Pandemic Flu: Lack of Leadership and Disclosure Plague Vaccine Program   [open pdf - 209KB]

"An influenza pandemic, when it strikes, may cause hundreds of thousands of deaths in the U.S., economic losses in the billions of dollars, and possibly a climate of fear and a breakdown of public order. At the start of a pandemic, the first and best defense is to quickly immunize as many people as possible. In July 2007, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt announced that, over the next five years, vaccine manufacturers will develop the capacity to produce and deliver enough vaccine for the American public within six months of the appearance of a pandemic virus. It should not take that long. The government should be able to speed up the nation's ability to produce enough vaccine. But problems with the current vaccine program, including inadequate leadership and limited public disclosure of information, may be impeding progress. A new agency, BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority), facilitates collaboration between government, industry, and academia in the flu vaccine program and other public health emergency programs. BARDA was established by Congress in December 2006. Now, more than twelve months later, it still lacks a permanent director. The magnitude of the threat to the nation calls for the immediate appointment of an exceptional person of near-cabinet-level stature who commands respect in the business and public health communities-someone willing to blast through financial and bureaucratic roadblocks."

2008 Project on Government Oversight.
Retrieved From:
Project on Government Oversight: http://www.pogo.org/
Media Type:
Help with citations