Vaccine shortages and price gouging

From, December 24, 2013

Holbert said the pharmacy at Louis Morgan has vaccinated between 75 and 100 people each day for the past two weeks and is running low on flu shots. The pharmacy has been buying flu vaccines from southeastern states that haven’t had as many cases of influenza-like illness, including Georgia and Mississippi, he said

“We have 150 flu vaccines left right now,” he said. “We are paying double in certain situations but we are still buying them. We’re just trying to make sure everybody’s covered.”

It is understandable why Texas pharmacies would want to obtain flu vaccines from wherever they can under current circumstances. But public health and government officials in other states should consider what is likely to happen when stories about severe illness and death start to appear in their States.

I don’t like the report that pharmacies are “paying double” for vaccines in “certain situations”. Price gouging for vaccines during a medical emergency should be illegal – if it isn’t already. Government authorities better get on top of this quickly or black market vaccines may be coming next.


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