The Plot Thickens

It doesn’t matter who is in power, I have a deep-rooted distrust of the government. It’s a good thing.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t think it’s good for anything. I mean, my husband works for the federal government. Governments, big and small, have some usefulness.

But we need to keep an eye on them. Whose best interest do they really protect? Ultimately, their own. And the bigger they are, the worse the self-protectionism gets. So we just need to watch them.

So, let’s look at the H1N1 virus and the vaccine that is in short supply. This article, and others, have been highlighting how there isn’t enough vaccine available to meet demand and that those who are not in a high-risk group are getting it. Selfish people, huh?

So who is most at risk? According to this site:

  • pregnant women
  • those who come in regular contact with anyone under the age of 6 months (from family members to day care workers)
  • those in health care
  • those between the ages of 6 months and 24 years
  • people between the ages of 24 and 64 who have certain medical conditions

Fair enough. I have no argument with that list. If you fall in one of those categories, go get the vaccine, if you can get it.

However, it is very interesting to note that according to that site, those groups make up approximately 159 million people.

I checked this database with 2000 census figures, and people 24 years and younger are about 81 million. So 78 million people are in one of the other categories. Seems a bit high, but I won’t even argue that. Fine 159 million people should get the H1N1 vaccine.

But now I go back to the first article cited, (forgive me for reading a Fox News article. I realize it is opinion journalism, but I did find a second source for the number they used…or is the Wall Street Journal also opinion journalism?). And what started me on this whole rabbit chase was this line:

Because the U.S. has only received about 24 million of the 250 million vaccine doses it ordered

OK. So, we ordered a little extra. 91 million extra. In the U.S., they say that those under 10 should have 2 doses. That’s 39 million people (assuming every single person in that age group got the vaccine). We’re down to 52 million extra doses. Over 30% extra.

Two things:

#1 And we want the government running a health care system? They won’t waste money?

#2 It is not in the government’s best interest to lose money on this deal. It is in the government’s best interest to have every single H1N1 dose used up. And paid for (mainly with private insurance).

So, who do they expect will use up those 52 million surplus vaccines? Are they hoarding them with the intent to resell them at a higher price to another country? Do they intend to frighten the daylights out of everybody in order to create panic and high demand for the vaccine?

If anybody can enlighten me as to why we would order so many extra doses, please do so. For now, I think we just need to pay close attention to what happens if the rest of the order comes in and demand drops.

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6 thoughts on “The Plot Thickens

  1. Is there a demand? The only people I know who have “wanted” to receive it (and have) are the active duty soldiers. Love the number checking.

  2. I want it. I have a house full of asthmatics. Two of us have already had a secondary bacterial pneumonia following an upper respiratory virus this fall (that may or may not have been H1N1). My pediatrician doesn't have it. However, the schools have it. The pediatrician knows which kids are at highest risk. He can't get his hands on it.But the schools have the vaccine and homeschoolers cannot be vaccinated in the public schools. Oh and GITMO–the prisoners there get it, too. As my baby wheezes and I contemplate another winter in isolation…

  3. Maybe the extra is for the rest of the population that is not in those high risk groups? By the way, I want it too, for myself (pregnant) and my kids!

  4. Right. But with a total population of 285 million, 250 milion doses means they expect just about everybody to get a shot. It means they will need just about everybody to get a shot.

    Rachel, the soldiers in Afghanistan have it too. Yes, many of them are under 24 years old, but the rest? Um, not exactly high-risk. No infants in the barracks. No medical issues.

  5. Has anyone asked what might happen if you get the shot and you've already HAD the virus? I wonder if it would mess with your immune system? I'm sure testing for exposure would be too expensive. Yay. Something ELSE to think about.

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