Read entire article at: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200918-the-fiasco-of-the-us-swine-flu-affair-of-1976
With a pandemic looming, the US president announced a warp-speed effort to vaccinate every man, woman and child in the country. As Richard Fisher discovers, the mistakes that followed hold lessons for today.
Pascal Imperato was waiting in line for his vaccine shot. So were the cameras.
It was around 10:30 in the morning on 12 October 1976, and Imperato was at the Chelsea Health Clinic, an Art Deco building in the lower west side of Manhattan. The clinic was one of around 60 locations dotted around New York, preparing to vaccinate almost everyone in the city.
That year, fears of a swine flu pandemic had loomed large, so President Gerald Ford had ordered an unprecedented mass vaccination of everyone in the United States. As Imperato rolled up his sleeve, it was the first day of the effort in New York.
Imperato was deputy health commissioner and the chair of the task force charged with rolling out the programme in the city, so had volunteered to be photographed for the newspapers as he got his shot. The mayor of New York City, when asked, had refused, so Imperato had stepped up. Turnout was strong across the city that morning.