Flu-shot policy is bad economics

Re: “Seniors charged extra for strong flu shot,” letter, Nov. 2.

I had not been aware of the extra-strength flu shot. After reading this letter, I inquired at my pharmacy why I had not been given a choice, and why there was nothing in the publicity to indicate there was one.

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They told me it wasn’t that effective — one to two per cent better — and could not answer why, then, it was available. I have since discovered that in Ontario, where it is offered free to seniors, the estimate of increased effectiveness is 24 per cent.

Surely if any other medication were shown to be that much more effective, there would be no question of it being available without extra cost to vulnerable populations. Apparently, this NDP government has one rule for the richer — probably less vulnerable — senior and another for those who might not be able to pay the extra $75.

Should any of us older recipients get the flu, what will this cost the health system? Surely this is bad economics, as well as social discrimination.

I urge all of us lesser beings to write to Health Minister Adrian Dix and ask for his rationale.

Perhaps he could divert some of the funds from his plan to offer free health care to foreign students toward better care for resident seniors.

Anne Spencer

Victoria

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