Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Faster Vaccines

The Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism has launched the new web site "The commission believes that an act of biological terrorism is far more likely than nuclear terrorism," Randy Larsen, the executive director, told the Wall Street Journal. The commission, which apparently knows a good news peg when it see one, is using the H1N1 vaccine shortage to push the idea that national security is tied up with newer technology that will allow us to make more vaccine, faster.

You can follow Faster Vaccines on Twitter. What they are all about according to their web site:

The United States—unlike the European Union and China—continues to use a 60-year old production method, using chicken eggs, to make H1N1 and other important vaccines. This is not just a public health problem, it is a national security threat.

What’s the connection between vaccines and WMD?
Last year, our Commission unanimously concluded that terrorists are more likely to use biological weapons than nuclear weapons. The United States can be prepared by having the capability to quickly produce vaccines and medicines. The good news: Having this capacity not only makes America more secure, it makes Americans healthier.

What’s the alternative?
More modern methods will shave months off the typical six to nine months that current processes require. These newer methods can produce more vaccine and be quickly scaled-up, on demand. Vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and chickenpox all use faster technologies. Further investment can build facilities and identify new approaches.

What should we do?
Share the video, so more people can understand the importance of supporting faster alternatives that are just as safe. Send us your comments, and we will pass along your thoughts to those who can make a difference in Congress and the White House.

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