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April 30, 2009 - Rob Weaver
The news tip received Wednesday straddled the line between being too vague to be true, and making enough sense to sound entirely possible.
A caller asked whether we had any information regarding a shipment of “swine-flu vaccine” shipped to and stored in a Tiffin warehouse Tuesday. The rumored warehousing site — which will not be identified here — not only was specific, but seemed a logical choice.
On the other hand, according to wire-service reports, there isn’t yet a vaccine for the flu strain now threatening to become a pandemic, nor is one expected (especially in large quantities) for months. While preventative medicine may not be available, a few drugs — such as Tamiflu — can be used to treat people who already are infected.
The Associated Press did pass along pictures from the Ohio Department of Health showing a shipment of Tamiflu being unloaded and stored in an undisclosed warehouse in Ohio. In both photos, the ground was dry and in one, the sun was casting shadows, so it’s not likely the pictures were taken in town Tuesday.
In any case, the government apparently has enough medication to treat 11 million people. No word on how many paper masks might be stockpiled.
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This photo released by the Ohio Department of Health shows a shipment of Tamiflu, which is received and stored Tuesday by the Ohio National Guard at an undisclosed location in Ohio. Laboratory testing shows the new swine flu virus is treatable by the anti-flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza, and the first shipments from a federal stockpile arrived Wednesday in New York City and several other locations in the U.S. The government was shipping to states enough medication to treat 11 million people as a precaution.