Friday, July 2, 2010

Tossing away swine flu vaccine in the UK and US, and storing millions of Tamiflu doses

According to the AP. in the US, "the government placed three orders last year for a combined total of nearly 200 million doses — an unprecedented amount and almost double the amount of vaccine made in recent years for seasonal flu."
About a quarter of the swine flu vaccine produced for the U.S. public has expired — meaning that a whopping 40 million doses worth about $260 million are being written off as trash.

The UK wasted more than 1.2 billion pounds on swine flu, and now must slash healthcare jobs in response, according to the Mail Online:
More than £1.2billion of taxpayers’ money was spent on the swine flu pandemic that never materialised, a report has found...

Details of the scale of the cost emerge as the NHS is being forced to make drastic cuts, with hundreds of doctors and nurses’ posts at risk.
Stockpile: Millions of doses of Tamiflu are stacked ready for distribution in a British warehouse

At the height of the panic last year, ministers feared there could be as many as 65,000 deaths and ordered 90 million doses of the vaccine at a cost of £540million.
In fact yesterday’s report revealed that just 457 people died from swine flu – about a third of those killed every year by ordinary seasonal flu.

Many of those victims had underlying health conditions.
As a result, just 5.1 million doses of the vaccine were used, leaving the Department of Health with as many as 20million doses which will be out of date by October next year.

A report by the British Medical Association this week revealed that some hospitals are already axing up to 500 staff over the next year.   And last month it emerged that one in six primary care trusts has been forced to slash services after each spent an average of £340,000 preparing for swine flu.

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