Good news and bad news about wasted vaccine

Ethel C. Fenig
First, the good news: 40 million people did not get swine flu, H1N1.

Now the bad news: But the government thought they would so it over ordered swine flue vaccine doses; 40 million of them, sitting unused, worth $260 million. Their expiration date was yesterday, meaning they must be disposed. So they will be burned, $260 million going up in smoke, further polluting the atmosphere. And in a few months, adding to this flaming record, another 30 million doses will also expire; if millions don't suddenly come down with the flu and require the vaccine--thankfully, highly unlikely--they too will be incinerated, meaning ultimately well over 43% of the swine flu vaccine ordered will be wasted and burned. Does Al Gore know about this?


Further bad news: the people who so grossly overestimated the amount of flu vaccine required are also part of the same government which conceived of government run health care and passed the laws for it before reading them.


Now of course it is impossible to predict accurately how many people will get a certain disease and how many will want/require a vaccine to ward it off. And of course it is better to have too much than too little. But in this case, according to the AP report, the leftover vaccines are nearly three times the usual excess, a new record.

Feel better now?


First, the good news: 40 million people did not get swine flu, H1N1.

Now the bad news: But the government thought they would so it over ordered swine flue vaccine doses; 40 million of them, sitting unused, worth $260 million. Their expiration date was yesterday, meaning they must be disposed. So they will be burned, $260 million going up in smoke, further polluting the atmosphere. And in a few months, adding to this flaming record, another 30 million doses will also expire; if millions don't suddenly come down with the flu and require the vaccine--thankfully, highly unlikely--they too will be incinerated, meaning ultimately well over 43% of the swine flu vaccine ordered will be wasted and burned. Does Al Gore know about this?


Further bad news: the people who so grossly overestimated the amount of flu vaccine required are also part of the same government which conceived of government run health care and passed the laws for it before reading them.


Now of course it is impossible to predict accurately how many people will get a certain disease and how many will want/require a vaccine to ward it off. And of course it is better to have too much than too little. But in this case, according to the AP report, the leftover vaccines are nearly three times the usual excess, a new record.

Feel better now?