Skip to comments.Safer Smallpox Vaccines In Works
Posted on 11/14/2005 8:18:55 PM PST by neverdem
U.S. Preparing For Potential Bioterror Attack
New vaccine technologies are emerging that offer a fresh chance to devise a strategy against smallpox, the most fearsome potential weapon in the bioterror arsenal.
Two companies are reporting rapid progress in developing a new vaccine designed to be safer than the standard one, and a third company, with no government support, is developing yet another new vaccine. That vaccine could offer significant advantages if terrorists were to unleash the smallpox germ in several cities at once, requiring the vaccination of huge numbers of people.
The government stumbled badly in its campaign after Sept. 11, 2001, to vaccinate health care workers who would respond to a smallpox attack. It has since spent millions to fund development of a new, safer vaccine and has already decided to order enough to protect at least 10 million people. It could buy far more if money becomes available.
Progress on safer vaccines is a success for U.S. policymakers, but it also confronts them with vexing new questions about which vaccines to buy, how many doses to buy, whether to resume a failed program to inoculate some people in advance of an attack and how to deploy the vaccines rapidly if smallpox is unleashed by terrorists.
The government is preparing to tackle the strategic questions over the next few months. "Right at the present moment, we're setting up a committee to really look at this with a very hard eye," said D.A. Henderson, a Baltimore doctor who advises the government and who is often called the world's premier expert on smallpox. "There are major changes that have occurred that force us to reexamine what we're going to do."
After the terrorist and anthrax attacks of late 2001, concern about the unrelated smallpox virus reached a fever pitch. Anthrax is...
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
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I, as an ex-military member who has been vaccinated against just about everything, will probably be among the last standing in the event of bio-warfare.
While the length of protection from smallpox vaccines is unknown, I have seen some reports that people with prior vaccination probably retain some immunity for extended periods of time. I'd most likely get sick, but hopefully wouldn't die.
I am glad that some companies are proceding with the production of vaccines though; there is an entire generation of young'ins with no protection...including my kids.
I've seen similar stories.
From what I've read there is little benefit from conventional vaccination against the weaponized "black smallpox" strains (purpura variolosa, also called hemorrhagic smallpox).
Does anyone else believe the pharmaceuticals have caused this media burst in order to secure huge sums of taxpayer money to develop a vaccine?
From those links which I just read, prior vaccination confers some survival advantage, and hemorrhagic smallpox is not a strain selected for weaponization, but a particular clinical manifestation that is genetically predisposed for a fatal outcome. It's hallmark is a low platelet count, i.e. thrombocytopenia which can be caused by less platelet production by the bone marrow, less free platelets available because of consumption in blood clot formation and simultaneous phenomena.
Personally, that would be a use of my taxpayer dollars I would support. Face it, developing a vaccine is costly and if a bio-war breaks out, EVERYONE is going to want to be vaccinated and the government is going to step in anyway.
Can you imagine the uproar if the vaccine is privately paid for, developed/controlled and bio-war breaks out when the cost to get vaccinated is set so that the people that develop the vaccine are made whole in a business sense? What if a vaccine is developed, but production is limited because of a lack of funds? What if the cost of vaccination is $2000/dose to recover costs?
I wish there was as good a book available on surviving bio-terrorism as there is against nuclear attack. If you haven't availed yourself of Nuclear War Survival Skills, I think you would enjoy it immensely. It is so eminently practical that it could be a foundational part of a high school curriculum in general survival skills.
Sounds like it would be worth it. At least we would be funding someone who had come up with an effective solution.
Thanks for the link. That's another reason to bookmark the thread. Adios
Being a white devil born in Manhattan who didn't need a television to see the results of the September 11, 2001 attack, when someone says they want to kill me because of who I am, I take them seriously.
IMO, Arthur Robinson, who hosts and organizes the Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine (OISM), is an American hero.
I would pay $10K per dose for my family. No problem!