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HHS Unveils $1.9B Strategy To Better Prepare For Biological Threats

“Acknowledging that the development of medical countermeasures against bioterrorism threats and pandemic flu is lagging, [U.S.] federal authorities Thursday announced a $1.9 billion makeover of the system for identifying and manufacturing drugs and vaccines for public-health emergencies,” Tribune Company/Seattle Times reports. “The overhaul includes manufacturing refinements aimed at shaving weeks off the time it takes to produce pandemic flu vaccine and a series of steps aimed at more quickly detecting promising scientific discoveries and getting them to market,” the news service writes (Zajac, 8/19).

Opinions: HIV Prevention Research; Foreign Aid; Sanitation; Aid, Self-Reliance

Advancing HIV Prevention Research Requires ‘Spirit Of Global Collaboration’ “Microbicides, vaccines and other new approaches will one day join proven HIV-prevention strategies, including condoms, male circumcision and clean needles. How soon that day comes will depend on whether funders and the scientific community can develop the more collaborative approaches to…

NIAID Launches Clinical Trials Of Dengue Vaccine

After more than a decade of development, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has started clinical trials to test a vaccine to protect against the dengue virus, a product researchers hope may one day “help prevent a disease to which 2.5 billion people are exposed,” CIDRAP News reports (Roos, 8/9).

WHO Declares End Of H1N1 Pandemic

“World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan announced Tuesday the end of the [H1N1] swine flu pandemic, more than a year after it was declared,” Agence France-Presse reports. “The world is no longer in phase 6 of influenza pandemic alert. We are now moving into the post-pandemic period,” Chan said during a virtual press conference from Hong Kong, according to a WHO press release.

Also In Global Health News: AIDS Vaccine Testing; Misoprostol In Pakistan; Russian Wheat Exports; Generic Drugs In Uganda; Poverty In Egypt; Gender-Based Violence In Namibia

Crucell And Harvard To Test Experimental AIDS Vaccine In Uninfected Adults The pharmaceutical company Crucell, in collaboration with Harvard University, “plans to test its experimental AIDS vaccine in the U.S. and in Africa, advancing the quest for a protective shot against” HIV, Bloomberg reports. The trial will test the vaccine…

News Outlets Look At How H1N1 Will Inform WHO’s Future Outbreak Response

Following the WHO’s decision on Tuesday to declare the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic over, several news outlets reviewed the emergence of the virus around the world, exploring how some of the lessons learned from H1N1 could assist the WHO’s handling of future outbreaks.

Also In Global Health News: WHO Flu Response; Sanitation In Mozambique; Interfaith HIV/AIDS Summit; HIV/AIDS In Uganda; South African Hospital Renovations; HIV Vaccine Development

Chan Defends WHO’s Response To H1N1 On Tuesday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan defended her agency’s response to the H1N1 flu pandemic saying, “I personally do not believe that WHO exaggerated the threat,” and that “[a] new disease is, by definition, poorly understood as it emerges,” Reuters reports. Chan continued, “Had…

HIV/AIDS Researchers, Government Officials Track Progress, Forecast Challenges For HIV Vaccine Development

More than 1,000 researchers, government officials and advocates are gathering in Atlanta this week to discuss the progress and future challenges in the development of a vaccine that protects against HIV, FierceVaccines reports (Carroll, 9/29). The AIDS Vaccine 2010 meeting, which kicked off Tuesday, will run through Friday, according to the website for the meeting (undated).

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