News FocusPUBLIC HEALTH

U.S. Vaccine Supply Falls Seriously Short

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Science  15 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5562, pp. 1998-2001
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5562.1998

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Summary

A confluence of unrelated problems has created widespread shortages of medicine's best preventive against infectious diseases. This special report on public health examines the causes of the current vaccine shortage in the United States and the bold efforts of the Gates Foundation to improve global health. Following is an analysis of the U.S. and Russian research programs on smallpox, which are generating heated debate over the virus's destruction, as described in a sidebar. A second sidebar describes a ghoulish search for live smallpox in bodies frozen in the Arctic permafrost.