Opinion: Forget the rush on that H1N1 swine flu vaccine; 62% of Americans have no intention of getting it anyway
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Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, who recently taught Americans the federally-approved way to sneeze this season, was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
She was trying to explain widespread delays in the delivery of the H1N1 vaccine across the country.
Basically, of course, she said it wasn’t the Obama administration’s fault, that as soon as the vaccines come in, they’re being shipped out immediately by the many thousands of doses.
You know how everyone talks about Americans not making things anymore, that so many manufacturing jobs, for instance, have been shipped overseas?
Well, Sebelius was essentially saying the same goes for flu-vaccine-making.
Four of the world’s five makers are foreign. And we all think we know what that means.
Members of Congress could have been exploring this subject last winter when their latest automatic pay raises took effect.
Instead, Wednesday they expressed shock and dismay at the situation now that it’s October and thousands are already falling ill with the H1N1 virus (see photo above, shown somewhat larger than life).
Also, Purdue University researchers reported the late deliveries may not matter because by the end of this year 63% of Americans will be infected anyway. So, too many doses, too late.
But wait! There’s more.
This morning comes word from a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that almost four parents out of 10 do not believe the vaccine is safe and have no intention of allowing their children to receive it.
More than 60% of adults say they have no intention of getting the vaccine either.
Using an open-ended question, the poll also found the overwhelming reason for rejecting the vaccine this year despite federal warnings and mounting concern about the illness’ seriousness was concern about side effects and disbelief in its safety, especially suspicions that it has been inadequately tested. Other reasons included general ignorance and a belief the illness was probably less serious than the danger of the vaccine.
So much for the persuasive powers of the U.S. federal government. Think about that for a minute: A whopping majority of Americans (62%) would rather risk illness than believe in their government’s urgings of necessity and safety.
-- Andrew Malcolm
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