Saturday, October 16, 2004


Flu shots save lives. Three years ago, medical experts warned George Bush that a dangerous shortage loomed. Instead of fixing the problem, production of the vaccine was outsourced to a factory overseas - the vaccines were contaminated. Now Bush wants Canada to help, even though his own policies make it illegal for us to import medicine from Canada. Meanwhile, there isn’t enough vaccine for seniors, children, and pregnant women. Another mess caused by George Bush’s wrong-headed priorities. It's time for a new direction. Bush can’t even handle the flu, can we trust him to handle a biological terrorist attack on the United States

-- About 36,000 Americans Die from Flu Each Year. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Fact Sheet: What Everyone Should Know About Flu and the Flu Vaccine," 10/6/04,

-- Up to 180 Million Americans Could Benefit from a Flu Shot. (Washington Post, 10/13/04)

-- Vaccination Cuts Flu-Related Deaths by 70-80 percent Among Seniors. (World Health Organization, "Influenza: Overview," Fact Sheet No. 211, Revised March 2003,

-- 2001 GAO: "No System to Ensure that High Risk People Have Priority When the Supply of Vaccine is Short." (General Accounting Office, "Flu Vaccine: Supply Problems Heighten Need to Ensure Access for High-Risk People," GAO-01-624, 5/15/01, p. 3,

-- GAO: Shortfall by Even One Manufacturer "Can Significantly Impact Overall Vaccine Availability". (General Accounting Office, GAO-01-624, 5/15/01, p. 22,

-- GAO: Still No System to Ensure that Vaccines Reach Neediest in the Event of a Shortage. (Janet Heinrich, Government Accountability Office (GAO), Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, 9/28/04, p. 11,

-- Contaminated Vaccines Discovered at U.S. Vaccine-Maker's British Plant. (Washington Post, 10/6/04)

-- Bush: "We're Working with Canada". "We're working with Canada to hopefully -- that they'll produce a -- help us realize the vaccine necessary to make sure our citizens have got flu vaccinations during this upcoming season." (Bush remarks, Third Presidential Debate (Tempe, Arizona), 10/13/04)

-- Bush's Own Health Secretary Said "Doubtful" Vaccines from Canada Would Be Approved in Time. (Orlando Sentinel, 10/15/04)

-- Bush Administration Policy Prohibits Americans from Importing Low-Cost Drugs from Canada. "H.R. 2427 (to allow the re-importation of prescription drugs) is dangerous legislation. It would expose Americans to greater potential risk of harm from unsafe or ineffective drugs..." (Office of Management and Budget, SAP on HR 2472, 7/23/03,

-- Congressional Research Service Reports Have Concluded Canadian Drugs Are Just as Safe as Those in the US. Congressional Research Service issued reports in 2001 and 2003, concluding both times that the Canadian drug supply was safe for importation to the US. It found that medications manufactured and distributed in Canada meet or surpass quality control guidelines set by the FDA. (New York Times, 6/21/03; Knight Ridder, 11/27/03; USA Today, 8/12/03)


At 2:28 PM, Blogger Tony R said...

What do you propose we do about it, then? What US companies have the capability to produce the millions of flu vaccinations that we want/need?


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