Goldman & Citi have Swine Flu vaccine, do you?

In the event of revolution I have some thoughts about who to put up against a wall.

Some of New York’s biggest companies, including Wall Street giants Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, received doses of swine flu vaccine for at-risk employees, drawing criticism that the hard-to-find vaccine is going first to the privileged. [emphasis added]

That’s not criticism, that’s a statement of fact.

New York city defended its actions by saying that distributing large doses of the vaccine to such businesses is "a great avenue for vaccinating people at risk." ASTERISK/FOOTNOTE: And by people at risk we mean those who are rich and have health insurance. I’m not sure what the risk is here, but I’d like to have some.

This event has revealed a previously unsuspected gift for irony at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC responded to this by saying any decisions that appear to send vaccine beyond high-priority groups "have the potential to undermine the credibility of the program." You think?

Goldman, Citi, et al, got the vaccine because they have their own doctors. Before getting the vaccine, doctors at these companies had to agree to only vaccinate high-risk employees. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) And I am sure they are doing just that and ignoring any VIPs who ask for it and could have them fired.

It is nice to know that at least one of the firms who have received billions in tax dollars has spent some of that on competent PR people. While Goldman Sachs kept its 200 doses and Citigroup kept its 1,200, Morgan Stanley turned over its 1,000 doses to local hospitals after finding out they had not yet received any vaccine.

I realize our government is a corporate whorehouse, but would it mind at least pulling the shades down over the windows?

Related story:

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Senior health officials in the Canadian province of Alberta said on Wednesday they had fired an unidentified worker for giving National Hockey League players preferential access to the H1N1 flu vaccine. The controversy boiled over this week when it was revealed that players for the NHL’s Calgary Flames and their families received shots on an exclusive basis one day before the province closed public flu clinics due to a shortage of the vaccine.

Remember: Before getting the vaccine, doctors at these companies had to agree to only vaccinate high-risk employees. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Mexican hotels want to inoculate with flu-free guarantee

The outbreak of Swine or Hiney flu has run through Mexico’s tourism industry faster than a case of Montezuma’s revenge. In an attempt to counter this hotels on the Caribbean coast are now offering free vacations for three years to any tourist who catches swine flu while there.

"The ‘flu-free guarantee’ assures three years of free holidays to travelers who present flu symptoms eight days after returning from their trip," said Fernando Garcia, director of one of the participating hotel groups.

Sadly no such offer is being made to hotel workers.

Aporkalypse Now: Rebranding swine flu is like putting lipstick on a well, you know

What with the World Health Org declaring Defcon infinity I suspect yesterday was the last day which anyone will find swine flu funny for a while. That said, here’s a round up of humorous headlines

The nomenclature is clearly posing a big problem – although not as big as the actual illness.

"We will call it Mexico flu. We won’t call it swine flu," Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman, a black-garbed Orthodox Jew, told a news conference Monday, assuring the Israeli public that authorities were prepared to handle any cases.

Attempts to rebrand the disease are failing in great number. As old buddy/NY Daily News reporter Helen Kennedy noted:

Washington officials launched a comically doomed effort to call it "H1N1," while the European Union tried to rename it the "novel flu."

And the NYT reports:

Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, convened a hearing on Tuesday on a subject he described as “the so-called swine flu,” even as a campaign was mounted by farm groups to rename the virus “North American influenza.”

There are concerns pork sales will fall off a cliff faster than Matthew 8:28-34* as long as people continue to erroneously think you can get punk’d by pork. If they can’t rebrand the illness I expect marketers to start changing the name of their products: Four-legged chicken. Tuna of the farm. Mini-beef.

Another branding issue: swine flu – like global warming before it – just doesn’t sound scary. Al Sacco tweeted: “Swine flu isn’t a scary enough name. It needs a slogan, too: "Pork Plague, the (Other) White Death," for example.”

BTW, free instant diagnosis is available at DoIhavePigFlu.com.

 

*“and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water