Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Chasing Shots 

The Bush administration gambles and loses on flu vaccine, and has to go crawling for help. But where?

1.) Canada.
"When a drug comes in from Canada I want to make sure it cures you and doesn't kill you. And that's why the F.D.A. and that's why the surgeon general are looking very carefully to make sure it can be done in a safe way. I've got an obligation to make sure our government does everything we can to protect you. And my worry is, is that, you know, it looks like it's from Canada and it might be from a Third World. We've just got to make sure before somebody thinks they're buying a product that that it works. And that's why we're doing what we're doing." -- President Bush, second debate, Oct. 7, 2004
The tainted vaccine which Bush is now asking Canada to help replace was, of course, made by the American company Chiron.
The excess supply of flu vaccine has given Canadians a chance to feel a bit smug about their oft-maligned national health care system.

"Not until everyone in Canada has a flu vaccine. Then you can have some," said Debbie Friesem, 48, a nurse getting her flu shot at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. But wouldn't that be too late for flu season? Her eyes twinkled. "Yes, I guess it would." -- Washington Post, Oct. 20, 2004
2.) France, home of Aventis-Pasteur. No comment necessary.

But the news is all good for some of our most important citizens!
While many Americans search in vain for flu shots, members and employees of Congress are able to obtain them quickly and at no charge from the Capitol's attending physician, who has urged all 535 lawmakers to get the vaccines even if they are young and healthy.

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