If you want to blame Obama and his administration for something you'd do better to ask why they've put so many people's lives at risk by creating a shortage of seasonal flu vaccine.
Which is the strategic decision that was made based on the seriousness of this particular strain of flu Grinch:
"One of the perceptions we've been trying to dispel is that this is a mild disease," she said in a telephone interview.
"This can be very severe. In this paper, 30 percent of patients required intensive care."
Overall, 11 percent of people who were hospitalized died, but among people 50 and older, 18 to 20 percent died.
The most common causes of death were viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
As with other studies, obesity appeared to play a significant role in the severity of disease.
In the 268 cases of adults over 20 whose weight was known, 58 percent were obese, with a body mass index of over 30, and of these, 67 percent were morbidly obese, with a BMI of over 40.
BMI is equal to weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. A person 5 feet 5 inches tall becomes obese at 180 pounds (82 kg).
"There definitely is something that is standing out as far as the obesity issue," Louie said.
"We certainly don't see the same thing with seasonal flu."
Louie said in California, the flu has caused shortages of antiviral drugs and of N95 respirator masks, but so far, based on her contact with doctors in the state, swine flu has not overwhelmed hospitals.
A report by Trust for America's Health suggested a mild pandemic could send as many as 168,025 people in California to the hospital. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,571566,00.html
You wanna argue with Fox News?
This is just another reason validating the need for Fox News......
Wha? um.... I don't get it.
Regardless -- on John Kerry -- I don't disagree with his criticism of GW for the seasonal flu vaccine shortage in 2004 -- the government was warned of the inadequacy and had plenty of time to address it.
Five years later it is still ridiculous to be dependent on a vaccine manufacturing system that was tooled in the 1950's. We should have responded as resoundingly as if airplanes were slamming into buildings.
I only give Obama a pass because I don't think from the time he took office on 1/20/09 until 4/09 when the pandemic was identified that there was time to address the way we deliver flu vaccinations.
In 1931, viral growth in embryonated hens' eggs was discovered, and in the 1940s, the US military developed the first approved inactivated vaccines for influenza, which were used in the Second World War (Baker 2002, Hilleman 2000). Greater advances were made in vaccinology and immunology, and vaccines became safer and mass-produced. Today, thanks to the advances of molecular technology, we are on the verge of making influenza vaccines through the genetic manipulation of influenza genes (Couch 1997, Hilleman 2002).[
Imagine that -- the 'market' had nothing to do with the original development of flu vaccines. The military did it -- because they were doing their job -- protecting us -- not in it for profit.
Flu vaccine is usually grown in fertilized chicken eggs.
As of November 2007, both the conventional injection and the nasal spray are manufactured using chicken eggs. The European Union has also approved Optaflu, a vaccine produced by Novartis using vats of animal cells. This technique is expected to be more scalable and avoid problems with eggs, such as allergic reactions and incompatibility with strains that affect avians like chickens. A DNA-based vaccination, which is hoped to be even faster to manufacture, is currently in clinical trials, but has not yet been proven safe and effective. Research continues into the idea of a "universal" influenza vaccine (but no vaccine candidates have been announced) which would not need to be tailored to work on particular strains, but would be effective against a broad variety of influenza viruses.
In a 2007 report, the current global capacity of approximately 826 million seasonal influenza vaccine doses (inactivated and live) was double the current production of 413 million doses. In an aggressive scenario of producing pandemic influenza vaccines by 2013, only 2.8 billion courses could be produced in a six-month time frame. If all high- and upper-middle-income countries sought vaccines for their entire populations in a pandemic, nearly 2 billion courses would be required. If China pursued this goal as well, more than 3 billion courses would be required to serve these populations. Vaccine research and development is ongoing to identify novel vaccine approaches that could produce much greater quantities of vaccine at a price that is affordable to the global population.
An effective method of vaccine generation that bypasses the need for eggs is the construction of "influenza virus-like particle (VLP)". VLP is a non-egg, non-mammalian cell culture-based vaccine, purified from the supernatants of Spodoptera frugiperda Sf9 insect cells following infection of baculovirus vectors encoding an expression cassette comprised of only three influenza virus structural proteins, hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), and matrix (M1) VLPs elicit antibodies that recognize a broader panel of antigenically distinct viral isolates compared to other vaccines in the hemagglutination-inhibition (HAI) assay. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flu_vaccine
Now, where might we be at this moment if Bush had declared 'moon-shot' status for development of pandemic vaccines when he was warned of the situation?
I do disagree with the WAY that John Kerry framed the criticism though because he didn't bother to tell us WHY it was Bush's problem -- because -- that would have pointed a finger at Bill.
Bush clearly inherited the problem. He clearly squandered his opportunity to address it.