November 2nd, 2009
04:00 PM ET

If swine flu vaccine shortage, should Gitmo detainees get it?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay will soon be offered the swine flu vaccine. While millions of Americans can't get their hands on this stuff - the 200 plus detainees at Gitmo will have the option of being vaccinated against H1N1.


A guard stands his position at Camp V on the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Pentagon says it's because people held in detention facilities are at higher risk for the pandemic. The soldiers at Gitmo will be offered the shots before detainees and others on the base. Similar plans are reportedly under way to vaccinate inmates in federal prisons.

You could make a pretty good argument that people should be outraged by this. Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak is calling on the Pentagon to reconsider its decision, saying detainees shouldn't get preferential treatment.

Meanwhile people in this country are waiting in line for hours to get themselves and their children vaccinated. The CDC had hoped to have 40 million doses of the swine flu vaccine available by the end of October - but manufacturing delays forced them to revise that number down to 28 million doses. Meantime the virus is spreading across the country - particularly hitting children, teens and pregnant women. Another 19 youngsters died in the last week.

A couple weeks ago - I mentioned how one of the largest pediatrician's offices in Manhattan couldn't say when or if the swine flu vaccine would be available for a co-worker's toddler. Well - still nothing. There's such a limited supply that they're only offering it for a few select kids with underlying conditions. But Gitmo detainees can get it.

Here’s my question to you: If there is a shortage of the swine flu vaccine, should terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay get it before millions of Americans?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dave from Bangor, Maine writes:
Should prisoners in any prison get better medical treatment than the law abiding citizens of the U.S.? The answer is no, but the reality is that they do. Prisoners who need organ transplants get moved to the front of waiting lists, the reason being the Constitution. Because of a little provision that protects people against cruel and unusual punishment, and the modern interpretation of that amendment, we have to give better medical care to people who could be waiting on death row than we do to those Americans who can't afford health insurance.

Leo writes:
Has the government in this country completely gone bonkers? Women and children first, law abiding citizens first, Americans first. Stop making us the enemy.

Jim from Nevada writes:
Jack, Providing decent medical care to inmates is a tradition in America and, I would argue, a good one. Treating the inmates at Guantanamo like third or fourth class citizens might seem a good idea while you're enraged, but loses its appeal once you calm down and really think about it. Those inmates haven't ever had the privilege of a trial. We just assume they're guilty. Is it even remotely possible that, in a few cases, we're wrong?

Mike in Fall River, Massachusetts writes:
Jack, Drop off the detainees at a firehouse in New York City and have the N.Y. Fire Department administer the vaccine. I can guarantee they will never need another one.

D. writes:
Probably not, but 200 or so shots are not going to break the vaccine bank. Let's protect the servicemen and women any way we can.

Steve writes:
Anybody here who recommends that the Gitmo prisoners get a swine flu vaccine should be investigated by the FBI, plus they should get a kick in the butt.

Filed under: Guantanamo Bay
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Carlos Round Rock, Texas

    No by no means should they get the swine flu vaccine before Americans. They may well have a special status but that does not mean that they should be treated special by getting the vaccine prior to the general public.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  2. JD In NH

    As soon as I heard Kathleen Sibelius quizzed about this on another news network, I knew it would be one of your questions. Secretary Sibelius stated there is no H1N1 flu vaccine at Guantanamo Bay for the prisoners or anyone else. Someone on the right is laughing at yet another rumor run amok.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  3. Michael Alexandria, VA

    They should get it when all military prisoners get it. Under the Geneva Conventions, they should be considered Prisoners of War, even though many are "irregulars." Indeed, the United States Government should officially classify them as such, which Bush and Cheney unlawfully refused to do.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  4. Tina Tx

    Gee being held for 8 years without legal counsel and now people are griping cause they get the swine flu vacine ahead of everyone else. Whoever told you that life is fair is a liar.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    No way Jack; but what's worse is that this Administration will probably apologize to the detainees for the vaccine being this late.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  6. Cheryl

    No, our citizens with the highest risk should be at the front of the line. Then low-risk citizens and only then prisoners, including American prisoners. They put themselves in the situation of being in close quarters with other people.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  7. Conor in Chicago

    You have to think about this from the government's perspective: What's worse: Diverting 200 doses to inoculate prisoner at Gitmo or allowing an outbreak to occur at Gitmo and having dozens of prisoners die under American custody? I mean it's not like they are diverting 200,000 doses or something-let's get a little perspective here.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  8. Ken in NC

    Jack, as their captors, it is our responsibility to insure and maintain the good health of our prisoners so they will be in tip top shape when we release them back into the wild to live and fight us another day. You are a couple of years older than me Jack. Haven't you realized yet that an inmate has more rights than the population that is paying to keep them in prison?

    November 2, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  9. Lori - PA

    No they should not. The thought of a terror suspect getting the vaccine before my kid does makes me angry.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  10. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, I can't believe this issue is even on the table. The answer is no.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  11. JWC in Atlanta

    We replace hips for the elderly and ignore the regular people. We buy cable and exercise equipment for convicts and ignore the regular people. We bail out banks and ignore the regular people. We send billions of dollars to Korea, Pakistan, Israel, Syria ad nausea and ignore the regular people, so why wouldn't we offer preventive medicine to our sworn enemy. The regular people can't possibly object.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  12. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Yes they should. If this disappointment of a president actually does manage to close Gitmo as he promised, he will have to house them here where they will promptly escape because he probably won’t be up to that task either. Needless to say, they would then run around infecting all of us, who can’t get the vaccine.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  13. JENNA

    If there is a shortage of the swine flu vaccine, should terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay get it before millions of Americans?

    I seriously doubt that the GITMO prisoners will have exposure to the H1N1 virus. But they could get it from the rotation of guards, staff, etc..

    However the key word here is "suspects" – we can't deny those we hold captive from preventative care, otherwise we have have to treat our current jail/prison populations that way as well.

    Are we really willing to do that?

    Roseville CA

    November 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  14. Rick Medina,OH


    Sometimes the choices these folks make call for a re-examination of he hiring criteria! It certainly makes sense to vaccinate the staff immediately. Confined environments are a breeding ground for diseases of many kinds. But, the detainees will just have to wait their turn.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    November 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  15. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    It is bad enough knowing that innocent people are imprisoned in our name. If people contract diseases and die while illegally imprisoned, we also have their deaths on our heads. Try them and send everyone found innocent home with an apology. that solves the problem.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  16. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    If we are the compassionate and considerate society who strive for a higher level of consciousness that we wish to be, then there should not be a question that the detainees receive the vaccine.

    If we choose to remain the vengeful and ideological violent people that we appear to be heading towards, and much like those we detain, then let's deny the vaccine to these people.

    We must learn that we cannot fight evil with evil, only evil can win.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  17. Alex in Seattle

    Yes and in the prisons too. Whatever you think about the inmates, getting them the vaccine will also protect the staff that works there and cut medical costs in those facilities. The close environment of a prison ensures any disease will rapidly spread throughout the population kept there.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  18. a.c. of La.

    It doesnt bother me that prison populations are getting this vaccine first......We cant all be first...........I am just going to follow precautions and hope for the best.........

    November 2, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  19. Rob of Brooklyn

    mercury & aluminum are two of the ingredients in this vaccine. why would anyone want this. If eating fish is bad because of mercury , than why would you want it injected into your body?

