USA Today: Defense Contractors Got H1N1 Vaccine Before Schools and Hospitals Did
Corporate offices at defense contractors and energy companies in Texas received doses of swine flu vaccine at a time when the vaccine was in short supply and the state's hospitals and schools were receiving none, says a news report published Tuesday.
USA Today reports that Bell Helicopter received 100 doses and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics received 80 doses in October or early November, when the vaccine was scarce. Energy companies Chevron (190 doses) ExxonMobil (160 doses), Dow Chemical (170 doses) and ConocoPhillips (110 doses) also received shipments the newspaper says were destined for the companies' corporate clinics.
"Thousands of registered providers — doctors, hospitals, schools, pharmacies — in Texas alone got no doses in that period," USA Today reports.
A memorandum circulated in October by Lockheed Martin indicates the company either did not expect to receive the H1N1 vaccine, or was keeping its corporate supply a secret from the rank-and-file.
"A limited supply of H1N1 vaccine is expected to be available from public health authorities in mid-October for high-risk individuals, but corporations including Lockheed Martin are not expected initially to have the vaccine to provide directly to employees," the memorandum stated.
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