Wall Street Corporations Don’t Have to Stand in Line for H1N1 Vaccine

     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.


The H1N1 Vaccine: I Took One for the Team


Romeo & Juliette

Romeo & Juliette 2009 oil on unstretched canvas artist: JParadisi


 This post is in response to  a post by Shawn Kennedy MA, RN, interim editor-in-chief of the AJN blog,  Off the Chart. Read the original post here:


     I stood in line and took the H1N1 vaccine.

     I didn’t do it out of guilt, or because of media induced panic. When it came down to it, I did it because of a child I love, and for a close family member who is pregnant. That’s all. I don’t want to catch the virus at work, and give it to either of these people.  So far, my arm hasn’t fallen off or anything. 

     I respect every health care worker’s right to make their own decision about the vaccine.  Of course, all kinds of parallels can be drawn from this issue, including the rights of smokers to smoke, the right to drink soda without taxation, the right to drive without a seat belt, be overweight, or ride a bicycle without a helmet. 

    One characteristic of effective conflict resolution between two parties is to stay issue focused. Otherwise, indeed, “slippery-slope” thinking occurs.  A health care worker may not want the H1N1 vaccination, but be pro-life.  One doesn’t necessarily support the other.  

     I agree, the arguments are similar, but one issue at a time, please.

(late entry/clarification: I am not advocating for the above listed behaviors.  I think that not smoking is probably the single most  important thing an idividual can do to stay healthy. The list simply illustrates that we live in a society which creates laws regarding personal freedoms.)