News of the WeekPUBLIC HEALTH

Bioterror Defense Initiative Injects Shot of Cash

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Science  26 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5406, pp. 1234-1235
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5406.1234

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Bioterrorism is suddenly on the map, bringing a major funding boost for research and defensive measures. Officials fear that hospitals and emergency services are woefully unprepared for an emergency such as a smallpox outbreak, and public health experts doubt that 20-year-old vaccine stocks would be adequate. This year alone a new initiative will channel $158 million to the Department of Health and Human Services for a national communication network, retraining for medical and emergency crews, and R&D on new drugs and vaccines.