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Wasting Taxpayer Dollars On Worthless Vaccines

In another case of a state government wasting precious taxpayer dollars, the state of Illinois may have to cough up $2.5 million for some 250,000 flu shots it bought from a British wholesaler last winter that the state never used.

Originally, the vaccine purchase was part of collective effort with three other areas (Cleveland, New York City and New Mexico) to fill the void left when Chiron's complete supply of 48 million flu vaccines were found to be contaminated last fall.

However, Illinois never received any of those flu vaccines because, in a strange twist where a federal agency did something right to protect the health of its citizens, the FDA withheld its approval because it couldn't guarantee the safety of the shots! Also, because last year's flu season was a non-event by all measurements, a shortage became a surplus, leaving the state with an unpaid bill.

I'm not happy my state or any other justifies capital expenditures for things like flu vaccines containing as much as 25 micrograms of mercury per dose. That means virtually anyone who gets a flu shot receives an overdose of mercury (the safe limit calculated by the FDA is 0.1 mcg/kg).

If all these numbers scare you -- and they should -- I hope you'll consider signing up for my upcoming Flu Vaccine TeleClinic Saturday, Aug. 13.

USA Today August 3, 2005

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