Tonight, at 6:30pm, at the Boston Public Library, there’s a meeting “Preparing Boston Residents for Pandemic Flu.” I’m going, but with a great deal of pessimism.
The reason I’m pessimistic, as I’ve said so many times on this blog, every year roughly 36,000 U.S. residents die from ‘ordinary’ influenza. We know how to make the vaccine. We could, if we so desired, produce sufficient vaccine. We know whom we should be vaccinating to maximize the vaccine’s effectiveness (and, no, we don’t routinely vaccinate those people–5 to 18 year olds). And doing all things things would be the needed infrastructure for a vaccination program for pandemic flu.
So, I’ll go, but I wonder: if we can’t even manage an entirely predictable outbreak, how the hell are we going to do anything about pandemic flu?