Work on High-Speed Vaccine Factories Prompts Questions

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
April 30, 2014, 9:49 a.m.

Spe­cial­ists are ques­tion­ing the feas­ib­il­ity of three U.S. factor­ies be­ing built to rap­idly turn out drugs needed after an at­tack or dis­aster, Nature re­ports.

Cer­tain ana­lysts ar­gued that few use­ful an­ti­dotes are cur­rently avail­able for re­spond­ing to the types of bio­lo­gic­al and chem­ic­al events en­vi­sioned by the pro­duc­tion fa­cil­it­ies un­der pre­par­a­tion in Texas, North Car­o­lina and Mary­land, the journ­al re­por­ted on Tues­day. Ob­serv­ers also cast doubt on the util­ity of next-gen­er­a­tion small­pox vac­cines, as well as oth­er drugs that may be pro­duced at the so-called Cen­ters for In­nov­a­tion in Ad­vanced De­vel­op­ment and Man­u­fac­tur­ing.

The United States is re­l­at­ively un­likely to face a chem­ic­al or bio­lo­gic­al strike for which the factor­ies would prove use­ful, ar­gued Richard Ebright, a mo­lecu­lar bio­lo­gist with Rut­gers Uni­versity. The Texas plant is slated to be­gin gen­er­at­ing its first vac­cine in the middle of this year, and fed­er­al of­fi­cials plan in the next quarter-cen­tury to spend up to $2 bil­lion on med­ic­al treat­ments from that single fa­cil­ity.

Philip Rus­sell, a former biode­fense ad­viser for the George W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion, sug­ges­ted the United States should have built just one such pro­duc­tion site for ci­vil­ian and mil­it­ary needs, in line with a 2008 re­com­mend­a­tion by the Pentagon’s De­fense Ad­vanced Re­search Pro­jects Agency.

“Rather than one good op­er­a­tion that meets the gov­ern­ment’s needs, we got three op­er­a­tions that spread the money around,” Rus­sell said of the $440 mil­lion ini­ti­at­ive, launched in 2012 by the Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment.

The cur­rent plan’s back­ers, mean­while, ar­gued that op­er­at­ing sev­er­al man­u­fac­tur­ing plants would provide a fall­back if one is com­prom­ised by a strike or re­lease of haz­ard­ous ma­ter­i­al.

In ad­di­tion to the three sites over­seen by Health and Hu­man Ser­vices, the De­fense De­part­ment is con­struct­ing a $136 mil­lion fact­ory in Flor­ida to gen­er­ate smal­ler quant­it­ies of biode­fense products for armed-forces use. That site is ex­pec­ted to op­er­ate at an an­nu­al cost of $20 mil­lion fol­low­ing its sched­uled launch in 2015.

What We're Following See More »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
1 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
1 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
3 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login