News & Perspective

Jan 09, 2009

Jan 09, 2009

HHS reports progress on cell-based pandemic vaccines

(CIDRAP News) – In a progress report on federal pandemic influenza planning efforts, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says several companies working under federal contracts are on track to develop cell culture–based pandemic flu vaccines.

Jan 15, 2009

Jan 15, 2009

Novartis gets US contract for cell-based flu vaccine plant

(CIDRAP News) – The US government has awarded Novartis a $487 million contract to help build a plant in North Carolina that the company says will be capable of producing 150 million doses of cell-based pandemic influenza vaccine within 6 months after the start of a pandemic.

Jan 16, 2009

Jan 16, 2009

Feds outline state pandemic planning gains and gaps

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday released an assessment of progress states have made toward planning for an influenza pandemic. The report found that many scored well in areas such as protecting citizens and administering mass vaccinations, but showed major gaps in such areas as sustaining state operations, developing community mitigation plans, and maintaining key infrastructure.

Jan 27, 2009

Jan 27, 2009

CDC's preparedness chief named acting director

(CIDRAP News) – Richard E. Besser, MD, who formerly directed terrorism preparedness and emergency response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was named last week as the agency's acting director.

Besser replaces Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, who had led the agency since July 2002 and stepped down as President Barack Obama took office last week.

Jan 29, 2009

Jan 29, 2009

House-passed stimulus bill includes pandemic funding

(CIDRAP News) – Yesterday the US House of Representatives passed an $819 billion economic stimulus bill that included funding for pandemic influenza and bioterrorism countermeasures, and now the Senate will debate its version of the measure, which also includes spending on some of the same items.

Feb 02, 2009

Feb 02, 2009

Obama joins calls for improving US food safety regime

CIDRAP News – President Barack Obama called today for a "complete review" of the operations of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the wake of the ongoing outbreak of Salmonella in peanuts and peanut butter.

Feb 03, 2009

Feb 03, 2009

Experts weigh new H5N1 vaccine strategies

(CIDRAP News) – At an Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) symposium in Washington, DC, today on seasonal and pandemic influenza, a group of experts fielded questions from reporters on some of the new trends and emerging issues, including prepandemic strategies for H5N1 avian influenza vaccines, now that some countries are stockpiling them.

Feb 03, 2009

Feb 03, 2009

Salmonella cases rise as HHS pushes publicity

(CIDRAP News) – The case count in the nationwide Salmonella outbreak tied to peanut butter climbed to 550 yesterday, as federal officials announced an effort to use "social media" such as podcasts and YouTube videos to keep consumers abreast of product recalls and other developments in the outbreak.

Feb 12, 2009

Feb 12, 2009

US court rejects vaccines-autism link

(CIDRAP News) – In a ruling that aligns with numerous research studies, a special federal court today rejected claims by three sets of parents that vaccines caused their children's autism.

The US Court of Federal Claims ruled against claims that autism was triggered by measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine or by MMR vaccine in combination with vaccines containing thimerosal.

Feb 13, 2009

Feb 13, 2009

Stimulus bill headed for passage minus pandemic funds

(CIDRAP News) – With money for pandemic influenza preparedness stripped from a huge economic stimulus bill that appears headed for final congressional approval, public health advocates say they have to look to the regular budgeting process for the next chance to get some pandemic funding.

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