Flu Vaccine Stolen from Merced Clinic
Hundreds of doses of flu vaccine have been stolen from a clinic in Merced and investigators say they have no leads. The stolen vaccine is likely headed for an emerging black market in California.
Monday, October 25, 2004
The shortage of the vaccine this season has spawned a black market around the state and nationwide. When available the inoculations usually run about 20 dollars at clinics. Commander Jeff Schindler of the Merced Police Department says a stolen dose costs much more. SCHLINDLER :04—A black market flu shot could go up to one hundred and seventy-five dollars per shot. Schindler says the stolen vaccine was taken from an unlocked refrigerator a clinic. Realizing the vaccine is a target of thieves, Dale Bishop of the San Joaquin County Health Department the agency will now make sure local doctors can secure the vaccine. BISHOP :07—We’re talking about actually distributing some of the vaccine to local physicians. Now we’re going to have to check to make sure that each office has security for it. The heist in Merced isn’t the first one reported this flu season. Over 600 doses were taken from a clinic in Colorado a week and a half ago. And last week 100 doses were swiped from a clinic in Baltimore. Authorities don’t know where the doses are but even if recovered they wouldn’t be used because they’re now considered contaminated. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.