They call it a costly publicity stunt, but a spokeswoman for Gov. Rod Blagojevich says the governor was acting in the public's best interest when he made the deal last fall.
Officials were predicting a nationwide vaccine shortage, and the governor thought he could buy extra supplies overseas. The federal government never allowed Illinois to import the vaccine.
At a legislative hearing Thursday, Rep. Jack Franks of Woodstock said taxpayers were hurt by the deal, but Blagojevich got $2.5 million of publicity.
The state is now trying to resell the doses on the European market.
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