blood pressure, or they smoke, or they drive too fast, or they live in New Jersey? How many of those at-risk people are taking action to insure longer life. Probably not many, because unless it's an easy fix, Americans haven't got the perseverence anymore.

The problem isn't so much supply as it is dependence. The only way to be self sufficient is to do our own manufacturing.

Maybe if it were profitable, somebody would actually MAKE flu vaccines in this country? I find it kind of hard to understand why we have to depend on Britain to supply us with the stuff. You mean, it's more profitable to manufacture it in Europe, pack it up in airplanes and ship it over to the US and sell it for $15 a dose than it would be to make it here? What does that say about the bloated costs of doing business in our country?

But that's another rant.

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