John M. Kunst, Jr.: Vaccine conspiracy against seniors?
Kudos to Dr. Joanne Stolen for her excellent reporting on the important reasons why seniors should ignore earlier government risk assessments and get vaccinated against H1N1. Dr. Stolen takes the Center for Disease Control’s current statistics and shows how the lethal effects of H1N1 on seniors is far greater than any other risk group.To her credit, Dr. Stolen is not judgmental about the conclusions reached by the government when H1N1 first became an issue. Dr. Stolen labels the government’s earlier prioritization of risk groups eligible for the limited vaccine as either mistaken or misleading. Those of us who are a bit more skeptical can question the reasons for the earlier assessments that told seniors: “Don’t worry. You are not at risk.” Common sense tells me that decision was deliberate and deceitful.Consider first that H1N1 was feared to be a pandemic with devastating consequences that were surely to affect the young, not their elders. With limited available vaccine, the CDC and its parent, the Health & Human Services Administration, made a deliberate decision to place seniors in the lowest priority group for receiving the vaccine. HHS somehow, and magically, concluded that the risk to seniors was far less than any other group. Based on what? I ask.It is commonly understood by most discerning people that the flu, whatever variety might be involved, is hard on the elderly because long life has also brought with it deteriorating health and a boxcar full of other maladies that do not respond well to the flu. Why, in heaven’s name, would the government conclude, with no other science to rely upon, that H1N1 would give seniors a pass this time?I submit that with a limited supply of the vaccine, an unknown impact upon the health of all of our citizens, and the knowledge that all risk groups could not be protected, a decision was made to allow the lethal impact to fall upon those who represent the greatest financial burden to our health care system, our seniors.Before liberals knee-jerk against the Sarah Palin’s who speak of the inevitability of death panels under any government run health care program, just ask yourself upon what factual, statistical basis the government concluded that seniors, the least healthy among us, were the least likely to need the H1N1 vaccine when our real world experience of the last few months confirmed common sense and shows that seniors died in greater numbers than any other risk group? I could accept a conclusion that said: based upon our limited vaccine supply, seniors must take a pass because you have lived longer and enjoyed life that might be denied to the vulnerable youth who need a chance at the life you have enjoyed. In the face of a lethal pandemic, that’s a fair choice. Not lies and deceit. Think about it.
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