Thursday, November 12, 2009

Swine flu costs rising... $1.5 billion and counting

Cost of swine flu vaccine program hits $1.5B: report

The vaccine has been available to Canadians for only about three weeks now, but according to a report in The Globe and Mail, $1.51-billion has already been spent.

The actual figure might be even higher, because many provinces are still revising their costs, while others have yet to release total estimates.

In September, provincial and territorial health ministers predicted the cost of buying and delivering the vaccine at around $806-million, or about $16 per dose.

But based on these new estimates, the total cost is currently running at about $30 a shot --and climbing.

An interesting comparison-

Alberta has put its figure at $100 million for swine flu vaccinations

By contrast, Alberta spends about $3.2-million on free seasonal flu shots annually.

Then there is the advertising, or bail-out of Canadian media outlets, as I fondly call it-

Then there's the cost of the federal government's H1N1 awareness campaign. The Public Health Agency figures its radio, television, online and print ads carry a $4.5-million price tag.
Then there is the voice of common sense, to bad there aren't many-

Dr. Richard Schabas, the medical officer of health for Ontario's Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit tells the Globe he thinks swine flu has been "the most overhyped, overblown exercise I've ever been a part of," noting that the virus is not causing high rates of serious disease or death.
1.5 billion and counting.....

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