News & Perspective

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.

Nov 21, 2012

Nov 21, 2012

FDA clears first cell-based flu vaccine

(CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved the nation's first cell-based flu vaccine, a product from Novartis that uses technology that could help vaccinate more Americans in a pandemic but still has many of the same limitations of older egg-based flu vaccines.

Nov 15, 2012

Nov 15, 2012

FDA panel endorses H5N1 vaccine with adjuvant

(CIDRAP News) – A government advisory committee yesterday endorsed the safety and immunogenicity of an adjuvant-containing H5N1 influenza vaccine proposed for inclusion in the US pandemic emergency stockpile, signaling that it could become the first adjuvanted flu vaccine to win approval in the United States.

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.

Sep 14, 2012

Sep 14, 2012

Policymakers plot next pandemic flu preparedness steps

(CIDRAP News) – US influenza policy experts who gathered in Washington, DC, today called for better vaccines and other steps for improving pandemic and seasonal flu preparedness, themes echoed in an action plan released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

Sep 13, 2012

Sep 13, 2012

HHS renews contracts for pandemic vaccine activities

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently awarded a new round of contracts to the five US-licensed influenza vaccine manufacturers to make pre-pandemic and pandemic influenza vaccines—projects that could be worth billions of dollars if another pandemic arises in the next few years.

Jun 27, 2012

Jun 27, 2012

HHS updates medical countermeasures strategy

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently updated its strategy for developing and acquiring countermeasures against threats such as bioterror attacks and pandemic flu, a document that spells out the federal game plan for the next 5 years.

Jun 26, 2012

Jun 26, 2012

HHS lists H1N1's lessons for honing pandemic readiness

(CIDRAP News) – During the 2009 influenza pandemic, clinicians were frustrated by the lack of useful diagnostic tests, the government had no national system for monitoring stress on healthcare facilities, and there was some duplication in federal media campaigns.

Jun 26, 2012

Biodefense board takes on situational awareness, SNS tasks

(CIDRAP News) – The National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB) during its meeting today took on two new tasks: to help guide federal efforts to improve situational awareness for potential public health emergencies and to help work out a strategy for improving and modernizing the management of the government's Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).

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.

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