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Vaccine shortage outrage

Posted by Richard on October 31, 2009

The local and national media are full of stories about the massive H1N1 vaccine shortage and canceled vaccination clinics. But I haven't seen any finger-pointing or even serious inquiries into why this has been such a cluster-f**k. Well, Be John Galt gathered a sampling of exactly such stories, pointing the finger at the President, and even one about a congressional investigation, led by Rep. Henry Waxman, which determined that the administration should have prevented the vaccine crisis.

Oh, wait — they're not about this year's 100-million-dose shortage of H1N1 vaccine. They're about the far more modest — and far less serious — shortage of regular flu vaccine in 2004. They're about blaming Bush! 

Almost nobody is interested in doing that sort of pointed inquiry and allocation of blame this year. Even though this time (unlike in 2004 and other years) it's a 100% federal government operation. Every single dose of H1N1 vaccine produced is turned over to and distributed by the federal government. The Obama administration insisted on that. Can't leave such things to the market, can we? It might not restrict the vaccine to "high-priority people with no medical coverage," i.e., the down-trodden and disadvantaged.

And almost nobody in the media is interested in asking why there are so few vaccine producers (only about half a dozen, as I recall, mostly foreign). That might bring up the fact that scores of pharmaceutical manufacturers have stopped all vaccine production in the last few years due to the tremendous liability risks. And that might lead to questions about why tort reform is completely off the table in the Democrat's various plans for "reforming" health care.

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One Response to “Vaccine shortage outrage”

  1. David Bryant said

    I found this blog post that lists twelve companies producing H1N1 vaccine. Three of these companies (Baxter International, Inovio Biomedical, and Novavax) are domestic corporations. There are also five European companies, two Chinese companies, and one each from South Korea and Australia.

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