Three weeks ago, I walked into an elevator and stood next to a middle-aged woman. I didn’t notice the younger woman squatting in the corner next to her until the doors closed, or else I’d have waited for the next car. Dressed in flannel pajamas and a messy ponytail, she held a large ceramic mixing bowl up to her greenish and pale face. Then I realized she was pregnant. She had the flu, and her mother was taking her the hospital. I hoped this young mother and her unborn baby would be okay. The H1N1 vaccine was not readily available in Portland. The virus had gotten her before she could do anything to prevent it. It seemed so unfair.
There was a discussion on the news yesterday about what’s fair. Several large Wall Street corporations have received 200 doses each, of the H1N1 vaccine for their employees. It’s the same amount of doses given to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. The vaccine was acquired legally. Since H1N1 flu has been declared a national emergency, and many high risk patients are standing in long lines to receive the vaccine, the question has to be asked: is it fair for large corporations to receive the vaccine for their employees first?
Watch this NBC news video, and see what you think.