There’s a line forming for the pandemic vaccine that doesn’t yet exist. Sort of like a new Harry Potter book except it’s not first come first served. Like a sinking ship, it’s (pregnant) women and children first — or among the first. The deployed military? Police, I understand. But deployed military? They come ahead of critical infrastructure (power, water, communications) and older children? They come ahead of food and agricultural workers?
“Certain military personnel like deployed forces would get vaccinated before certain other military personnel,” HHS science adviser William Raub said in a telephone interview. (Reuters)
We haven’t yet seen the report setting out the vaccination priorities (as of this writing it has yet to appear on pandemicflu.gov) and so far it is only a draft for public comment.
And comment I hope will come. This is a subject that demands public discussion. My first reaction is that our military misadventures are already costing us dearly in blood, treasure and opportunity. Putting deployed military at the head of the line doesn’t make sense to me on any score. If the question is maintaining public order, we should use the police and in extremis a state’s National Guard. Pregnant women and toddlers are a reasonable priority as they are at high risk from pandemic flu virus, as are school aged children who act as transmitters. When they are sick they also prevent their parents from working. Doctors, health care workers and critical infrastructure all belong towards the head of the line, too. But deployed military? If we want them to get pandemic flu vaccine, let’s bring them home so they can get back to work making life better, not destroying it.
You can read more about the draft plans in Maggie Fox’s excellent Reuters piece linked in the pull quote. Presumably the report will appear on the internet soon.