Breaking news -

0 US moves to massively boost stockpiles of vaccines to counter bioterror threats

Anthrax vaccine - check. Antibiotics - check. A botulism treatment - check. Smallpox vaccine - check.

Ten years after the anthrax attacks brought home the reality of bioterrorism, the nation has a stockpile of some basic tools to fight back against a few of the threats that worry defense experts the most.
These defenses are not just gathering dust awaiting the next attack. In August, a Minneapolis hospital dipped into the stockpile to treat a critically ill patient - a tourist who, somewhere on his Midwest vacation, had the extraordinary bad luck to breathe anthrax spores that naturally linger in the dirt in parts of the country. The man, who survived, received a kind of medication not available in October 2001 when anthrax spores sent through the mail killed five people and sickened 17.
But there's wide concern that the nation's arsenal hasn't grown fast enough. A decade later, there are no treatments for a number of bugs on the worry list, and little to offer for other threats like a radiation emergency. Even a long-promised next-generation anthrax vaccine, that would be easier to produce, hasn't arrived yet. Nor is there information on how to treat children.
"Where are the countermeasures?" advisers to the Department of Health and Human Services asked in a critical report last year.
There are some: There's enough smallpox vaccine for everyone, plus some of a specially formulated version safe for cancer patients and others with weak immune systems. There's an improved version of the decades-old anthrax vaccine used in 2001. There are a few treatments for the toxins produced by anthrax and botulism, and a smallpox treatment is due soon.

But federal health officials are working to jump-start production of more countermeasures, and they say that more than 80 candidates are in advanced development. Over the past year, the goal has evolved into a push for more multiuse therapies, products that work not just for biodefense but for everyday health problems, too.
That's a major shift that should entice more big drug companies to the field, said Dr. Robin Robinson, who heads the federal Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Hope you people like needles....your about to be inundated by them.

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