    November 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  20. Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    Don't we just love the socialist plan for healthcare!! Terrorists first our children wait in long lines!!

    Obama flat out "promised" 120 million doses by October?? Where are they Barry Boy???

    November 2, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  21. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Jack, is this a trick question or a joke? Our country is not looking out for our own. When are we the people going to wake up? This should be broadcast on every news channel to get an uproar going today.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  22. Jay

    Are we seriously raising a fuss about 200 optional vaccinations out of 28 MILLION doses? That’s about 0.00071% of the total stockpile. You don’t need a math degree to figure out that this is just a silly distraction. Not to mention, you locked these folks up, they’re your responsibility.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  23. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Everyday I hear something stupid that our government does. The day is no exception after hearing your question. I do not believe in torturing prisoners but also do not believe that they should be able to get the swine flu shot before it is made available for everyone to have. I don't think that is in the Geneva convention agreement. The swine flu shot should be made available for guards who guard them, just like the medical staff who take care of patience in hospitals. Jack we need harder questions.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  24. Susan Frost

    They can have mine.

    Tuscaloosa AL

    November 2, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  25. Mike from St. Paul

    This is a ridiculous non-issue. For one, we are only talking about a couple hundred doses. Second, how many of these prisoners are going to opt for getting the shot? If you were locked up against your will with no CNN to tell you about H1N1 for years on end with no official explanation of the charges, would you allow your captors to inject you with a strange substance or would you assume that that needle contains anything but a flu vaccine?

    November 2, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  26. Frank from Peterborough

    Once again Jack you are assuming everyone at Gitmo is guilty of some crime rather than the possibility that many are the victims of a crime.

    There in lies the problem when a government goes rogue and violates the general rules of civility do they add to their transgressions or try and come off a little more humane to the outside world.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  27. sarah sarway

    Absolutley not.these prisoners are there because they threatened the safety of our country.Giving them vaccines in a shortage means some other inisant American not getting it. If the feds decide to vaccinate gitmo bay in a shortage I'd be the first to protest

    November 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  28. K

    It reassuring to know that prisoners are more entitled to the swine flu vaccine that the legal, taxpaying citizens are. Just think, no vaccine, increased deaths/illness of legal taxpaying citizens. The media has created a panic over the swine flu. I am in the high risk category and stand little to no chance of getting the vaccine. NOT FAIR!

    November 2, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  29. Terry from North Carolina

    You never fail to disappointment me with these questions. When most of the American citizens in this country cant get an H1N1 flu shot why in the world would the prisoners in Gitmo even be considered for one ?

    November 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  30. John

    Dear Gitmo Detainees;

    Due to the shortage of swine flu vaccine only United States Citizens will receive the first available distribution for swine flue vaccines for the general public health protection. All elgible distibutions will be available only to those persons who have not conspired or aided any terrorist involvement in any act or acts of terrorism against the United States. Sorry for the inconveniece.
    Sincerely yours,
    Pampa, TX

    November 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  31. John


    How far have we gone away from our ideals and priorities if the people who live to kill us are taken care of before our own poor and most vulnerable. The same applies to people in prisons outside of GITMO. I think the guards should be given the shot as they are our brave who protect us from the scum they guard but the inmates? Common Jack something is just wrong with this picture.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  32. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    I don't really think so, when all the U.S. citizens that want it get it then yes, until then they should have to wait.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm |

    Gee, Jack, this one is too easy. Hell no! Give the guards the vaccine! Of if they have to be vaccinated, let their countries of origin pay for it!

    I'm humane and a nice guy to boot, but come on!

    November 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  34. Jackie in Dallas

    Not until all those at serious risk or susceptable have had theirs, first, Jack.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  35. Elk Hunter, Standish

    They should just gitmo vaccines Jack, so everyone can get it. The
    h1n1 virus doesn't discriminate, nor should we on who should get it.

    I just don't want the detainees housed here in Michigan, where we would have to gitmo police and the state gitmo of our tax dollars.

    Git it Jack?

    November 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  36. Melissa

    Only after all Americans have been inoculated. Until then, let them suffer.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm |

    tampa, fl just another reason to close gitmo. i am a high risk patient who can not get the swine flu vaccine, not only will my hmo not pay for it. but there is none to be had here, and they have no idea when they will get it. glad to know that now that the prisoners are no longer being water boarded that they will not have to worry about getting the flu. you just can't do all that terrorist planning when you are down with the sniffles.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  38. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    No. Employees should be getting the vaccine.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  39. Dave from Bangor, ME

    Should prisoners in any prison get better medical treatment than the law abiding citizens of the US? The answer is no, but the reality is that they do. Prisoners who need organ transplants get moved to the front of waiting lists, the reason being the US constitution. Because of a little provision that protects people against cruel and unusual punishment, and the modern interpretation of that amendment, we have to give better medical care to people who could be waiting on death row than we do to those Americans who can't afford health insurance.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  40. Mike Phillips

    Jack, you kidding me? Kids and pregnant woman are having a hard time getting the vaccine and they're giving it to prisoners? If they are vaccinating the soldiers first, why not wait until every citizen who wants it,gets it?Then give it to them.Don't forget to charge them for it.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  41. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Absolutely Jack, they should be the first in line to get THE SHOT. Let's see, tropical weather, free medical and dental, a well-groomed soccer field, hours and hours of free time to worship. This Gitmo place sounds like da kine place to hang out. Where do I sign up?

    November 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm |

    Personally, I would have the prisoners bed with pigs, but I think our gov't is thinking more strategically. We must keep them alive because they can be a potential wealth of intelligence in the future.
    We should be outraged at the fact that there is a shortage of the vaccine in this country. With the billions of dollars our pharmecutical industry make on us every year one would think they would have the capacity to produce this stuff in no time.
    Maybe they figure if they claim a shortage on this high demand item they will make more profit on it. Do I sound sinister? Maybe, but look what they are getting for a bottle of aspirin nowadays.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  43. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I do not support terrorists or terrorism but have no problem with these 200 detainees being treated humanely and getting flu shots.
    In contained quarters an epidemic could spread quickly. But, because they are suspects that is their problem? There quite possibly could be some innocent people being held but without representation we will never know.
    And, am quite sure you blame the shortage of vaccine on our president as you do with every other problem.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  44. Mr. D

    Probably not, but 200 or so shots are not going to break the vaccine bank. Let's protect the servicemen/women any way we can.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  45. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: When the H1N1 vaccine is no longer in short supply, the detainees could be permitted to get the vaccine – not before.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  46. TM Yale New Haven, CT

    That depends if you believe everything that the federal gov't tells us.The branding of H1N1 began last spring like a strategically engineered marketing campaign for Big Pharm to capitalize before healthcare reform. It doesnt matter who gets the vaccine as long as Big Pharm gets to cash the check created by the branding of a flu. Somewhere in between the discovery of the traditional flu and the current strain being called a pandemic, marketing strategist discovered that the branding of an illness creates a budget item line in balance sheets and income reports that can be manipulated to channel $ in the direction of Big Pharm.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  47. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Since one is considered not guilty until proven otherwise, I think that the detainees at Gitmo should get the vaccine when possible to do so. After all they are in a confined environment and disease tends to spread more rapidly in such.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  48. Lou from North Carolina

    Since I work in the "legal profession", our jail does not have a hospital and accommodations for sick people. They have to be sent somewhere else if things get beyond the doctor's capacity. So they may be thinking "what would they do if everyone gets sick"???????

