Sunday, October 17, 2004

Iowa Gov. Vilsack blames Bush for flu vaccine shortage

Gov. Tom Vilsack said the Bush administration should be held responsible for a vaccine shortage (read complete story) that could result in substantially more deaths from the flu.

Speaking in a conference call Saturday sponsored by Sen. John Kerry's campaign, Vilsack said the vaccine shortage will likely increase significantly the number of illnesses and deaths this year.

He said the vaccine shortage is "a senior citizen nightmare."

Iowa has the nation's largest population of citizens 85 and older, and has more than 1,000 flu deaths each year.

Vilsack said the Bush administration ignored a warning about vaccine supplies in a 2001 report from the General Accounting Office.

He said Bush failed to act again in 2003 when his administration received specific information about contamination problems at the British vaccine plant that was closed down.
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