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MEDIA ARE TO BLAME FOR FUELING HYSTERIA OVER LACK OF FLU VACCINE

I read the front-page News article about a "scarcity mentality" that is heightening public anxiety because of the lack of flu vaccine. But it was the media that made us aware of the lack of vaccine. For several weeks, we have been bombarded with articles and broadcasts about the possible effects of a flu epidemic if we do not get our flu shots. Doctors will be fined if they give a flu shot to a person who is not labeled "at risk."

People are going to Canada to get flu shots. Many clinics, drugstores and supermarkets offering the shots were overwhelmed and canceled their programs. Government workers not "at risk" were offered free flu shots, while the general public and "at risk" citizens have no place to go. How's that for setting up a "scarcity mentality"?

Unfortunately, The News placed a picture of "at risk" seniors next to this article. Why shouldn't they want flu shots? My husband and I are both over the magic age of 65 and we both have been getting flu shots for several years. Surely, it is not an unreasonable fear that causes us to want a flu shot since we have been rated "at risk" for several years.

Make up your mind. Either it is important that certain people get flu shots, or it is of no real value, just some propaganda issued by a publicity-hungry Health Department and fostered by the media in search of something to fill that empty column or extra two minutes of air time.

Ruth Brown

Cattaraugus

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