Lack of the Swine Flu Vaccine Puts Western New Yorkers at Greater Risk of the Disease
(Depew, NY) Senator Dale M. Volker (R-C-I-, Depew) today urged Governor Paterson and the New York State Department of Health to look into the inequitable disbursement of H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine. The Buffalo News today brought to light that New York City has plentiful supplies of the vaccine, even allowing for the vaccine to be distributed to private sector businesses, yet western New York hospitals and other healthcare providers are still waiting for sufficient doses of the vaccine.
“Something is very wrong when New York City recently announced that they will be have a five-week program to provide free H1N1 vaccine to middle and high school students in all five boroughs in the City, said Senator Volker. “They are even talking about having weekend vaccination centers, held in varying locations in each borough during November and December, that designed to ensure that all school-age New Yorkers have a chance to be inoculated. Yet, we in western New York are struggling to just get enough vaccine just to protect those who are in high-risk groups. It’s blatantly clear that there is a problem with the distribution of the H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine, and I am asking Governor Paterson and the New York State Commissioner of Health to look into this matter immediately.”
Swine flu has swept the country, with 48 states reporting widespread activity to the CDC. Just last week, the CDC reported that since April, when the pandemic began, it has received reports of 114 laboratory-confirmed H1N1 deaths in children, especially those older than 4 and with underlying medical conditions that increase their risks. Moreover, visits to doctors for influenza-like illness increased steeply in the week ending Oct. 24, and overall, doctors visits and flu-related hospitalizations are much higher than expected for this time of year.
“Western New Yorkers should not be placed at a disadvantage to other parts of the state. When the City of New York can give out free H1N1 vaccinations at no charge for a five week period, and we in western New York don’t have enough just to treat high-risk individuals, there is obviously something wrong with the distribution process.