News & Perspective

Mar 07, 2008

Mar 07, 2008

CDC retires one old smallpox vaccine, keeps another

(CIDRAP News) – Federal health officials recently announced plans to get rid of their last remaining stocks of the decades-old smallpox vaccine Dryvax, as a newer vaccine takes its place in the national stockpile of emergency medical supplies.

Mar 10, 2008

Mar 10, 2008

Hectic season exposes gaps in flu preparedness

(CIDRAP News) – Friday's announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that influenza appears to be slowing down has left medical personnel relieved for the imminent end of a harsh flu season.

But it has also left them worried over weaknesses that the season exposed in public health's ability to anticipate flu's behavior, and over doubts raised among their patients by the flu vaccine's diminished effectiveness.

Mar 20, 2008

Mar 20, 2008

US has enough H5N1 vaccine for 13 million people

(CIDRAP News) – A progress report released today says the US government has stockpiled enough prepandemic H5N1 influenza vaccine for 13 million people, more than double the number listed in the previous report, issued last July.

Apr 18, 2008

Apr 18, 2008

HHS names chief for biodefense research agency

(CIDRAP News) – Robin Robinson, PhD, who led the development of the first H5N1 influenza vaccine approved for human use, has been named the first director of the US government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA).

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Robinson's appointment this week.

Apr 25, 2008

Apr 25, 2008

IOM: US likely to need bigger antiviral stockpile

(CIDRAP News) – The US government will need to expand its stockpile of antiviral drugs if the goal is to have enough doses to treat all patients and provide preventive treatment for some others at risk in an influenza pandemic, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) says in a report issued today.

Apr 30, 2008

Apr 30, 2008

Health group urges overhaul of US food safety system

(CIDRAP News) – Calling the US food safety system antiquated and disjointed, a public health advocacy group today urged a major overhaul to make the system stronger, more coherent, and better attuned to today's major threats.

May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008

Groups chart ways to improve foodborne illness probes

(CIDRAP News) – Federal agencies that play key food safety roles recently held a public meeting to clarify the obstacles public health officials encounter in investigating foodborne disease outbreaks and to build support for measures to improve the process.

Jun 03, 2008

Jun 03, 2008

HHS offers pandemic guidance on masks, antivirals

(CIDRAP News) – Proposed pandemic preparedness guidance released by the federal government today recommends that people wear face masks if they have to go into crowds during an influenza pandemic and says critical infrastructure businesses should consider stockpiling antiviral drugs, among various other suggestions.

Jun 10, 2008

Jun 10, 2008

President seeks more food safety funding for FDA

(CIDRAP News) – US Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt announced yesterday that the Bush administration has boosted its fiscal year 2009 budget request by $275 million to increase funds for new food and medical product safety initiatives at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Jul 17, 2008

Jul 17, 2008

GAO looks abroad for food-safety oversight lessons

(CIDRAP News) – The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report examining the results several developed nations and the European Union achieved when they consolidated oversight of food safety in a single agency, a step often advocated in the United State for solving some of the problems linked to contaminated imported and domestic food.

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