All vaccines have a shelf life, and the first Bird Flu shots are reaching theirs. This has reduced the number of available vaccines by approximately
one million. A significant amount, considering there were only four million available.
The government is stockpiling antiflu medications and a small amount of H5N1 vaccine in case the bird flu or some other super-strain sparks the next
influenza pandemic. Here's the rub: If such a super-flu began circulating, it would take several months to begin brewing vaccine that was an exact
genetic match. But the hope is that if H5N1 were the culprit, health workers and certain other people at high risk might get some protection from
shots made against earlier strains of that virus.
The first batches in the nation's stockpile were brewed using an H5N1 strain that circulated in 2004. Now, manufacturers are brewing vaccine using a
newer strain that circulated in Indonesia last year. With that updated version, HHS expects to have enough shots for another 5 million people sometime
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In my opinion, the panic surrounding Bird Flu is more by design rather than a true imminent threat. H5N1 has been around for a long time, and it has
yet to mutate and spread human-to-human.
Regardless, if a pandemic were to spark, it is clear nobody is prepared for it. There's really only one thing we could do... Duck and Cover.
Yup. If something were to happen, there's very few people that would receive a vaccine. The rest of us would just have to stay cooped up
indoors, as few would make the pecking order. Who knows... a nuke fight could break out following the pandemic, and we wouldn't have to worry about
it. We'd all be extra crispy!
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