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.

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.

Feb 03, 2012

Feb 03, 2012

Live debate airs major divisions in H5N1 research battle

(CIDRAP News) – The controversy over research about potentially dangerous H5N1 viruses heated up last night in a New York City debate that featured some of the leading voices exchanging blunt comments on the alleged risks and benefits of publishing or withholding the full details of the studies.

Dec 20, 2011

Dec 20, 2011

US government urges journals to omit details of two H5N1 studies

(CIDRAP News) – In an unprecedented move, the US government, following an advisory panel's advice, has asked the journals Science and Nature to omit key details of two studies on the transmissibility of dangerous mutant strains of H5N1 influenza viruses in ferrets on grounds that the information could be misused by bioterrorists.

Jun 05, 2009

Jun 05, 2009

Obama seeks more funds for novel flu fight

(CIDRAP News) – President Barack Obama this week asked Congress for another $2 billion in supplemental funds to fight the novel H1N1 influenza epidemic, on top of $2 billion requested a month ago, and also proposed to tap federal economic stimulus funds for up to another $3.1 billion for the same purpose.

Meanwhile, public health advocates said even more may be needed if a nationwide H1N1 vaccination campaign is launched in the fall.

Nov 20, 2008

Nov 20, 2008

Report says pandemic will threaten coal, power supplies

(CIDRAP News) – A new report from the University of Minnesota warns that an influenza pandemic could disrupt the coal industry, thereby endangering the nation's significantly coal-dependent electric power system and everything that depends on it.

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.

Nov 15, 2007

Nov 15, 2007

THE PANDEMIC VACCINE PUZZLE Can we vaccinate enough people in time to matter?

Maryn McKennaContributing Writer

(CIDRAP News) – This in-depth article investigates the prospects for development of vaccines to head off the threat of an influenza pandemic posed by the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Its seven parts put advances in vaccine technology in perspective by illuminating the formidable barriers to producing an effective and widely usable vaccine in a short time frame.

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