(CIDRAP News) In announcing his resignation today after 4 years as US Health and Human services (HHS) secretary, Tommy G. Thompson cited pandemic influenza and food biosecurity as two of his biggest worries.
Thompson, who presided over massive increases in federal spending for public health preparedness and biodefense research, said in response to a question, "There are two things that really worry me yet. The big one is pandemic flu."
(CIDRAP News) Before the current influenza vaccine shortage arose, Colorado was vaccinating people in mass clinics. After the shortage hit, the preventive medicine chief for the state's Kaiser Permanente clinics found himself driving around with leftover vaccine in his car, calling for information on which hospitals needed the doses.
Editor's note: A correction was made in this story Nov 9 to note that the existing licensed anthrax vaccine contains the natural rather than recombinant form of anthrax protective antigen.
(CIDRAP News) Federal health officials today announced the award of an $877 million contract for 75 million doses of a new anthrax vaccine to protect the public and improve on the existing vaccine used by the military.
(CIDRAP News) The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded contracts worth more than $73 million to study the mechanisms by which certain infectious agents, including potential bioterror agents, trigger immune reactions, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced yesterday.
(CIDRAP News) The United States was on track to provide 100 million doses of influenza vaccine this year when half of its supply was withdrawn in early October because of contamination concerns over vaccine from Chiron Corp. Suddenly about 48 million doses shy of the expected supply, US officials scrambled to define priorities.
(CIDRAP News) The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the most important lesson gleaned from examining the anthrax exposures in US Postal Service (USPS) facilities in 2001 is that agencies must err on the side of caution to protect people from uncertain and potentially life-threatening risks.