    November 2, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  49. Steve

    Anybody here that recommends that the Gitmo prisoners get a Swine flue vacine should be investigated by the FBI., plus should get a kick in the ass.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  50. Jim


    Providing decent medical care to inmates is a tradition in America and, I would argue, a good one. Treating the inmates at Guantanamo like third or fourth class citizens might seem a good idea while you're enraged, but loses its appeal once you calm down and really think about it. Those inmates haven't ever had the privilege of a trial. We just assume they're guilty. Is it even remotely possible that, in a few cases, we're wrong? Should an innocent inmate be denied proper treatment? What if swine flu spreads among the inmates, then to the guards, then to the soldiers? If proper medical treatment is to be denied to inmates, why stop there? Lots of children go to bed hungry in this country. Why should inmates get food?

    Reno, Nevada

    November 2, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  51. Kirk (Apple Valley, Minnesota)

    Actually, since the so called vaccine hasn't shown that it really works and that it has been rushed into production so quickly that no one really knows what side effects might result, I think I'd rather have terrorists and prisoners vaccinated first. I'll sit back and wait. Besides, H1N1 is a media borne disease anyway. Why does every body seem to forget that 30 plus thousand people die of the "regular" flu every year?

    November 2, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  52. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    NO! And neither should lifers and death row inmates in the prisons.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  53. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    The prisoners at Guantanamo are an isolated population. There is very little likelihood of them being exposed. Just in case, the guards should get the vaccine.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  54. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    YES. These individuals are in an enclosed space with forced close contact with others. the flu could go though gitmo faster than anyplace else.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  55. Rick, Omaha NE

    Sure, and make them stand in line with the others, although that might constitute another interpretation of "torture".

    November 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  56. James from Anaheim California

    Are you serious jack, why should we have any sympathy for those who have ended the the lives of innocent civilians for Allah? They sure as the nose on my face didn't have any for us. The people of this country deserve the vacine first ahead of any of the detainies at Gitmo. Let them die and if the religious right beleives that that is barbaric and inhuman behavior so be it. But why not ask the families of those who were killed by terrorists and see how they feel, nobody dares ask because anyone knows what that answer would be

    November 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  57. vern-anaheim,ca

    no jack,american citizens should come 1st before these people who want to destroy america,if i were in charge they would get nothing

    November 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  58. Annie, Atlanta

    Of course they should. We’ve held these people for years, kept them away from their lives and families, without knowing if most of them are guilty of anything other than the paranoid delusions of “terrorism” in Bush’s mind. What we’ve done to them is a crime.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  59. Maria

    Sure they should. As should the guards, "trainers", other military, et al.



    November 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  60. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    WOW This what make people like me mad. How can someone think of GITMO first I'm an old 75 USAF ret. and they will be before me.Thats what kind of nuts we have in (D.C.)

    November 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  61. Tom in Athens , Georgia

    If you mean by "it" the flu-well, yeah.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  62. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    Yes they should get the benefit of the vaccination as soon as every man, woman and child in this country that wants to has been inoculated. The benefits of society should go first to those who are good citizens and not to criminals in prisons and terrorists determined to destroy our way of life.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  63. DawnL,CA

    Yes, gitmo prisoners should get the H1N1 vaccine. We have American troops there who might be exposed to the flu from the prisioners.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  64. Deb I , Nauvoo, IL

    So there are only 200 people there? I don't want my dose, let them have it. There must be 200 of us who would sign over our allotment of flu vaccine. Problem solved. No political posturing necessary.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  65. Julius, Moose Jaw, SK, Canada

    Sure, why not? There is not one medical professional that can tell you what the side effects of this vaccine are, short or long term... so why not make guinea pigs out of the detainees at Gitmo? Sure beats waterboarding...

    November 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |

    YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!OMG..what the heck is wrong with this picture. Our goverment has lost it's MIND!!!!!!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  67. Don in Minden, Louisiana

    Is our government really going to offer 200 Muslim prisoners the opportunity to inject themselves with mutated pig DNA?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  68. Mel

    The children must come first. ALWAYS!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  69. Terrance

    No they shouldn't have first option since the swine flu outbreak they have been incarcerated so the chance of them being exsposed to the virus is less than a kid who attends school all day with other children who may have the virus.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  70. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Yes. Prisoners at Gitmo and in any other prison should be among the first to be vaccinated. Next to petrie dishes, prisons are just about the best places in the world to incubate an epidemic.
    Arlington Texas

    November 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  71. Mark Mazow

    No....DUH...not when I can't get it. Not to be repetitive, but...DUH...

    November 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  72. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    Of course they should get the vaccine. If there's an outbreak of swine flu in the prison, guards and administrators will be at risk.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  73. Scott

    Have we all gone mad? I think our children have priority over gitmo.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  74. Andre Philadelphia,PA

    Jack i think the gitmo detainees deserve vaccination but that's after everyone in the united states are vacinnated and we are not short supplied, thats the only humane way.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  75. leo

    Has the government officals in this country completely gone bonkers.
    Women and children first, law abiding citizens first., Americans first. Stop making us the enemy.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  76. Jorge, Puerto Rico

    We cannot ignore that they are human beings, but we cannot ignore that are children and teens are dying from this virus. I believe the United States Goverment should have a priority and that should be their citizens and even more than that, the american children, let us not forget that they are our futures leaders, and even our next president. I believe the compass of this administration is going south, instead of north.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  77. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    Absolutely not! Our soldiers working there should be top priority and then the citizens of this country. If any is available after taking care of our own,then illegal aliens and Gitmo detainees should get it – just to help the world avoid a major pandemic.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  78. Mike M

    Yes we should give it to them. Who knows what civil liberty groups would come after us if we treated our own children before these terror suspects.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  79. Dan A

    Of course they shouldn't get the vaccine first, but that's the way it works. It's not just for vaccines either. It's well known that if you need something hard to get medically, you're best luck is as an inmate, weather it be vaccines, transplants, etc. Murders and terror suspects are higher on the list than the general public.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  80. luci - Peoria, Il.

    Sure we should give them the vaccine. They are in our lock up and needs to be protected , so that the caretakers do not catch it. There are so few of them that it won't even be missed. Just because there is so many hate spreaders in our Country, we don't all want to be known like that. Our President didn't know that the bacteria wasn't going to grow fast enough. Anyone speaking out against him needs to walk a day in his shoes. Come on, loosen up.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  81. Ryan (Toronto)

    Think a little harder Jack, does that question even make realistic sense. They are on an island far away from the spread of this disease. In reality they are safer than us. Or is this just another media ploy to get us thinking that every corner of the eath is in danger. What's trhe next question, should the three people in Antartica get a shot... ridiculous Jack.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  82. Dee from Canada

    Yes they should get the vaccine – a humanitarian gesture. And doing so sends a message to the rest of the world that America still has heart.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  83. Meg from Troy

    No, No, and hell no! American children and pregnant women should be vaccinated first and then other Americans according to the CDC regulations. Convicted criminals and terror suspects should be vaccinated after my dog has her shot.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  84. Erin

    So, is this the start of the public option health plan? All US citizens should get it first (meaning those who pay taxes).

