Report suggests refocusing US pandemic vaccine efforts

September 26, 2008
by Lisa Schnirring and Robert Roos

Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health, a nonprofit public health advocacy group based in Washington, DC, told CIDRAP News that the discussion of the continuing costs of the vaccine stockpile is one of the most interesting points of the CBO's report. The annual cost of maintaining the stockpile hasn't been factored into federal budget projections, he said. "That's a large amount of money, and it's large in the public health world. We obviously need to address this issue as well," Levi said. Replacement and shelf-life issues regarding antiviral stockpiles are fairly straightforward, but maintaining vaccine stocks is much more complex, he said, adding, "The up side is the vaccine supply may need to be replenished to adjust for mutations."

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