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What does the flue vaccine shortage say about the war on terrorism?

My opinion by Crazy Eddie  (10/17/04)


What does the flue vaccine shortage say about the war or terrorism and the state of our health care system? If the Administration can not make sure that Americans have an adequate supply of flue vaccine, which we know long in advance what we need, then what would happen if we were hit with a biological attack which required a large amount of antidote or vaccine to prevent a major loss of life? If this Administration can not provide the citizenship with an ample supply of common flu vaccine what makes anyone believe that they can respond to even a small bio-attack? This flu vaccine shortage drives a dagger in the Administrationís argument that they are best equipped to keep us safe from a terrorist attack.  


During the last debate the President blamed the flue vaccine shortage on lawsuits from lawyers. Then he blamed it on a foreign pharmaceutical company, and then he said we were going to get additional does of vaccine from Canada, the same country in the previous debate the President said that their drugs were not safe.  The foreign company the President referred to is actually an American company (based in California) who vaccine operation was shutdown by the British government (due to contamination), and I still havenít figured out why layers are the number one reason we have a vaccine shortage.


This is the second year in a row that we have had a major vaccine shortage, I believe that the shortage is a tell tale sign of a massive problem in our health care system. Who needs flue vaccines? Well, doctors recommend seniors and people with health concerns be vaccinated, I would argue that this demographic usually has poor or no health insurance, and that the profit from flue vaccines is pretty small compared to other drugs. Drugs which have a high profit margin, such as Viagra, are not in short supply.


This Administration has done nothing to address the health care crisis in this country. They have stood on the sidelines will the cost of health care and insurance premiums have skyrocketed, They have stood by while millions of our citizens have been locked out from the health care system. The quality of health care is not simply measured by the care received but also the access to the care.    


How can we trust this Administration to make sure quality health care is available to its citizens or trust them to respond adequately to bio-terrorist attack? My friends the answer to that question is we can not. If the Administrations lack of action the last four years is any indication of what they will do in the next four years; then we can expect more of the same, lots of talk and no action. This is only one of the many reasons we need a new President.


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