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  85. scotte

    Yes, they should get it. They could potentially pass it on the all of the military gurading them, and the military pass it on to everyone else.
    The swine flu don't know they are prisoners.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  86. John Rod

    YES PLEASE !!!! before we have dead detainees, and another reason for the world to point us out for being the bad guys!!!!!!!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  87. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The jenieva convention rules says we have to give quality care to our prisoners so we dont have a choice yes give them the vaccine .

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  88. Harrison

    Nothing surprises me anymore. Although the guards, etc., should get the injections, the prisoners? NO!

    This is almost as stupid as waiting to execute a condemned man until they cure him from something that might kill him...will we EVER wake up?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  89. Dick Phelps

    Definitly not, I think it's about time we think of our citizens for a change

    November 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  90. Chris Wunsch

    Absolutely they SHOULD get the Vaccines. As a matter of fact they should have been the ones to Trial the vaccine, since there was very little in the way of real science being done to develop this vaccine. Vitamin D3 and Probiotics will do more to prevent H1N1 and without the Toxic effects of mercury and the other crap they call Adjuncts....

    November 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  91. andy

    yes, they should. By taking prisoners, the U.S. government assumes resposibilty for their lives. And, after all, the Gitmo prisoners are only suspects...not found guilty of any crimes yet.
    Baton Rouge, LA

    November 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  92. David , Sisters OR

    Well it will protect the guards to so , Yes. Question is if you call it a swine flu shot will the muslim prisoners take the shot.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  93. Dixie Bradley

    Can you say "HELL, NO!!!" My 21 year old asthmatic granddaughter can't get it because she is not between the ages of 6 months and 18, nor is she pregnant (thank heaven!) However, due to her asthma she cannot take the nasal mist. And yet a detainee at Gitmo is going to be allowed to get the shot. This makes no sense whatsoever. These detainees are isolated from the rest of the world and each other - how are they going to be exposed to the virus in the first place?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  94. Marsha from Kansas

    The detainees can have my shot and that of my grand kids. I never get a flu shot and my daughter and granddaughter have decided not to get the shots for their kids. It is a personal decision based on great consideration. But we don't usually get flu shots and each year we watch people who do get the flu.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  95. Janice payne

    The last time I saw any video of that facility, there were no children, teenagers or pregnant women in view. If the male prisioners are not shaking hands or playing on the jungle-jim at the local day care, how are they in danger of making contact with the virus? If there was more available than we ever could use, can't see why they would need it.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  96. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Give political prisoners at Gitmo the swine flu shot? Haven't they been tortured enough -for no reason whatsoever?!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  97. Anibal Pagan

    This just demonstrates Washington's priorities and how little they think of the people they have sworn to protect. we need to wake up as a nation.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  98. Dee R

    Jack, unfortunately they have to be vaccinated. An outbreak would mean transporting them to military hospitals for care. Do we want them there? The same for the prison population...do we want them in public hospitals?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  99. Daniel

    I believe they should get the vaccine, as we have to treat them better than they would treat a captured American. But going as far as prioritizing them over American citizens? is quite ridiculous.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  100. jim Blevins

    We have total responsibility for people at Gitmo. Having someone there die of a preventable flu would make our very black reputation even blacker.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    November 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  101. Joseph Feng

    A lot of them are known to be innocent hostages. of George Bush's war crimes We should not compound this by exposing them to the addtional risk of swine flu.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  102. Richhard Jones

    Of course they should get it. We need to stop being so petty. Quit making a capital case out of every little thing. This type of pettiness just comes from politicians and news media trying to get more support by hammering crap like this into the heads of the poor uneducated idiots that listen to them.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  103. Ron Tarwater

    It seems there's a worse virus than H1N1 going around in Washington, D.C. It's called stupidity. Gitmo prisoners get the Swine Flu vacination before America's children. Not on my watch if I were president. Get real Mr. Obama. U.S. Children first! Elmira, NY

    November 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  104. Jackson

    The headline sounds bad, but its about lowering soldiers risks of contracting H1N1. The right decision is better than the popular decision.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  105. jim collins

    yes they are in our custody and we as a nation are responsible for them if you dont want them to get the vaccine we shouldnt have accepted the responsibility of being in loco parentis

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  106. Michael James US ARMY RETIRED

    When are the leaders of America going to wake up and start taking care of our own people? Are we going to have to fire every one of them and put people in their offices that know where they live and who they work for.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  107. Kay Rei

    It is absolutlely crazy to give detanees the H!N! vaccine when our children are dying of this virus!!!! Who came up with this idea???????

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  108. Don McQuistion

    Absolutely not, we the people need to be the first to be considered, it seems that the decision makers have their heads on backwards.
    I understand that there may be some concern based on crowded jail/prisons. but the American people have waited long enough, they will not be so forgiving if they see our children dying while those who want to kill us, languish at Gitmo being cared for better than America's citizens.
    Americans first, then everyone else.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  109. Beth in Gaston County, NC

    This is outrageous! Typical though...make sure the terrorists' rights are in tact while American children take the hit. There is no vaccine available for the great majority of children here...only in the most impacted schools and those at high risks! I say let the detainees catch the virus... We need to take care of our own children first!!!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  110. Jason V

    Heck No! While I can understand why the Pentagon THINKS they should give the detainees the flu vaccine. I served 10 years in the Army and I think they want to give them the vaccine because they want no appearance of any wrong doing from the human rights groups. However, the Pentagon should reconsider because I think even the human rights groups will not complain if there are shortages in America and people are dying from the swine flu.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  111. Mark

    The GITMO detainees should get the flu shots. There are only approximately 300 of them, and who knows what critical info we may still be able to find out from them as they plea bargain prior to trials they may become involved in. Their survival may save thousands of Americans if they do eventually "break" and give valuable info.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  112. L.J.

    The detainees should ONLY get vaccine AFTER all those CHILDREN and any adults in the high risk group are vaccinated. I think with the shortages that we should certainly get our PRIORITIES IN ORDER.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  113. randy

    Jack, where do i sign up to break the law so i can get my shot?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  114. Ralph Greene

    Here's a novel idea. Let's not give the vaccine to the population of Gitmo save some tax dollars and maybe some of the characters there will pass on compliments of the swine flu.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  115. Andre

    Gitmo detainees have to be thanksfull just for still being alive. giving them h1n1 vaccine is absurde , and they shouldn't receive anything.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  116. Patricia Baughn

    Dear Jack:

    I do not think that the Gitmo detainees should get the H1N1 shot nor do I think prisoners in the Fed prisons should get it either. I do think the prison guards should, however, but not before the children of this country get theirs. Frankly I don't care if the prisoners are vulnurable to the virus; they should not ever come before innocent children and other vulnurable Americans who are not behind bars for breaking the laws of this land.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  117. mary jane barenbaum

    If giving the shots can keep the guards safer from the flu then give it to them. We had flu wshots given out in Daytona Beach Fl this past week and less than half of them were used up. They lined up before the clinic opened but shortly after that no more people came. What does this say about this issue? A lot of hipe to make the W.H. look bad.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  118. ben

    If the state is going to take on the responsibility of holding these people, they also take on the responsibility of caring for them. That said, shouldn't it be pretty easy to keep a virus out of a maximum security military prison without resorting to an expensive and limited vaccine? You screen inmates before they enter, and vaccinate the guards and other staff who are coming and going. After that, how could any inmate possibly contract the disease, whether they're vaccinated or not?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  119. Dale Caldwell

    From a biological perspective, it makes a lot of sense to vaccinate all those in close confinement with many other people. Whether they be soldiers, sailors, airmen, prison guards, or prisoners. The biggest question concerning vaccine supply is why, as far I can find out, NONE of the vaccine is manufactured in the US! Why is that?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  120. Dallas Elswick

    Not only should the Gitmo detainees not get the flu shot neither should the police and fire men get it before kids and women. This shows you what America is coming too. What happen to the America of the past?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  121. Fred-El Paso

    We should give these people the swine flu instead of the vaccine. This is a slap in the face to all Americans. Doesn't the administration get it? Mr. President, you should instruct the military to give up this idea immediately!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  122. Jayce

    We're the good guys and we need to act like it. They're prisoners but they're still people. Doesn't matter what they did or why they did it, they should be treated humanely. Our compassion is what gives us the moral high ground. We cannot risk losing it again (like we have the last 8 years).

    November 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  123. Christopher in PA

    This is ridiculous. There is no reason they should get it before Americans. If the terrorist get sick and die in Gitmo, I don't care but if average Americans die because the terrorists got the vaccine instead of them, I do care. Whoever approved giving them the option of getting vaccinated obviously doesn't care about the average American. High risk Americans then average Americans should receive the vaccine. Then, only then, should these terrorists even be considered to receive the vaccine after every American is vaccinated.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  124. Michael n Seattle

    first of all jack who is saying they will get the shots before any americans secendly they haven't been sentenced or convicted as a terrorists , so the humanintarian thing bto do see that while in our custody they should be kept healthy , that just might change some minds that the US isn't that unhumane after all.
    Our kisd will get their shots. My 6 month old grand daughter is in th hospital with the swine flu but she's being taken care of humanely.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  125. Patricia PeterMSN RN

    Absolutely not.! To do so is a traveresty of appropriate response. to impending epidemic. Where is the justice for American citizens especially those who have committed no crime? The should be last in line to receive H1N1 vaccine? What about those in close contact in schools, workplaces and churches or any other gathering places of ordinary people?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  126. Michael

    Absolutely not. These are terror suspects we are talking about! Hardworking Americans have enough to worry about in these troubled times. The last thing we need to consider is giving these detainees preferential treatment and treating our own as second class. I don't care that these suspects are at higher risk either. That's not to say they deserve swine flu, but it's okay to roll the dice on them rather than our own. After all, they are there for plotting attacks against America!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  127. John from Tillamook OR

    If the "suspects" at Gitmo had been convicted of any crime by now, then I would say they could go without any vaccines whatsoever, but we have done nothing but illegally "detain" them for years. No trials, no hearings, nothing. Until such time that our government decides to give these individuals their due rights in court, we should consider them innocent of all crimes and give them the vaccines if they want them.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  128. Edwin G.

    I think we all need to look at the bigger picture, while it is appalling that our own children do not have the vaccine so readily available, it does not absolve the government from it's responsibility over the humane treatment of the detainees at Gitmo. They might be detainees but humans just like the rest of us.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  129. Rob Morris

    Jack, as frustrating as it is, yes. Our troops need to be up close and personal to watch these people, some of whom are actually as dangerous as the hype says. Those troops get cycled home, and we don't need Gitmo as an unregulated corner of the fight against H1N1. I don't know if it's fair to lay all this shortage at Obama's feet, but as they say, he is now the serving President, and it falls to him and his to clear up this logjam, and make damned sure the various alt-techs available are brought up to speed for the next pandemic, as sure as eggs is eggs

    November 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  130. Brenda

    Absolutely not. The soldiers guarding the prisoners should recieve the vaccine and that would protect the prisoners from the H1N1. We spend enough money keeping these prisoners in a protected and comfortable environment. Americans should recieve the vaccine first.
    I can't believe the powers to be would choose prisoners over tax paying citizens.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  131. Cookie

    i have been in the medical field for years and have seen "panic" diseases come and go. i am more worried about getting struck by lightening than getting the swine flu

    November 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  132. Kelly in Minneapolis

    The Gitmo detainees are quarantined! They aren't going to spread the disease. Moreover, these guys are healthy, rugged folk; a bad case of the flu probably won't kill them. Vaccinate the soldiers and give the rest to people who need it.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  133. Glenn

    It's a couple hundred doses Jack. Numbers that will make no difference for the shortage in this country so put a sock in it. If you want to vent outrage why not put it in the direction of the real problem. The vaccine makers. They promised us a Mississippi River of flu vaccine and instead gave us a babbling brook. I've already heard stories on other networks of price gouging for the vaccine, where is your outrage over that?

    Haymarket, VA

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  134. nydroeg

    This is a no-brainer. When you incarcerate someone, you take away their ability to fend for themselves, and you take it upon yourself to treat them with dignity and fairness. If they were on the streets, they could fight for a vaccine with the rest of us, but they can't. They are not getting preferential treatment. Others around them (guards and staff) are getting vaccinated ahead of them.

    Their legal status shouldn't really be a factor in their vaccination priority (they have not been sentenced to death by swine flu), but many of these individuals are, in fact, not charged with any crime, cleared of accusations, and held in prison for the absurd reason that there is no politically expedient location at which to release them.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  135. Harry Eichelberger

    Simply put, no. The people who work at GITMO should have the option but detainees are you kidding me? This sends the message to the American public that if you can't get a swine flu vaccine just start a terror plot against America and you'll be covered at GITMO. Give me a break, take care of the American public, not the people who try to hurt the American public.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  136. A

    I think they should be the last ones to get it. They aren't going to be getting out of GItmo anytime soon, so why would they be infected? Why protect them from the virus while the American people who are out in the world living their lives be forced to wait even longer for the vaccine? Its not right. Of course, if there had been proper manufacturings of the vaccine to begin with, you wouldn't be asking such a question...

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  137. Todd, State College, Pa.

    God forbid a detainee dies from H1N1 like some Americans are. Such a human rights violation will cause America to have a bad image in the world, will lead to more people becoming radicalized, and America will only have itself to blame for Islamic terrorism and terrorist attacks.

    This is the way some people in our country ACTUALLY think. As for me, I have no idea, with the rationing that's already going on IN our country, why any of those guys would receive the vaccine before pregnant women or children. It's pathetic and unacceptable.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  138. Clayton

    If we're detaining prisoners for their intelligence potential then it's in our best interest to keep them alive and in good health. +1 to comments by Conor in Chicago, Jay, and Mr. D

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  139. Ruth

    If I had a young child or an elderly parent who died from H1N1 in the next three weeks, who died because the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay or other types of prisons in the US, I'd go after the Federal Government and the Department of Health BIG TIME!

    If Washington is so scared that any of these prisoners can contract H1N1, then put an immediate to any visitation and maybe time outside of their cells to keep them away from this flu. AFTER every one of we law abiding citizens have been vaccinated and we have any of the vaccine left, then and only then should prisoners be vaccinated.

    It's about time the Federal Government started putting citizens first!!!!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  140. Gary McGarvie

    Absolutely not-united states children and high profile people first-who in hell is making these decisions? We need to ship them over where our troops are fighting and leave them there..

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  141. Dave Broyles

    We'll give our own prisoners / convicts the H1N1 if they are juveniles, pregnant inmates or have compromised immune deficiencies, based on the current threat to these people(doesn't seem right, but I'm not making the call). If the detainees fall into one of these three categories, they should be given the H1N1. If not, they should wait like I, a retired military person, waits my turn...and not before.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  142. Lou in Phoenix

    They should get it only if it can be determined if they individually have something worthwhile to be say or do; otherwise, they should give it to me since I'm 70, disabled with asthema and bronchitis. And, I have a doctor's prescription and still can't get it.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  143. john adkins, NC

    Yes jack they should. Not only is it our best national interest, it is also a safety issue that could affect us all. Guards at prisons go home. A pandemic in a prison would affect us all. It"s a no brainer. John in waynesville, NC

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  144. Jane Federal Way, WA

    Gitmo prisoners don't represent a huge number of flu vaccinations. I see the problem with the shortage as the fact that hundreds of people are gathered in one place to obtain the shot. Isn't it more of a danger to be stuck in crowds for hours on end making it even more likely the flu will spread?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  145. sheldon

    they should give the shot to the faculty and guards instead. if the flu isn't introduced into the prison, you won't need to vaccinate the inmates. Adn since the faculty works for the government, it's not like they won't get it anyway

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  146. Bob Schmidt

    Jack, Last week you told Wolf that today the American government was past being dysfunctional, it's broken, and it doesn't work anymore. The question about H1N1 shots for terrorist detainees is just one more example of how the American government doesn't work anymore. Wake up America!!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  147. Darrol

    No they shouldn't get the shots. We ought to terrorize them back

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  148. April

    I understand about close quarters in prisions and hospitals, but more important than our children and our grandchildren? I don't think so Jack.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  149. Diane

    Of course the detainees should NOT get preferential treatment for the H1N1 vaccine! Due to the shortage every drop of vaccine should go to children and pregnant women! I would hate to think that my pregnant daughter-in-law was denied a vaccination because it went to a suspected terrorist!! Where are our priorities??
    East Alton, IL

    November 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  150. Jean

    Prisoners at Gitmo who are terrorists to receive priority for HINI swine flu vaccination? Oh please. What's going on. Give me a break. I do not want to sound as someone who lacks compassion. It is a slap in the face for those who should immediately receive the vaccine. I say no way. What have they done and are doing to deserve this priority? They should be the last to receive the vaccination. So what if they get HINI? The government would have to contend with less people to transfer to other countries. Do I care about people who have posed a hazard to the livelihood and safety of others and still do? I do not. How about law-abiding people who deserve to be the first to receive HINI vaccination and should receive it right now with no hesitation.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  151. Lawrence

    I don't think they "deserve" the shot, over sick innocent little children and citizens who in a way deserve it better than detainees! Please take it from them and give to people on the streets who go to work to pay taxes that are used to feed them!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  152. Jacques Komourian


    This is a government that it decided to force feed detainees during a hunger strike against their will. Seems only fitting with this policy to vaccinate the Gitmo detainees post haste

    Montreal, Canada

    November 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  153. Heather

    No, detainees should be dead LAST rather than up on the priority list! I have no problem with those who work with prisoners receiving the vaccine now, but definitely not prisoners. That is outrageous on the part of our government. The distribution has been botched from the beginning. Pregnant women should have been given the vaccine in their OBGYN's offices first and not be required to stand in line anywhere. In Cleveland, some drug stores/ discount stores received vaccine with no instructions to prioritize. If you showed up with the money, you got the vaccine. The distribution should have come with strict guidelines. There has been no attempt at accountability in our area that we have seen.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  154. suzanne

    Shame on whoever made that decision to give the prisoners the swine flu vaccine. As a leukemia patient going through a clinical trial and that hasn't as yet get it myself and with a daughter who is pregnant with also another daughter with a newborn baby who all haven't been able to as well I don't think that the pepole of our country would agree on giving i to someone in jail that just dousn't seem fair.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  155. Steve, Clifton, VA

    What the point of the question? The real issue at hand is the shortage of the vaccine which numbers in the millions or hundred of millions not 280 detainees in Cuba. The shortage is real and the question about 300 prisoners in Cuba is political. What is the alternative for this civilized country? Two totally different issues. By the way, there soldiers that are at rick of catching the swine flue if the vaccinations are not forthcoming.

    Clifton, VA

    November 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  156. E

    Jack I wish Gitmo would just go away, but since it won't. If we don't let them V-nate the prisoners, the whole base will be at risk of H1N1 infection. Especially the guards and we don't want that do we?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  157. Michael Kennedy

    Prisoners at Gitmo are adults, live alone, in isolated prison cells, with no visitors, on a military base that's on an island. in the middle of the Carribean.

    They are not at the same risk as children who are in classrooms of 35 students, that change every 50 minutes at the ring of the school bell, who touch dozens of door knobs that are touched by hundreds of other students, or at the same risk as their parents who are interacting with the public at work, stores, and among friends.

    But, then again, maybe the Gitmo prisoners are out-and-about at Walmart shopping every day and exposed to the sick public-what do I know, I just need to believe my government.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  158. Val Lockett Honolulu, HI

    Of course the detainees should receive the vaccine. There is an allocated amount which supplies the Department of Defense (DOD) and just as I as a military dependent is included under DOD, so are the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Albeit detained and probable terrorist suspects, they still fall under the responsibility of the Department of Defense...we are to feed them, clothe them, and maintain their well-being. What is the alternative.....not take care of them because they are detainees???? Imagine if these individuals were your sons, daughters, husbands, fathesr, mothers detained in an Iraqi prison because our Countries are at war. Are you still arguing not to vaccinate them? If my spouse was detained during one of his tours to Iraq, I would hope that they have the common decency to maintain his wellbeing. Keep in mind...they probably consider us terrorists too.

    Val Lockett
    Honolulu, HI

    November 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  159. Helen

    No No No Hell no. We have people that are high risk and need that vaccine. Let the Gitmo people wait until all who want to be vaccinated are.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  160. ellenbetty

    While the personnel in the US military and civilian personnel assigned to Gitmo who are at high risk for health problems from H1N1 should get the vaccine, people convicted of a felony, on trial for crimes like murder or attemped murder in the name of religion, should be the last person in the line to get the H1N1 vaccine. With the US military personnel stationed at Getmo getting the H1N1 vaccine, the risk of the detainees getting H1N1 is small. Those religious terrorists should take the risk as I am, a disabled veteran, of catching H1N1. If the VA has not vaccinated every employee and veteran for H1N1, then those religious terrorists in prison at Getmo should not be getting the H1N1 vaccine ahead of almost every American.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  161. Carlos

    Soldiers or guards should be the first ones to get the shots at Gitmo. For the other a simple NO, First there is no contact with the outside world , and of their guards are protected there is no way that they will get sick.
    Is insane to think that some other americans wait to get this shot to no avail. The feds should consider the good people, before criminals.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  162. Nathan

    Human rights issues asside, this is a question of a tiny percent of the overall production stock. More than 200 doses could be lost in shipping and no one would notice. The real issue is why is it taking so long to mass produce enough so this is not such a big deal

    November 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  163. Kate

    If they need to stay alive to testify...Yes.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  164. ken m.

    Jack, all prisioners should be the last ones who get the shots,the order should be ,children and teens, collage students,expected mothers ,military,a out break the military military familys, older poeple with medical problems, then regular poeple next.,then the last poeple should be regular prisioners , then political prisons.then the senate and congress since they have done very little , are the least to get the shot unless they sign a prommiss to work with there other politicans. ken

    November 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  165. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I'm sure there are more than a million of Rush Limbaugh listeners who won't be taking the vaccine if they agree with him. So go ahead and give the detainees their share and those who don't want to take vaccine won't have anything to complain about.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  166. Jason Moore

    Sounds like a movie script. In fact 'Epidemic: Swine Flu' the movie will be out before the vaccine is widely available.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  167. Emmanuel

    The prisoners are suspects. We do not want suspects to die of swine flu because then we may not know if they are actually terrorists or not.. People inclose quarters who have no place to go, need the vaccine. This way the entire prison does not close because all the inmate are down with swine flu, and need medical attenmtion elsewhere.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  168. Ted S.

    Military personal, Yes. Prisoners, Not before our children, people with serious Illnesses, Seniors, ect. ect. (In the USA) !!!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  169. freddie Gavin

    No–but do the government really cares what we think. whats the difference–Gitmo getting vaccine or, the government sending millions of dollars of aid to countries when we have cities in the U.S. needing aid–go figure.

    freddie gavin
    augusta, ga

    November 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  170. DeeJay

    Duh! This is a no brainer. The Guantanamo inmates are detainees.....segregated from civilization (supposedly). So just cut
    contact to the institution, immunize the caretakers, and save more doses for the American public.

    DeeJay- Canada

    November 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  171. Karl from SF, CA

    So don't give them the vacine and if they come down with H1N1, we'll see how well our troops are protected from it. Makes sense to me, but I'm an idiot.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  172. Chuck Howley


    Absolutely NOT! What IDIOT in Washington made this decision?

    If any of the terror suspects at Gitmo refuse their swing flu shots might an American child or pregnant woman get their vaccine or does it get overnighted overseas to the Taliban?

    Give me a break!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  173. Allen L Wenger

    I am so sick of hearing about the Gitmo prisoners. They seem to work their way into every topic. I am a liberal, but I am ready to support executing all of them without a trial. I think that it would be more humane than indefinate imprisonment without trial or shipping them off to another country.

    Mountain Home ID

    November 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  174. Debbie Willis

    No, definately not. However, the next time the Government needs several thousands of volunteers to see if the next vaccine will be effective, let the prisoners be the first in line to roll up their sleeves.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  175. Edwin G. Linden, NJ

    I think we all need to look at the bigger picture, while it is appalling that our own children do not have the vaccine so readily available, it does not absolve the government from it’s responsibility over the humane treatment of the detainees at Gitmo. They might be detainees but humans just like the rest of us.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  176. Chad S. Clark

    Absolutely ASTOUNDING! They say it will be "offered" because of the setting of a detainee institution. If they are not forced to give it to every single detainee doesn't that make it pointless? What about AMERICAN inmates? Have they received THEIR vaccinations yet? They're in more crowded setting then the detainees!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  177. Sonny

    Yes .they can get them ,after every US citizen has had opportunity to get it!.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  178. Sherry

    As amother of a 2 year old, with asthma, a heart condition, amd febrile seizures, it is absolutely not fair. I wisk someone could explain to me why I have had to hold my son through 3 breathing treatments and a seizure due to H1N1. It is too late for him to get the vaccine but not for other children they have not tried to harm Americans. Let the terrorists wait like the children who have the under lying health conditions.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  179. Bonna Hampton- St Charles, Missouri

    what is our country coming to when Gitmo and prison inmates get the vacine and our kids are dying. This is America why don't the White house act like it. People should flood the White House with calls.

    Bonna Hampton
    St Charle,Missouri

    November 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  180. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    In a word, NO! The CDC needs to prioritize who gets the HiNi vaccine and do it immediately. Everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine should get it ASAP, but the detainees at Gitmo should not get preferential treatment abd get their shots before the rest of the public.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  181. Patrick, Annapolis MD

    Absolutely not. The people in Gitmo are not law-abiding American citizens, they are suspected terrorists form foriegn countries. They are isolated from the outside world, and are not in the most affected demograghics (pregnant women, teens, small children) so it is very unlikely that they will get the swine flu, even without the vaccine. I would think that the prisoners in Gitmo would be the last people to get the vaccine, period. Why they are getting these vaccines with a shortage is beyond me.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  182. Angie Heath

    Those in prison are often first in line for organ transplants and speicalized care. Why should we be surprised that they get vaccines first? Their rights have to be protected. Amazing we can't find a way for the average American's rights to be preserved as well. Angie in Terre Haute, IN

    November 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  183. betty peruski

    Dear Jack

    I am outraged as should all americans – that someone feels they need a pat on the back for even thinking up this idea .- terrorist and inmates. I suppose this is one of those people that THINK they are humanatarians. The terrorists should never get it, they have no value for human life. EVIDENTLY- the people who came up with this idea to offer them the vaccine have no value for human life of the people of the US.

    Do we value their lives over our children? Of course not.
    If there is any left over vaccine then the people of US should be the ones to vote if prisoners should get it. Bettye

    November 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  184. Victoria Smegal

    Better a flu shot than paying for intensive life saving care for the 100 or so left. Americans will be fine if they just stop letting crazy's out there scare them to panic.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  185. Luther Francis

    I am 85 and am more than willing to wait until the children, who are the most vulnerable, are all treated so should the detainees.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  186. Deejay Heger

    Are US prisoners in our country's jails getting the shots yet? If NOT, why would a terrorist, Gitmo detainee get preferential treatment before our own jailed citizens?...to say nothing of our innocent children!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  187. Nancila - Cranbury, NJ

    Let’s be real – Vaccines are preventative treatment and is not a cure. Who are we to decide who’s deserving enough especially since I know a few people that I even question if they are even human. Anyway, these are terror suspects and have not had their day in court.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  188. Janice From NJ

    I doubt this story. Someone probably read that there was a policy to vaccinate prisoners everywhere, including Guantanamo but not before everyone else got it. That would not make sense. But, what about all those people who took the shot when they were not on the priority list? I am on that list and could not get it yet. Hope they can live with themselves when they read about kids that die in their area who could not get vaccinated.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  189. Victor

    It should be required to the inmates whether they want it or not. Not for their protection per se but the protection of our soulders Marines and Cormen who have to interact with them. Its a long standing medical principle. Getting the vaccine first does not provide 100% protection for our folks. The virus does not know the differnce between the terroist or a young Marine who's shot did not take. It may sound good to the Republican ear but it is irresponsible to grand stand about 200 or so shots out of millions when it protects our poeple from cross infection, and yes I am a physician.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  190. Jane Freeman

    From Hyannis, MA.

    About Gitmos getting vaccine......Why are they getting the H1n1 vaccine? This is an extremely isolated population. How on earth are they going to be exposed to the virus? What is their risk? This makes aboslutely no sense.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  191. Kent Blandford

    How could you justify giving the vaccine to a single American before the 'detainees' are first protected. Detainee does not = 9/11 attacker! They are helpless, defenceless and unable to protect themselves at your (U.S.A.) doing. I don't support any type of favorable treatment for convicted criminals, however most of the detainees, by admission of your own military, are innocent victims of circumstance.

    America tossed the rulebook of civilized behaviour out the window when she was attacked on 9/11. It's time to retrieve it.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  192. Susan O'Brian

    This is another example of some one's idea that other countries will think we're being "Humane", to the prisoners at Gitmo. Well, this is an outrage. Our innocent children and pregnant mothers don't have near the immunity protection to survive as those men. They are prisoners, and shouldn't out weigh our kids.

