The President met with and tried to influence health industries to take steps to expand their production capacity, specifically in regards to the H5N1
Avian Flu virus.
A possible stumbing block is the liability of industry over any unanticipated side-effects of any vaccinations or treatments.
President Bush summoned vaccine manufacturers to a White House meeting Friday, hoping to personally boost the rickety industry amid increasing fears
of a worldwide outbreak of bird flu. It’s the latest in a flurry of preparations for a possible pandemic after criticism of the government’s
response to Hurricane Katrina.
This month, vaccine maker Sanofi-Pasteur begins the first mass production of a new vaccine that promises to protect against bird flu, producing $100
million worth of inoculations for a government stockpile.
But it would take months to create a new vaccine from scratch if a different strain of bird flu than today’s known as H5N1 emerges. Even if the
vaccine works, Sanofi is producing enough to protect anywhere from 2 million to 20 million people — depending on how much must be put into each dose
— and it’s not clear when or where similar large stockpiles could be made.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Its about time! For a while it seemed like all the President was going to do was call for military power to control the population in the event of
an outbreak. This step, while extraordinarily small, will result in saving many lives should an epidemic or pandemic break out. THe issue of
liability certainly is tricky. These are corporations, not charities, they make these medications for profit, not out of ethical concerns. If
they'll loose money due to being sued for complications with the vaccine, then its not, economically, worth it for them to bother. But if they
don't make treatments, than the disease goes unchecked and the human toll is far greater.
A big problem with the Avian Flu panic is that, well, its just that, a panic, there's no outbreak yet
. If there is one, then it'll be seen
as foresight. If there is no outbreak, then people will be screaming about 'stupid scientists' not knowing what the hell they're talking about,
and rapacious businesses trying to scare us into buying a product that we don't need.
Related News Links:
Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Henry L. Niman about Avian Flu
[edit on 16-10-2005 by asala]