Boy, isn't this a little f*cking late
Bush Presses Vaccine Makers on Bird Flu. Calling for an effort to get a flu vaccine out and ready at this point only calls attention to the fact that this Administration just doesn’t take preparedness seriously at any level.
The Chimperor should have taken action after last winter’s vaccine shortage produced images from all over the country of high-risk people and the elderly in wheelchairs falling asleep in line waiting for access to the regular flu shot. Now we’re facing a possible pandemic and he’s just now calling a meeting.
President Bush summoned vaccine manufacturers to a White House meeting Friday, hoping to personally boost the rickety industry amid increasing fears of a worldwide outbreak of bird flu. It’s the latest in a flurry of preparations for a possible pandemic after criticism of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
This month, vaccine maker Sanofi-Pasteur begins the first mass production of a new vaccine that promises to protect against bird flu, producing $100 million worth of inoculations for a government stockpile.
But it would take months to create a new vaccine from scratch if a different strain of bird flu than today’s known as H5N1 emerges. Even if the vaccine works, Sanofi is producing enough to protect anywhere from 2 million to 20 million people — depending on how much must be put into each dose — and it’s not clear when or where similar large stockpiles could be made.