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The Waste of Vaccines

Last month, I posted an article about the cooling "demand" for the flu vaccine, fueled by a mild flu season, the alleged "disparity" of the vaccine shortage and, very wisely, people taking far better care of their health by using natural tools such as exercise.

Looks like some of the warnings about vaccines posted on sites like mine are getting some attention. In the throws of a milder flu season than the "experts" anticipated, there are new concerns the cobbled-together vaccine supply will be wasted. Although some states (Florida, Louisiana and Pennsylvania) have shortages or waiting lists, California, Minnesota and Arizona have vaccines to spare and share shipping them to other states.

Of course, to rid themselves of some of that demand and waste late last month, the CDC recommended states lower their age restrictions on flu shots from 65 to 50, but one California immunization expert said the federal agency was "too slow to adapt" to the situation. In the meantime, Aventis-Pasteur is still holding onto more than 3 million vaccines and GlaxoSmith Kline plans to ship more than 1 million from Europe.

Sad thing is, the CDC had the kind of information at their fingertips that would've prevented the needless panic over the flu vaccine "shortage" in the first place. Take a look at a comprehensive report of deaths in 2002 from the CDC. Less than 800 people -- not 36,000 as was widely dispensed as fact -- died directly because of the flu.

The numbers tell the story here folks!

USA Today January 7, 2005

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