Vaccine Program

Meanwhile, the President, who while being able to recognize the opportunity to show his decisiveness had failed to do so and instead, resorted to the safer measures, that is to announce in a press conference his approval of the National Flu Vaccine Program. This shifted the burden of responsibility from him to the Congress. This of course, was done with the theatrics of having Nobel Prize winners behind him during the announcement, signifying empirical back-up. The President would have made a different choice had he persisted on his questions.

He knew the right questions; he was smart enough to at least be interested in knowing the probability of having an outbreak. Unfortunately, he too weighed the political implications of whatever decision he would make. As it turned out, he too was up for re-election. In the end, although the President had the sense to make a justified decision, he satisfied himself with infirm assurances of his subordinates that did not even guarantee the likelihood of the epidemic and the creation and distribution of vaccines.

At that time, there were still problems in the manufacturing of vaccines; distribution before the outbreak could not be guaranteed. In the same way as the President, Krester, the Department Secretary made an error of just conceding to Traister’s recommendations. This, despite the fact that she, being the superior had the power to overturn or if not, at least to decide to gather more evidence before bringing the matter to the White House and requesting for an $800M appropriation.

The decision was as quickly made and was based on the same infirm ground that a greater than zero probability must be assumed and therefore, the government must prepare at such magnitude for an impending pandemic. She even went as far as asserting in her request that there was actually evidence that there would be a major avian flu epidemic. Still, unlike the others, what moved Krester to concede was not her desire to be re-elected but her concern for the media leakage even if she rejected the proposition.

In the end, Krester’s position was as well, politically-motivated. Minkler, the head of Families United would have been powerful to at least stall the passing by the Congress of the $400M appropriation if she focused on what needed to be done and installed more adept persons in the Congress, in this case, the lobbyists, instead of improving her visibility.

The latter is evidenced by the fact that she supported the immunization program without the information that she would have gotten through the lobbyists who were adept in navigating through the agencies and who had information about the misgivings about the vaccination program. While some officials and even the media may be commended for expressing their misgivings about the said program, such expression would have amounted more if these officials had not resigned with the slightest hint of rejection.

During the second meeting presided by Dr. Traister, the Director of State health Department in the West cost, Dr. Bell had expressed her opinion about the option of stockpiling until there are clearer signs that would warrant the massive State immunization program. Her concern about the need for caution when considering the possibility of immediate vaccination had at least a better foundation than Traister’s proposition. But having been expressed dispassionately, it created only unsubstantial impact. No more arguments/efforts were made by Dr. Bell to insist about her concerns.

In sum, proponents of nationwide immunization are seriously considering the mere possibility of a pandemic, and the fact that the unknown viruses that struck some of the athletes were indeed the avian influenza virus. According to them, a probability that …

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Similarly, the mid-level budget officials who immediately saw through the plan, and were in agreement that there was insufficient evidence to justify the Immunization plan, did not in any way bother expressing their opinions. They knew what was happening but …

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