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November 04, 2005

WaPo unimpressed with pandemic plan

The Washington Post has an editorial on Pandemic Planning.

THE PRESIDENT has called it a "crash program." Mike Leavitt, the secretary of health and human services, used the word "blueprint." Unfortunately, the administration flu pandemic plan released this week is neither of those things.

On a general level, the plan and the funding request accompanying it show that the administration is taking preparedness seriously. Particularly important is the president's recognition that the United States needs to learn how to speed up production of vaccines, because they offer the best hope for protection against any pandemic. By far the largest chunk of the president's $7.1 billion funding request is devoted to vaccine and antiviral drug research and building up vaccine stockpiles, and rightly so.

Nevertheless, the earliest date by which the government could meet its goal of having the capability to produce a vaccine for every American within six months of the beginning of a pandemic is 2010 -- hardly a "crash program."

Posted by dymaxion at November 4, 2005 10:40 AM

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