Dr. John Eisold, faced with the untimely arrival of even more (previously ordered) flu vaccine to dispense to members of Congress—even as the media were savaging him for urging all 535 members to help themselves to the precious stuff—wised up today and donated it all to Washington, D.C.’s Hospital Association and Health department. Or perhaps House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill “Roll Up Your Sleeve and Make a Fist” Frist wised up for him. Capitol Hill’s long immunization nightmare is over.
Meanwhile, Dale Galassi, executive director of the health department in Lake County, Ill., rightly wonders why the Chicago Bears, a football team that’s notably short on players who are under two, over 65, or pregnant, helped itself to flu vaccine even as 16 clinics in the area were shutting down because they didn’t have any. Writing in the Oct. 22 Chicago Tribune, Melissa Isaacson and David Haugh reported that the official stance of da Bears is
1.) Medical issues are private;
2.) Only players suffering from “asthma-type conditions” were vaccinated.
But that’s not what the players told the Tribune. They said every team member was offered a flu shot. About half the team’s 60-odd players accepted; the other half demurred, several on ethical grounds. (The Chicago Bulls were vaccinated, too, but that was on Oct. 4, one day before the shortage was announced.)