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Millions Of H1N1 Vaccine To Be Discarded

From a blithely unfazed Washington Post:

Millions of H1N1 vaccine doses may have to be discarded

By Rob Stein
Thursday, April 1, 2010; A01

Despite months of dire warnings and millions in taxpayer dollars, less than half of the 229 million doses of H1N1 vaccine the government bought to fight the pandemic have been administered — leaving an estimated 71.5 million doses that must be discarded if they are not used before they expire.

Between 81 million and 91 million doses of swine flu vaccine were injected into peoples’ arms or squirted up their noses through the end of February, according to federal officials, leaving about 138 million doses unused. An estimated 60 million of those will be donated to poor countries or saved for possible future use. But doses already in vials and syringes will be thrown away if not used before their expiration dates pass.

Note how there is no cost estimate attached to this tremendous waste. The Washington Post must not have considered that detail very important.

The prospect of millions of doses of the once-precious vaccine being discarded is the latest twist in the $1.6 billion program — the most ambitious immunization campaign in U.S. history. The government-led effort produced a vaccine in record time, but unexpected production problems delayed delivery of the bulk of supplies until after the second wave of infections had peaked, leaving millions anxious and frustrated as they scrambled for the shots and nasal sprays.

Nevertheless, officials said they were largely satisfied with the effort, which blunted the impact of the first flu pandemic in decades. Between 72 million and 81 million people are estimated to have been immunized.

The vast majority of them having been immunized long after the threat had passed. Not that there ever was a threat.

"Did we do as well as we would have liked to? No, not at all," said Anne Schuchat of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "But the country did an extraordinary job of responding. It’s pretty incredible to think about how much uncertainty we had at the beginning of this."

And by “uncertainty” she means manufactured hysteria.

After all, there was a ‘healthcare reform’ bill to ram through Congress. A crisis we needed.

The immunization program was designed to provide enough vaccine to protect every U.S. resident if needed. But antiquated technology dependent on growing the virus in chicken eggs delayed arrival of most of the doses. Fears about the pandemic fostered wide-scale anxiety and spawned long lines as the first doses trickled in amid the second wave of infections last fall. By the time the vaccine was plentiful, demand had dissipated…

"The message we should take away from this experience is that we need to continue to explore technologies to improve the stability of the flu vaccine supply and, equally as important, we need to invest in public health infrastructure to make sure that there are strong health departments to communicate with the public and administer vaccine once it is produced," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.)

Oddly enough, that is the same lesson Mr. Waxman takes away from everything: we need to expand government.

Even though it didn’t take a Nostrildamus Nostradamus to see this ‘swine flu pandemic’ was overblown nonsense.

The World Health Organization, meanwhile, faces mounting charges that it overreacted to the pandemic. The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly is investigating allegations that the Geneva-based arm of the United Nations was influenced by pharmaceutical companies to exaggerate the risk, thereby helping in vaccine sales

Well, if ‘Big Pharma’ can be blamed, then there might be a happy ending after all.

But, anyway, to borrow a phrase from post Katrina: “Great job there, Brownie Sebelius!”

It’s obvious she is the perfect person to be calling the shots for our entire healthcare system.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, April 1st, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Millions Of H1N1 Vaccine To Be Discarded”

  1. BillK says:

    Your tax dollars at work, in health care yet!

    From the Washington Post:

    Millions of H1N1 vaccine doses may have to be discarded

    By Rob Stein

    Despite months of dire warnings and millions in taxpayer dollars, less than half of the 229 million doses of H1N1 vaccine the government bought to fight the pandemic have been administered — leaving an estimated 71.5 million doses that must be discarded if they are not used before they expire.

    Between 81 million and 91 million doses of swine flu vaccine were injected into peoples’ arms or squirted up their noses through the end of February, according to federal officials, leaving about 138 million doses unused. An estimated 60 million of those will be donated to poor countries or saved for possible future use. But doses already in vials and syringes will be thrown away if not used before their expiration dates pass.

    The prospect of millions of doses of the once-precious vaccine being discarded is the latest twist in the $1.6 billion program — the most ambitious immunization campaign in U.S. history. The government-led effort produced a vaccine in record time, but unexpected production problems delayed delivery of the bulk of supplies until after the second wave of infections had peaked, leaving millions anxious and frustrated as they scrambled for the shots and nasal sprays.

    Nevertheless, officials said they were largely satisfied with the effort, which blunted the impact of the first flu pandemic in decades. Between 72 million and 81 million people are estimated to have been immunized.

    “Did we do as well as we would have liked to? No, not at all,” said Anne Schuchat of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “But the country did an extraordinary job of responding. It’s pretty incredible to think about how much uncertainty we had at the beginning of this.”

    Given the potential seriousness of the threat and the uncertainties of vaccine production, Schuchat said, it was unavoidable that some doses would go to waste.

    We were dealing with a very unusual situation. We had a pandemic. We had young people being killed,” she said. “We wanted to make sure we had enough. We didn’t want to be short. It was important to us to be able to protect the American people.

