Tags: flu | vaccine | public | option

Public Options Lag for Flu Vaccine

Monday, 15 Mar 2010 05:42 PM

By Susan Estrich

My internist told me he now is using the technique he learned many decades ago in the military, when supplies of vaccine were short and he had to split doses.

I wouldn't even think of asking. But I did ask my rheumatologist, since rheumatoid arthritis is one of those things that makes getting the flu worse. He would have been happy to give me a flu shot — I'm talking regular flu here, not the swine kind — but he was out.

First come, first served.

I was all set to get it at the one-day clinic in the lobby of the building where I work, but it turned out that I had to go to something ridiculous like a hearing that day and missed the morning hours. Imagine, work getting in the way. There were no afternoon hours.

Of course, I've tried all the drugstores. I know I should have started there, and if I had, I would have been flu-ready a long time ago. But, you see, that was my mistake. How stupid of me to think that, if my local mega-branch of a national drugstore chain had flu vaccine, my internist and rheumatologist definitely would. Flu vaccine as a doorbuster. Pick up some mouthwash while you're there. Brilliant — of them, not me.

How dumb can you be? I discussed it with my psychiatrist. She didn't have any flu vaccine, either. But she filed her application to be a national immunization center, right there on the couch, so hopefully next year she will be able to take care of her patients, most of whom are, like me, vaccination-challenged.

Every day, I listen on the radio as the country brags about how many people it has vaccinated that day. I think about how many it hasn't.

My secretary made it to the clinic at work, but it wasn't vaccinating pregnant women. I understand that many places won't vaccinate women of that age unless they are pregnant, because pregnant women are at the top of the priority list. But no, not here. Whoever they were, their insurance didn't cover pregnant women.

So, since her obstetrician didn't have any vaccine and her son's pediatrician didn't have any vaccine, instead of coming to work the next morning, she drove 25 miles in the wrong direction to be one of the first in line at the county clinic, putting her among those numbers I hear at the end of the day.

At least she's doing better than I am.

The polls are all over the map about where the public stands on the so-called "public option," as well they should be. In my classes, I call it the "free hot-dog stand." But I certainly can't tell you how it will run or how long the lines will be, much less the price tag. So how can you know if you're for it, much less want it?

Yet, everyone you talk to has an opinion about the distribution of vaccine this flu season. And I've yet to hear too many good ones.

I'm sure there are plenty of people and entities to blame for what's gone wrong. But since the government very obviously is running the show when it comes to the distribution of vaccine, it's not exactly a reassuring introduction to some kind of "public option."

Some big improvements, and explanations, are in order — sooner than later — before this nasty virus taints the public option.

© Creators Syndicate Inc.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Why Romney Can't Win in 2016

Friday, 30 Jan 2015 08:18 AM

Romney hasn't had just one chance. If he runs again, it will be his third effort at the top spot. If the first run is th . . .

Actor's Stand for Diversity Lost in Translation

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 09:31 AM

Actions matter more. Beliefs matter more. Words matter in part because they convey beliefs, and there is no question, if . . .

Women's Rights Shamefully Assaulted Again

Friday, 23 Jan 2015 09:32 AM

These days, it's the Republicans who are squirming about abortion, and not very discreetly. They made all kinds of noise . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved