News & Perspective

Nov 27, 2001

Nov 27, 2001

CDC smallpox plan favors focused vaccination program over mass campaign

(CIDRAP News) – If smallpox reappears in the United States, health authorities will strive to trace and vaccinate everyone who has had contact with infected or exposed persons but probably will not mount any mass vaccination campaigns, according to a draft plan released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dec 21, 2001

Dec 21, 2001

Congress approves $2.5 billion for bioterrorism preparedness

(CIDRAP News) – In a flurry of pre-adjournment activity yesterday, Congress appropriated about $2.5 billion for bioterrorism preparedness, including $1 billion for state and local efforts, according to an aide to Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

Mar 25, 2002

Mar 25, 2002

In simulated smallpox attack, vaccine shortage crippled national response

(CIDRAP News) – It is 13 days since the emergence of a hypothetical smallpox epidemic caused by the release of virus in three US shopping malls. Some 16,000 cases have been reported, 1,000 people have died, and the nation is running out of vaccine. Hospitals are overflowing, and federal and state officials are at odds over how to contain the epidemic.

Nov 18, 2002

Nov 18, 2002

Decision on smallpox vaccinations expected soon, Osterholm says

(CIDRAP News) – Now that the federal government has some licensed smallpox vaccine in its stockpile, a presidential announcement on vaccination recommendations may be coming very soon, bioterrorism expert Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, predicted last week.

"I believe that in the next days you'll be hearing from the president about this vaccine," Osterholm told healthcare workers at a meeting in Minneapolis.

Nov 22, 2002

Nov 22, 2002

Homeland Security law leaves HHS in control of bioterrorism preparedness

(CIDRAP News) – In passing a bill to create a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this week, Congress left the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in charge of most bioterrorism preparedness and civilian biodefense research programs—to the relief of medical research and public health groups.

Dec 12, 2002

Dec 12, 2002

Some health workers, troops likely to get smallpox shots soon; public in 2004

(CIDRAP News) – President Bush tomorrow will announce a plan to begin vaccinating military personnel and front-line healthcare workers against smallpox early next year and to offer the vaccine to the public in 2004, according to reports from major news organizations today.

Mar 12, 2004

Mar 12, 2004

FDA offers guidance on testing drugs for smallpox-shot side effects

(CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week published guidelines for the development of drugs to treat the side effects of smallpox vaccination, an area in which the federal government is investing substantial research funds.

Apr 28, 2004

Apr 28, 2004

Bush administration catalogs biodefense gains, promises more

(CIDRAP News) – The Bush administration today released a long catalog of what it considers the nation's biodefense and public health preparedness gains over the last 3 years and promised more improvements to come.

Mar 11, 2005

Mar 11, 2005

IOM says poor communication hurt CDC smallpox efforts

(CIDRAP News) – Poor policy communication and a lack of clearly defined goals seriously hindered the smallpox preparedness program that the federal government launched in 2003, according to a report released by the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) last week.

Feb 12, 2010

Feb 12, 2010

Report: For biodefense, US needs closer ties to industry

(CIDRAP News) – The US government needs much closer collaboration with private industry—like the arrangements used in building aircraft carriers and putting men on the moon—in order to improve the nation's medical defenses against biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear threats, says a report from a federal advisory panel.

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