Conflicting government agency opinions on shingles vaccine

Susan Reimer wrote a column ("Costly vaccine for painful illness in short supply," Aug. 11), about the medical ailment called shingles.

In the column, she notes:

1) "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also approved the vaccine for 50-year-olds..."

2) "The Centers for Disease Control has delayed its approval in order to protect the limited supply of the drug for the most vulnerable age group." Thus, she writes, "without CDC approval it will not be covered by insurance."

3) "It is not covered by Medicare's Plan B, which provides preventive care for those 65 and older.......If you subscribe to Medicare Plan D, the vaccine is covered, but the amount of cost-sharing varies with the policy level.

Now, are not the FDA, the CDC, and the folks who run Medicare all part of the same government? Do we really need three different government agencies, with scientists, evaluators, and all sorts of others rendering conflicting opinions and rulings about the same matter? Is this an example of government waste?

Irwin E. Weiss, Baltimore,

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