Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Flu Vaccine Redux

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that all the uproar about how Bush single-handedly caused all the senior citizens to face immediate death from a bout of influenza has not exactly worked out that way. When the contamination of the vaccine plant in England reduced our supply of flu vaccine last Fall we had a gigantic uproar and seniors were waiting all night in lines to get the shots. People who had not gotten a shot for years suddenly had to have one because there was a shortage.

Well, the flu season is now about over and the verdict is in. We have flu vaccine left over and it will become useless since it can't be stored to use next season. That, by the way, is the reason drug companies don't go into the flu vaccine business. They can't set the price because of government interference and it is impossible to estimate how much vaccine will be needed in a given year. Therefore, the company is guaranteed to either make too much or not enough vaccine each year and they lose either way.

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