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Hynes Refuses to Pay for Flu Vaccine

Ill. Comptroller Dan Hynes (state of Illinois photo)

By IL Public Radio

Springfield, Ill. – The man who signs the checks in Illinois says he won't pay for flu vaccine that might never make it to the state.

Comptroller Dan Hynes says the state should be able to cancel a contract that Governor Rod Blagojevich signed with wholesalers in Europe last year.

The governor gained nationwide media attention by signing the multi-million dollar contract that promised extra shots when there was a perceived shortage.

But, the shortage proved non-existent. Many health clinics report stockpiles.

But the biggest impasse over the contract is that the federal government hasn't let that vaccine into the country.

Hynes, though, says that's a reason beyond the state's control that will allow it to opt out and void the agreement: "I don't think we should just pay $2.5 million without asking any questions.

"At the very least, we should take a hard line and a hard approach on this and say 'listen, we didn't get the vaccines. It's because the FDA didn't approve it, not through our own fault' and 'Why should we pay this?'"

Hynes adds the wholesaler will need to sue if it wants to get paid.

The governor's office declined comment on Hynes' action.


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