Winner: Given the problems last year with a shortage of flu vaccine, it's heartening to know the federal government is planning now in order to make sure there is enough to go around in the fall. This week, the FDA approved a German vaccine that has been used elsewhere for years. With 8 million doses of that, plus 60 million from another leading supplier and an estimated 3 million doses of a nasal spray, there should be enough to go around.
Make no mistake, an adequate supply of flu vaccine is nothing to sneeze at.
Loser: Is it a reflection of costs, or simply price gouging? Motorists in Utah and elsewhere wondered this week as gas prices seemed to jump to new heights every time they blinked. Indeed, it is difficult to believe that gasoline already in a storage tank can suddenly become more expensive, but Hurricane Katrina seemed to have an almost immediate impact all the way out here.
Regardless, Utahns will have to get used to the idea that, at least for now, the days of carefree and inexpensive travel are gone.
Winner: The surge in gas prices this week made the news that ground was broken for the start of commuter rail all the more cheery. The initial 44-mile length of service will run from Salt Lake City to Pleasant View in Weber County. The only question still looming is when Utah County will decide to come on board. After all, the recent increase in the price of a full tank of gas makes the tax hike necessary to bring commuter rail down there seem insignificant in comparison.