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November 5th, 2009
10:37 AM ET

Will detainees get H1N1 shots before American soldiers?

Those on the front lines are first in line for the H1N1 vaccine that began arriving for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan this week.

But there's not enough.

The Pentagon is still taking heat for a plan to give terror suspects the shots. Our Barbara Starr has the latest developments from the Pentagon.

Filed under: Military
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. CS

    Its the freaking flu. Good grief-you all act like its ebola. It's not. Ive had it, and I was at work again within the week and I didn't have any shots.

    The detainees are high risk and the corrections staff are also high risk. In that sort of population you innoculate EVERYONE, otherwise it's pointless.

    November 12, 2009 at 8:27 pm |
  2. Ann

    The pharmacies are probably getting the vaccine instead of Dr.'s offices because the pharmaceutical companies who profit from the vaccine, are in with the pharmacies.

    November 8, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  3. Michael

    This is not that strange. I was deployed and one of our units took over security at a prison. They were often low on supplies so had to go on less than 3 meals a day (sometimes 1 meal) for a couple/several days a month. But the kicker was that they were instructed to provide the prisoners with 3 meals a day. That's not what the Geneva Convention states but that's what they were told to do. In fact we used to mail them water bottles and dried food. Now I've seen soldiers get back from a mission angry before, but when they got back to us these were some MAD fellows (substitute "fellows" with the profanity).

    November 8, 2009 at 8:25 pm |
  4. Daniel

    The swine flu was her in the US in 1976 my pharmacist who is over sixty says he got the vacinne then.I ask him if it will be another 33 yrs before it returns,he said good question..
    The Government should never take care of prisoners-detainees better than they take care of their own,The True American shouldn't have to worry about that..Right
    Tell the World.. Daniel..

    November 8, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  5. momo

    I think the reason they want to give the Flu shot to the detainees is to control it from spreading through out the base. Imagine if soldiers and staff start to get H1N1 because one inmate fell ill. Imagine the cost it would take to provide medical treatment to everyone, not to mention the human toll with people unable to work etc. Its preventative.. and more cost efficient to give the flu shot to everyone..

    November 8, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  6. anonymous

    Hey, what is your logic behind being obese or overweight and getting a vaccine? It does not make any sense your logic of thinking... Doing preventive medicine is an integral part in america's healthcare, and prevention includes vaccination. Next time establish your point about your frustration of people being obese in some other place, thank you! And I believe that the priority for this vaccine are pregnant women, immunosuppressed patients (cancer, AIDS), elderly, children, and health care workers.

    F.Y.I. I am not overweight nor obese.

    November 8, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  7. Bruce From Cypress Texas

    What most people are failing to see, in this story, is that the Pentagon's decision to give the detainees the H1N1 vaccine, is all about the safety of the troops guarding the detainees. The troops guarding the detainees will be at a much greater risk, if the vaccine is not given to the terror suspects. Let's also not forget that the vaccine has some very strong side effects, and this will most certainly cause additional problems for some of the military personal. Currently, the high risk groups are being provided for with regards to the vaccine availability. We also know now the the H1N1 virus is not as potent as once thought it might be. Our American soldiers will be taken care of, especially now that all this heat has been put on the Pentagon.

    November 8, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  8. Obama supporter

    I don't get it. Why wish harm on someone. I'm sick of this. Can't we all just get along.

    November 8, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  9. retgspalm7774

    What happended to the CDC protocol and priority list for vaccine recipients? The U.S. government has placed a higher priority on Congress, detainees and homeless people as opposed to EMS personnel and the U.S. military. I am so glad and I will sleep better knowing the the Secretary of Defense got his H1N1 shot and the poor EMS personnel who will go to pick up that chest pain, immune compromised, actively seizing patient still has not received their vaccine. WELL DONE U.S. GOVERNMENT–well done indeed.

    November 8, 2009 at 6:00 am |
  10. todd

    how many of these detainees have been convicted of a crime? how many have seen the inside of a court? how many were plucked from their native country, taken from their families and friends, to be held indefinitely in some kind of legal black hole?

    i still believe people are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. i don't see anything wrong with giving medical attention to innocent people.

    November 7, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  11. Curtis

    My wife is pregnant and we can't find the vaccine. Please put pregnant women first. If she dies my life is lost and her life is lost and our unborn babies life is lost.

    November 7, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  12. J David Crawford

    "Comfortable punishment" is not the goal for inoculating Gitmo detainees. Those people are at high risk for acquring H1N1. Protecting the military personnel who guard the detainees is accomplished by giving H1N1 vaccine to the prisoners.

    When the detainees cannot become sick they cannot infect those who are guarding them. Being locked up in their cells will not prevent spreading H1N1.

    November 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  13. JT

    Note that the people in Gitmo are not officially criminals, and have been convicted of no crimes. If these "guests" of the US government could leave they would, as such are the direct responsibility of the US government. You are presumably not, you are a citizen and are the governments responsibility as a "public good" but you have choices. Choices that have been removed without trial.

    November 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  14. Kevin

    What? So this report never answered the question whether GITMO detainees will get the vaccine before US citizens! And the reporter never even said that the Obama Administration won't answer the question!

    What a SHAM of a report!

    November 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  15. Andrew

    It is not surprising that giving the Gitmo detainees a flu shot would create a controversy. After all, why should they be treated humanely? Better to torture them and keep them locked up indefinitely without ever charging them with a crime.

    November 6, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  16. John Bleau

    Anybody fool enough to have mercury injected into him with a vaccine tested for one week can have my shot.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  17. Ryan

    @ Steve. So what you are saying is, my 1 year old daughter who weighs a whopping 19 lbs and my 4 year old son who is an enormous 40 lbs both contracted this, and I should be concerned about their weight instead of a vaccine? Both had 104 temps and came pretty close to ammonia, as both have had respiratory issues. I don't dispute that there are obese Americans, but your ignorant ridicule belongs elsewhere. Hardly fat people.

    November 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  18. Thomas

    You want the shots and cant get it but prisoners, wallstreet, detainess can... and you want Goverment health care? I see a day where only Govement Employess will have access to shots and good health care long before hard working Americans!

    November 6, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  19. OJ

    Now if G. Bush was President the media would be blaming him every day for screwing this vaccine thing up. Why is Obama not being blamed for mismanagement? He declares a national emergency and does what???????? By the time we get vaccine and 5 days paid leave, most of us will have had ithe flu or built up immunity. What a joke – and we want the Govt to run our health care?!!!

    November 6, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  20. m1982

    I am seeing this as indiciative of some of the things wrong with our country today. It used to be that you could count on bonding togeher to take care of each other but we are now in a world of such political correctness that it is more correct to protect the people who wish to tear down what we have worked over the past 200 years to build up.

    November 6, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  21. wanda

    You can thank America's overabundance of shyster lawyers for this. They scramble to represent the Guantanamo garbage because they can be compensated by the U.S. government for doing so. Lawyers are truly the scum of the earth !

    November 6, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  22. BinaryChick

    It's all in Gods hands people. Enjoy every like it's your last.

    November 6, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  23. Linda Beamerr

    Well, this is great. The government cannot be sure we all get flu shots that could save our lives but they want to control our health care. That is really scary. I cannot find a shot here in PA. The government knows we need regular flu shots every year and they knew the H1N1 was coming so why are there not enough shots. If they can't handle the flu shots do you really want them in control of your cancer treatments. I put this all on Obama. He is the head of the government now, and when Bush was in office he got blamed for every thing that happened. Well, now it's Obama's turn so as head of the government he should have made sure we were going to have enough flu shots. Yes, this is the change we wanted. What a joke.

    November 6, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  24. ronvan

    I would like to know who started this one? Whoever it is they should loose their job along with those that supported it! It gives the impression that if you are in jail you will get better treatment than those that obey the law. ALL prisioners should be the LAST to receive this vaccine as they can be locked up in their cells to prevent spreading.

    November 6, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  25. steve

    You should feel fortunate if you don't have access to the swine flu vaccine. That shot is a joke and will do you more harm then good. How about americans stop worrying about vaccines for their health and get off our butts and lose some weight! I am disgusted when I look around and see how fat people are.

    November 6, 2009 at 8:00 am |
  26. Margaret

    In your piece you stated that the Gitmo detainees will receive the vaccine after health care workers etc. There are many healthcare workers in this county and at least one facility Palo Alto Medical foundation is not yet giving the vaccine to their employees. the county has received 1000 today and will hold a clinic on saturday. What about the heallthcare workers.

    November 5, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  27. Daniel

    Typical ridiculous thinking. We have come to the point where the 'average (wo)man' gets by far the worst part of nearly any deal. So... it's necessary that every prisoner gets 'comfortable punishment', but the person/family who obeys the law and tries their very best to be good citizens are allowed to go without any health care at all? How can anyone justify this morally or ethically? While I agree the American government during both the entire Bush era and early on here in the Obama era has handled the 'detainee' situation improperly I still don't think it's right that a 'criminal' gets far better care and treatment by the American government than the very citizens who are supposedly the ones being represented by that government. Wake up! American citizenry MUST come first before any other group of people. Cold blooded? Maybe. Honest? Definitely!

    November 5, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  28. Shari

    Pregnant women, children and those of us with underlying health problems cannot get this shot but Wall Street, prison inmates and terrorist detainees can? What is wrong with this picture???? My 9 month old grandson was just diagnosed with H1N1. His mother had called her health department for the past two weeks trying to find someone who had the vaccine to give him. By the time there is vaccine available, we will all have had the actual Swine Flu. Shame on this administration for not monitoring this closer.

    November 5, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  29. muhammad f javaid

    This is to air my frustration at not being able to procure Flu vaccine for my patients at all this year! In our town no doctor's office has been able to get any supplies at all whereas Walmart, Kroeger, and various pharmacies have been administering the vaccine without any poroblems. This is beynd strange.

    November 5, 2009 at 11:27 am |