News & Perspective

Jan 23, 2013

Jan 23, 2013

Research moratorium on modified H5N1 viruses ends

(CIDRAP News) – A year-long voluntary moratorium on research involving transmissible H5N1 avian flu viruses ended today with a letter from a group of scientists that supports resuming the work in countries that have addressed the biosafety issues involved.

Dec 11, 2012

Dec 11, 2012

HHS offers some forecasts on medical countermeasures

(CIDRAP News) – A new report from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers a few predictions on when certain new countermeasures against biological threats will become available, including a forecast for two novel influenza drugs and possibly a next-generation anthrax vaccine within the next 5 years.

Oct 15, 2012

Oct 15, 2012

Report: Complacency, misperception stymie quest for better flu vaccines

The world needs much better influenza vaccines, but the quest for them faces a formidable barrier: overconfidence about the effectiveness of existing influenza vaccines.

Aug 17, 2012

Aug 17, 2012

Public health officials respond to critique of BioWatch

In the wake of a newspaper investigation that questioned the value of the federal BioWatch program for detecting dangerous airborne pathogens, some public health officials familiar with the program acknowledge that it's far from perfect, but they say it's not time to scrap it.

Jun 21, 2012

Jun 21, 2012

Fouchier study reveals changes enabling airborne spread of H5N1

(CIDRAP News) – A study showing that it takes as few as five mutations to turn the H5N1 avian influenza virus into an airborne spreader in mammals—and that launched a historic debate on scientific accountability and transparency—was released today in Science, spilling the full experimental details that many experts had sought to suppress out of concern that publishing them could lead to the unleashing of a dangerous virus.

Jan 23, 2012

Jan 23, 2012

Experts debate aspects of H5N1 transmission studies

(CIDRAP News) – More experts weighed in recently on various aspects of yet-unpublished H5N1 avian influenza transmissibility studies that have raised concerns about the risk of an intentional or accidental release of the mutant pathogens, as well as worries about scientific censorship.

Oct 17, 2008

Oct 17, 2008

US antiterrorism rules restrict vaccine exports

(CIDRAP News) – A recent Associated Press (AP) report revealed that, in the name of preventing biological attacks, the United States has rules barring the exportation of vaccines for avian influenza, smallpox, yellow fever, and many other pathogens to five countries classified as sponsors of terrorism.

Jul 23, 2008

Jul 23, 2008

New pandemic vaccine plan keeps focus on critical workers

(CIDRAP News) – Federal health officials today released their official guidance on allocating vaccine during an influenza pandemic, with few changes from a previous draft that put military personnel, critical health and emergency workers, pregnant women, and small children at the head of the line.

Jan 18, 2008

Jan 18, 2008

ACLU sees coercive theme in federal pandemic plans

(CIDRAP News) – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) this week charged that federal pandemic planning efforts rely too heavily on law enforcement and national security approaches, in effect making people, not disease, the enemy.

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