Many reports in the past week have claimed that 71 million doses of H1N1 vaccine are being wasted in the US. Earlier reports, based on telephone surveys, said 70-80 million doses had been used already.
The Wall Street Journal, quoting CDC offical Anne Schuchat, M.D., earlier claimed (along with other media outlets) that 251 million doses had been ordered for the US. The date was October 19, 2009. On May 4, 2010, NPR said the US ordered 229 million doses of vaccine. This isn’t the first time Schuchat’s figures didn’t add up.
If you subtract 80 million (a generous figure for doses administered) from 251 million ordered, you have 171 million doses left, not 71.
Now, Reuters reports that “Sebelius said last month that 162 million doses were produced and distributed, but only 90 million actually got into people’s arms or noses.” Why do these numbers keep changing? I have a sneaking suspicion the other 70-90 million doses are still in government storage, and were never distributed… allowing a clever wordsmith like Sibelius to “disappear” them.
And here is some evidence for that suspicion:
The CDC findings were released on the same day that Washington Post staff writer Rob Stein noted that there were 138 million unused doses of the vaccine remaining. Of those, approximately 60 million will be donated to poor countries or stored for future use, but more than 71 million vaccines have already been placed in vials or syringes and must be used or disposed of by their expiration dates.
CDC has let the cat out of the bag. Presumably because increasing numbers of Americans are vaccinated for flu each year, while the number and rate of flu deaths never drops… CDC will recommend flu shots for ALL Americans stating this year. That must be because the flu vaccination program is so successful… for vaccine manufacturers and the CDC careerists they are in bed with. (Hi Julie Gerberding, how’s that job at Merck Vaccines going?) And these days, a few billion taxpayer dollars for flu is just chicken feed, anyway.
Swedish swine flu vaccine cost $121 million. Sweden has 9 million people. The US vaccine was more expensive than European vaccine, since we omitted novel adjuvants and instead used more antigen. It will be very interesting to see if DHHS produces the facts about what the H1N1 flu vaccine cost, and how many doses were purchased, in response to Senator Grassley’s inquiry.
UPDATE May 24: Ohio has 2.5 million unwanted swine flu doses, of which 1.5 million are already expired.