This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.
Health officials, scrambling to respond last year to outbreaks of a never-before-seen virus, badly misjudged demand for the swine flu vaccine.
The federal government ordered nearly 200 million doses – double the amount of seasonal flu vaccine produced each year.
The anticipated demand never materialized, and now the government faces the prospect of having to chuck more than 43 percent of the supply that has expired or will soon.
In hindsight, the clamor for vaccine looks foolish. But emerging pandemics don’t lend themselves to official caution. The first rule of knocking down an infectious disease outbreak is: Better an overreaction than getting caught short.