Panel puts rush on vaccines

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    A panel is calling on the government to speed up prep to protect the people from swine flu and they want it done now.


     

     

     

    A panel is calling on the government to speed up prep to protect the people from swine flu and they want it done now.


    According to The Washington Post, the panel is recommending quicker vaccine production and a designated White House official who is responsible for directing the country’s reaction to the illness.


    The suggestions were part of an 86-page report that also asked the government to improve the method in which it tracks the infection rate.


    "Influenza brings many challenges, and agencies across the government will need to make many key decisions in the face of uncertainty about when and how the virus will play out," Eric Lander of the Broad Institute said in a statement. "As we did in the spring, we can hope for the best. But we must prepare for the worst."


    A swine flu outbreak originating in Mexico began last year and it quickly swept the globe, causing the World Health Organization to declare it pandemic. The virus is less dangerous than originally believed, but younger people are more susceptible to it and it can still be deadly. It’s killed more than 520 people in the U.S.

     

    The government has made deals costing almost $2 billion (in total) with five companies to produce 159 million doses of a swine flu vaccine this year. However, the first batch may not be available until halfway through October, which could be a peak infection time.


    "This potential mismatch in timing could significantly diminish the usefulness of vaccination for mitigating the epidemic and could place many at risk for serious [virus]," the report said.


    To combat an outbreak the report suggests that some of the vaccines be made available as soon as September and that they be administered to those at higher risk for swine flu.

     

     

    – Sonya Eskridge

     

     

     

    Here’s more:
    D.C. teens offered STD tests

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