The Osterholm Quotes

"The global health response system is broken . . . What happens if MERS blows up or there's an Ebola-like event in East Africa? I'm not sure WHO has a plan for that."
"That's like saying you don't want to call the fire department because you're afraid the trucks will create a disturbance."
"The one thing we can do to truly take all of this [the pandemic threat of avian flu strains] off the table is the development of a truly game-changing flu vaccine. We have no machinery set up globally to do that, none."
"There was almost a rush to [assure] the public that we knew a lot more than we did. But we're saying you can't rule out respiratory transmission."
"You can't just replace an interstate overpass overnight because somebody wants to do it. It still takes [time]."
"We think that we are able to bring a slightly different perspective that is complementary to what's going on."
"This is the tool that will provide the ultimate public health lever needed to address Ebola today and in the future."
"We ran smack into a culture vs. a science issue . . . so we're laying out a course of how to not have that happen with vaccine."
"Lack of immunization due to low socioeconomic status, lack of access to health care—those still all pose real challenges . . . [but when parents who are educated and wealthy opt out of vaccines] that to me is a real growing problem."
"If you have a group of people who are not vaccinated, if that virus gets in there . . . it will find you."
"We are really moving more and more toward a future generation that will live in a post-antibiotic era. Business as usual is not going to work."
"Public Health has to not only reassure the public, it has to tell the truth."
"[The US military has] done an amazing job. No one does logistics quite like the military. Our country was slow to respond, but now I am proud . . . [No other country] has responded quite the way the US has."
"When you have so few [Ebola] cases, it gets very hard to show that vaccines work."
"What we really need is a new [influenza] vaccine. What we’re doing is tinkering—but I don't know how to tinker with this current vaccine and make it any better. It's like we're trying to fix a horse and buggy when what we really need is a modern 2015 vehicle."
"This should be another clarion call for why we need new and better flu vaccines. Twenty percent clearly is better than zero, but it's a long way from what we need and must eventually have."
"Think of this epidemic [Ebola] as a big forest fire . . . you have to suppress all of it or it will come back."
"We need informed, heightened awareness about Ebola. We don't need overreaction, but we don't need apathy, either."
"Extreme measures are needed to ensure a massive coordinated effort among vaccine manufacturers, government regulatory authorities, government public health agencies, non-governmental organizations and global, national and local leaders."
"We had very bad matches [of vaccine to circulating flu viruses] and the vaccine performed as we would expect on an average basis, and we've had years where there's been a really good match and the vaccine provided little to no protection."
"I still say get your flu shot, it's the best tool that we have. But . . . there just is no comprehensive, compelling data that say when you get your flu shot that it even reduces the severity of illness or hospitalization."
"We couldn't find any correlation between the 'good matches' and actual effectiveness."
"I know less about Ebola today than I did 6 months ago."
"When time is of the essence, as it is during the current [Ebola] outbreak, the question is not, 'Can you make the vaccine?' but 'How soon can you make [it]? And how much?'"


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