I’m not quite sure what to make of this proposal by Senator Clinton to create a national tracking system for flu shots given by county health departments “from the factory all the way to a patient’s arm.”

If you read the story, it sounds like a solution in search of a problem. According to the article, we know where the “missing” vaccines are, THEY HAVEN’T BEEN SHIPPED YET. There’s a built-in tracking system for this sort of thing: it’s called “Track my shipment” at UPS/FedEx/DHL etc. Hell, even the Post Office has their own version nowadays.

Once a given county health department has received its shipment of vaccines, I don’t see the need to require county staff to notify some Federal system that they’ve actually planted a needle in Citizen Genet’s arm. They should be quite capable of determining when they need to order more vaccines on their own.

I could see the need for something like this for a scarce vaccine, such as whatever’s eventually developed for a human strain of bird flu. There, the Feds might need inventory-tracking to shift scarce supplies around the country in order to keep an outbreak localized. But that’s not what’s discussed in the article….

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