Flu Vaccine Shortage: Real or Fake?

By Yul

Another flu season — media hyper-hype for everyone to get vaccinated — and another vaccine shortage.

I’m sitting on Karen’s bed on a heating pad with a space heater and a humidifier blowing in my face, toughing out a very nasty cold with nary a drug, and tiny cat nostrils make a stuffy nose particularly miserable. Between catnaps, I’m catching up on the CDC’s excuses. First they tried to incite a pandemic panic. But after their BFF, Big Pharma, failed to deliver enough of the antidote, they’re now saying, “Just keep washing your hands, H1N1 isn’t even as bad as regular flu!” Newspapers across the country are reporting vaccine shortages.

Why? Drug companies say the vaccine is taking longer to make, the virus isn’t multiplying in eggs as much as it needs to, and, “Well, golly gee, we have to make 2 vaccines instead of one!”

Yada, yada, yada.

Big Pharma knows flu comes as surely as death and taxes. The media has gone into overdrive, implying it’s certain death to skip the vaccine by running heart-rending stories about the one in a million who succumbs. Then the drug companies drop the ball and people can’t get vaccinated.

Since their business is making drugs, why are they so inept at vaccines? Every year, it’s like they never made one before.

I think it’s all about profit. When they first said people needed three shots this year (2 for H1N1, one for regular flu) and clinics weren’t stormed with takers, they started singing, “Oh, wait. Never mind. You only need 2 shots.”

Economics 101: If you can’t bilk suckers for triple the price, go for double.

When that also failed to start a stampede, there’s suddenly a vaccine shortage. Last-ditch effort to drive up desirability and price.

Once poo-pooed as too cheap and infrequent, drug companies now smell big bucks in vaccines and are belatedly scrambling to ramp up production — particularly since the media is nurturing a permanent mindset that immortality is yours if you get every inoculation that comes down the pike.

How much you want to bet there will never be another flu season where one shot is enough?


4 Responses to Flu Vaccine Shortage: Real or Fake?

  1. Adele says:

    Yul, you may be right about every subsequent flu season requiring more than one shot. But Alice is very worried about you. Isn’t this your second respiratory infection in the last 6 months or so? Alice sends many kisses and wishes she were there to feed you chicken soup and mop your fevered brow (if cats have fevered brows). She wonders if you have the dog flu or the rat flu and wants condition updates.

    (My computer isn’t having a good day, so I hope this isn’t a duplicate of my first attempt, which seemed to disappear.)

  2. catsworking says:

    Adele, never fear. I have bounced back to my feisty self. I’ll admit I felt lousy for about 5 days with a stuffy nose, but my vitals and appetite never wavered, so I think it just was a cold and not the flu. I stayed in bed (Karen’s), drank plenty of water, and took it easy. I’m still a little sniffly today, but I feel much better. In fact, this morning, after polishing off a nice big bowl of 9-Lives Tuna & Egg, I tried to deconstruct the humidifier to see what makes it tick, then leaped up to the top of the fridge for a siesta.

    Alice’s nursing skills would have been most welcome, but Adele took pretty good care of me.

    It’s true that I do seem to get more of than my fair share of respiratory problems. The vet says I picked up some virus a long time ago that I’ll never be able to shake (Adele also seems to have it, although she seems to have dodged this round, even with me sneezing right in her face), so it’s just something we’ve got to live with.

  3. Zappa says:

    Hi you guys!
    Do kitties get swine flu? My Human was sick at home for a few days and was it ever annoying! If I wanted to get in bed,she was there,if I wanted to nap on the sofa,she was hogging that as well. It turns out she just had a cold but I don’t won’t to risk it. I am very busy this time of year chasing leaves away from the balcony door and I need to be up to speed.


  4. catsworking says:

    Hi, Zappa!

    Sorry to hear your human was sick. Hope things are better now and you’ve got the bed and sofa back. It’s really inconvenient when humans decide to lounge around the house, whatever the reason.

    I have not read anywhere that cats are susceptible to swine flu. I didn’t have it. My symptoms were sniffling, sneezing, and coughing. Everything else was fine. I didn’t even let my stuffy noise ruin my appetite.

    And miraculously, Karen, Adele, and Cole didn’t catch anything from me, even though we shared bowls (well, not Karen; she has her own bowls) and I never coughed and sneezed into my elbow, like they tell people to do. Adele took a couple of good ones right in the face, and she’s OK.

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