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Archive for Thursday, October 21, 2004

Vaccine debacle

October 21, 2004

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To the editor:

Had an interesting phone conversation with the health department about flu vaccine Monday morning. If I understand what I was told, our local response to this challenge is to convert a bioterrorism exercise that would have provided free vaccine to a healthy population in return for their participation into a bioterrorism exercise that provides flu vaccine to the old, the infirm and the vulnerable (at-risk population) on a first-come, first-served basis if they can stand in line long enough.

Maybe I am the only one who thinks that there might be a better way to address this challenge without bringing such a vulnerable population together to share the various maladies they already have. Is our purpose to have an exercise or to deal with a medical challenge?

Perhaps the Journal-World could use the penetrating eye of the press to find out if our law-givers have something more comprehensive in mind. Maybe the patients in the assisted living facilities and other even more vulnerable populations are somehow going to be addressed (not so according to what I was told)?

You would think that as the self-appointed leader of the world, we could manage a vaccine shortage in a more equitable and rational manner.

George Lippencott,

Lawrence

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