NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, this is a Fox News alert, Canada will be sharing its flu vaccines with the U.S. Moments ago, it was announced that an additional 2.6 million doses of the flu vaccine will be available in January.
With us now to explain, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.
Secretary, what does that this mean?
TOMMY THOMPSON, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Well, Neil, Aventis Pasteur, the company that we have our contract with, has upped the amount of dosage of vaccine that they have by an additional 2.6 million for a total from Aventis Pasteur (search) of 58 million doses plus an additional two million from FluMist for a total of 60 million doses of vaccine for Americans, which is good news for us today.
CAVUTO: Are you surprised this became a political hot potato, Secretary, as if your administration could control what is happening to a country — company in Britain, over which the U.S. — anyone else, for that matter, has control?
THOMPSON: No it`s — it doesn`t surprise me at all that it`s become political. Everything in this city is political, especially right before a presidential election.
But people don`t realize how much President Bush has done. We`ve increased the budget from $40 million each year — that was the last year that the Clinton administration. And this year, under the Bush administration, we`re spending $283 million.
CAVUTO: But Secretary — I`m sorry. We`re tight on time. Believe me, I don`t want to jump on you, sir, but do you think that we`re going to — those who desperately need a flu shot are going to get one?
THOMPSON: We think the vast majority of those who need it will be able to get one, Neil. That`s why we`re so happy with the additional 2.6 million.
We want to make sure our seniors, those 65 and older, get the dosage first, because 91 percent of the deaths from flu last year came from those individuals over 65 years of age.
CAVUTO: All right. Tommy Thompson, thank you for coming in and updating on that, the Health and Human Services Secretary of these United States.
THOMPSON: Thank you.
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