    Jacksonville, FL

    November 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  193. Ed Tallahassee

    Follow the law as it is written. If you don't like the law then change it.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  194. Corey

    I am 31 weeks pregnant and am disgusted that these prisoners are getting the vaccine and I cannot. I try everyday to get it and no one has it. I hear everyday about the pregnant women who have died or lost their babies as result of H1N1. I am afraid to leave my house or go to my other childs school – so I am the prisoner now. Maybe THAT will move me to the front of the line?! I was under the impression that Obama was going end the stupidity in the government . . .

    November 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  195. Shaun

    Yes!!! The detainees should get the vaccine for the protection of the military personnel that are guarding them. Support the troops!!!!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  196. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    Yes, You don't want our US Troops catching it.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  197. Mark


    I am a member of the military and have been for 32 years. It is about time we start caring for the citizens of this country, children, elderly folks, pregnant women and our military that may be subjected to H1N1. I have a niece who is a school teacher with a child 2 years old and one on the way. the right thing to do by giving if we care for our own first.

    Mark H
    Rye NH

    November 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  198. Will from San Jose, CA

    In the last 300 days Swine flu has killed just shy of 6000 people worldwide. In that same time frame cardiovascular disease and diabetes has killed over 15 million people.

    If only the media would cover obesity with the same anxiety and breathless concern as they have H1N1.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm |

    Keep up the good work! Regarding the swine flu vaccine, no way should the Gitmo prisoners receive the vaccine before our own populace. I'm appalled at the decision. Who everr made this decision should have his/her head examined!! The vaccine is not currently available to us, and we the taxpayers/voters are paying for it. Washington should be paying more attention to our welfare, rarher than to the opinions of the non-Christian world. Power to the people!!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  200. Gail, Plano,Texas

    The people being held at Gitmo, some illegally, are welcome to my flu shot, and my two sons and 9 year old grandson. Again, fear rules in this great land of ours. People are so afraid of dying, that they will put anything in their bodies that the government tells them to. What are we, Sheep?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  201. Michael James US ARMY RETIRED

    To many Americans have forgotten their brother and sister Americans who the people in question plotted to or killed on 911 and in the Afgan War. These are not Americans they are savage terrorist that want to kill unarmed defenseless Americans. We owe them nothing but swift and sure punishment.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  202. Linda D.

    The Whole thing is outragous...My fifteen year old daughter is in bed right now with the Swine Flu, shes running 103 fever on ibprofin and is in terrible pain with her chest and all over her body, I have two younger children with underlying conditions but the hospitals tell me there are no more vaccines here in Stamford, CT . And if my other children should become ill with Swine Flu...Keep them at home..they don't want them at the hospitals...Is this America?

    November 2, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  203. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Whats going to happen if the vaccine backfires and the prisoners die .

    November 2, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  204. Jasse

    NO, give detainees in Gitmo the HlNl virus. Save the vaccine to the
    citizens who need it. This would conserve vaccine, save $$$ and
    solve other problems re: Gitmo.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  205. tearsza

    I am a Humanitarian and an Idealist; however, I am also a Realist. This vaccine for the H1N1 virus is being spread thinly; therefore I believe those most at risk in America should be given first priority. Not only are those individuals at GITMO being talked about regarding preference (Ideally, everyone SHOULD GET IT), but those people in US Prisons (massive outbreaks in such quarters does present a most frightening scenario) are also being raised above the rest of the population (pregnant women, children) to receive the vaccine. How in goodness name does that make any sense? Such decisions are cursed but those who are most needy, most vulnerable need to be given priority thought and the vaccine, then proceed onto those at Gitmo and US Prisons.

    tearsza/SO CALIF

    November 2, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  206. pat in lexington, Ky.

    NO they shouldn't get it – even after millions of Americans are vaccinated! No prisoners shuld be given this opportunity. Of course, I'm one who believes prisoners shouldn't be able to watch TV, either.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  207. jennifer krell

    I've changed my mind. My first gut reaction was hell no! But after reading others' comments , they have a lot of good points. We're only talking 200 or less vaccines out of millions, and if they get sick we'll have to pay for their treatment, and possible transport. Right, the real question is why are still having to take care of these scumbags? Lets get rid of them.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  208. Ken

    My one yr. old granddaughter waited in line twice with parents only to be turned away due to shortage. The G-bay prisoners should get the shots after we get ours. To much talking not enough action should have started long ago on the vaccine.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  209. Lori Bennett

    Jack – Why is this surprising. Illegal Immigrants (both detained and not), and Prisoners receive medical care when an American Citizen cannot. I think there is nothing more to say.......

    November 2, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  210. Tito

    I guess it's easy to pass judgement on this issue when your on the outside but if your put in charge of the situation like taking care of these pisoners you have to make hard chooses remember they are under the care of the USA and if they die of anything the world will not leave it alone especially with what has happened to other prisoners under our care in Iraq . Let face it while we have them locked up .they will have to be taken care of even if you deem it a bad idea !

    November 2, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  211. Jane (Minnesota)

    Since we may or may not be legally detaining them, if they want the shot they should get it.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  212. David in Raleigh, NC

    Gitmo prisoners and illegal immigrants should only get the vacine when there is enough available for all American Citizens.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  213. Charles J

    Jack, they should not get the shots any sooner than everyone else that is waiting. A priority list has been established, and it should be followed. If they are not under 25, pregnant, or afflicted with a compromised immune system then they should wait just like the rest of us. Those in the prison system should get the shots last.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  214. DeeJay

    Immunize the caretakers, isolate the institution (Gitmo) from those that haven't been immunized and, although that may be a mere 200+ inmates, that could mean 200+ AMERICAN lives saved, AND the detainees would also not be susceptable to the virus.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  215. Gigi Oregon

    After reading your questions and the response I see we are no better than the enemy... How would we want our soldiers treated if they were in the enemies prison. Many people never put the shoe on the other foot.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  216. Chris

    I believe the terrorists should be allowed the vaccine. Given the value they put on human life they should have been the first to step forward for the testing of the virus, prior to human use.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  217. Jerry - Toronto

    I vote give it to the detainees. Based on how dangerous this vaccine is and how little testing has been done, let them be the guinea pigs for the greedy drug companies rather than some poor child or a young pregnant woman. Governments around the world are voting not to make this vaccine mandatory as they too have concerns about its safety. Many Doctors are also feeling the same way including the two in my family. Based on how dangerous the side affects this vaccine can produce it should be given only on a case by case basis, unless of course the goal by the drug companies and politicians is to depopulate the planet. If that’s the case, my vote is still, start with the terrorists.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  218. Gigi Oregon

    I wonder how the parents of the three in prisoned in Iran feel about this question?...

    November 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  219. Peggy Robertson Dallas, TX

    Sure detainees should qualify for the H1N1 vaccine! Just use the same criteria -so we don't discriminate- when all pregnant women and children under 6 are vaccinated...then we'll get to the next group in line...elderly Veterans of the U.S. and on...and on....They may have a long wait. Again...no discrimination!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  220. Miguel Serrano

    Hey why not! They are already giving OUR benefits to illegal aliens and soon they will even give them S.S. benefits. Ah..and don’t forget about giving all our hard earned money to wall street moguls.

    Shame on them!!!!!

    November 2, 2009 at 5:59 pm |