    Noting that the virus still poses a threat, Schuchat and other experts stressed that they hope millions more in the country will still get vaccinated.

    “It’s too early to write the final chapter on this vaccine,” said Michael T. Osterholm of the University of Minnesota. “If we’re at the beginning of a third wave, I just bet you a lot of that vaccine that is sitting there will not be unused.

    But officials acknowledge that it becomes more difficult in spring to persuade a skeptical public to get vaccinated, especially because the threat appears to be fading.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/31/AR2010033104201.html

    One can only wonder what the next great threat will be to health upon which untold taxpayer dollars will be wasted.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    (seriously oblique reference follows)

    What a shame. The vaccines were loaded with the government’s new R6 adjunct.

    (top marks for the first on to identify reference)

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      Let me give Tom Cruise a call and see if he can help with the answer.

  3. GL0120 says:

    The government did NOT overreact, there was a very real threat and the government stepped in and brought it under control.
    No, the threat was not Swine Flu, or any other disease, the threat was that the health care bill might not go through.
    Once this threat was identified, the government stepped in, manufactured the Swine Flu epidemic and assured people that only the government could keep them healthy.

  4. proreason says:

    Serious Issue with Big Goverment: Principle 1,397.

    Governments must overreact and hence overspend. Minor problems could become major problems. Therefore, all problems are major.

    This is based on the same underlying rationale as Principle 732 which states that Big Goverment must investigate ever complaint from “minorities”, even when all evidence indicates that a particular complaint is a trumped-up effort to defraud the taxpayers.

    • JohnMG says:

      Another big crisis nobody bought into—but it DID manage to get some folks to take their eye off the ball for a while.

    • Mithrandir says:

      It was the gov’t attempt to show us all how good they can be with health care, and how bad the gov’t can be under George Bush (Katrina).

      It’s ALL a show, they don’t care about you at all. The timing of the ‘militia’ capture is all a show too, trying to set the stage that Tea Partiers and Republicans are violent, and the left wing is peaceful (when it gets what it wants). They could have nabbed those militia people at ANY time as they were not in violation of much other than gun possession, but the gov’t had to wait for the right time, and then make it sound like “WHEW, OH MY GOD, we just got these people in a nick of time! 2 minutes later they were going to do something! Aren’t you glad we have a big intrusive gov’t! We can stop people who hate big intrusive gov’t!” WHEWWWWWW. . .

  5. JohnMG says:

    ……..”Between 72 million and 81 million people are estimated to have been immunized……”

    Now just for your amusement, substitute “jobs” for the word people, and “saved or created” for the word immunized. Another “fill-in-the-blanks WaPo news story. Or is it……

    Another “Obama miracle”

  6. Mithrandir says:

    I had to go to the hospital a few times at the end of last year, and I can’t tell you how much they hounded me to take this shot.

    Receptionist: Have you taken the swine flu shot yet?
    Me: No, I don’t want it.
    Receptionist: You don’t want it!? We offer it for free, take it.
    Me: No, I usually don’t take seasonal flu shots anyway.
    Receptionist: Really? Ok, well, I guess I will write that down here….

    Nurse: So, I see that you don’t want the swine flu shot.
    Me: No, I told the receptionist I don’t want it.
    Nurse: You don’t want it? Why not? It is free and doesn’t hurt.
    Me: No thanks.
    Nurse: You don’t want to get swine flu and spread it to..blah blah blah blah!
    Me: No sale.
    Nurse: Ok, I will write this down in your medical record then.

    Doctor: So, it says here you don’t want the swine flue vaccination?
    Me: Nope, I just went through this with the receptionist and the nurse, so that is ‘no’ three times.
    Doctor: You could die from it, and it is spreading. It’s free, I can go get it for you now if you want.
    Me: Do I have the right to refuse this or not?
    Doctor: Sure, but you..
    Me: Ok, ok, I really am declining to accept this shot, can we talk about what I came her for?
    Doctor: Ok, I will write this down on your medical report then….

    I went back 2 more times, and guess what? The same thing again. I had to refuse this shot 9 times! Now I know that I was just a dumping ground for vaccination no one wanted and no one needed. I am sure the gov’t scared the medical profession into getting rid of this stuff to save face. Probably hospitals or states got bonus money if they used up all their dosages.

    Yet again, create a crisis, blow our cash coming to the rescue, claim victory, and then hide the embarrassing evidence and money lost.

  7. nuthingbettertodo says:

    Well now that Obama/Piglosicare has passed I’m sure all of these hyped up vaccines will be mandatory.

  8. nuthingbettertodo says:

    Well now that Obama/Piglosicare has passed I’m sure all of these hyped up vaccines will be mandatory.

  9. AcornsRNutz says:

    Interesting tidbit here, the armed forces (that finally recieved the shots well after the “crisis” was deemed over) were required to take it. Factoring that in to the numbers tells me that the number of folks who were duped by this crisis was not very high. That, my friends, is the real crisis for the new medical regime. There will be a much worse crisis and probably mandatory shots for all coming soon, all managed with the same accuracy and efficiency I am sure.


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