Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cheyenne health care forum: H1N1 vaccine

Dr. Brent Sherard, the state's chief medical officer, spoke last night about another big issue that I forgot to mention.

Before the forum's major interruption, Mike Bell asked Dr. Sherard about certain rumors circulating on the web and on at least one major media outlet (guess which one?) that the H1N1 (swine flu) virus is tainted and people should avoid it.

He dismissed the rumors. It's perfectly safe, he said, and noted that the vaccine was the result of lots of work and plenty of oversight. "I've worked in government for eight-and-one-half years," he said. "You spend a lot of time soliciting opinions and getting input for something that's good for the majority. And then you formulate a plan."

Although he only implied it -- this is also why it's taking so long to distribute the vaccine. All this cogitation takes time. Laramie County Health Department has received some H1N1 vaccine and expects a lot more. Meanwhile, it's running short of the seasonal flu vaccine because citizens like me have come in for their shots. One flu shot is better than no flu shot -- that may be the way people are viewing this. I've been getting a seasonal flu shot for 15 years and only got the flu once. That was two years ago, I think, when government planners distributed a flu vaccine that didn't cover all the strains circulating that year. The flu kept me out of work for a week. But it might have been worse had I not had the shot.

That was the fall of 2007. Come to think of it, that was right about the time that I began to take Barack Obama seriously as a presidential candidate. I wasn't on board yet, but something about Obama got my attention for the first time. I liked the cut of his jib, the content of his speeches.

Could the strange flu vaccine of ought-seven have been doctored to be Obama-friendly? But why would Bush Administration health officials hatch such a plan? Perhaps they didn't take Obama seriously and they thought if more of us got on his bandwagon, fewer of us would join Hillary Clinton's campaign express. Hillary was No. 1. She was the real threat, after all, not some newly-elected African-American Senator from Illinois with the very off-putting name (for patriots anyway) of Barack Hussein Obama.

Genius, I tell you. Sheer genius!

P.S.: For the truth about H1N1 and the vaccine, visit The CDC reports on its web site that 11,400 units of H1N1 vaccine have been issued to various locales in Wyoming (as of 10/16/09).

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