Flyers Fill Flu Gap

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Every crisis is an opportunity, the old saying goes, and some businesses in the border states are finding that the flu-vaccine shortage means more cash flow for them. Kenmore Air, a seaplane outfit near Seattle, Wash., is promoting "Flu Flights" to Canada, where flu shots are available. Kenmore says it will be "the most memorable, enjoyable flu shot" ever, including the 45-minute seaplane ride across the border to Victoria, a quick inoculation, then time for sightseeing and a free lunch before the afternoon flight home, all for $205. Last flu flight is Wednesday, so it's a short window. The influx of Americans, by air and land and sea, is causing some consternation among Canadians. "I don't want to sound like I'm negative towards Americans," Dr. George Forster told Victoria's Times Colonist newspaper. "But we owe it to our own population to immunize them first. ... They shouldn't have to wait in line with Americans." Canadian health authorities have expressed concern about the drain on their vaccine, but note that there is both a public and a private supply. The public supply is purchased by governments for distribution according to various priorities. The private supply is acquired by private organizations that purchase their vaccine directly from the manufacturer. Anyone can access this private vaccine supply, Canada's Public Health Agency said on Friday.