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 »
"A CASE ABOUT LIES"
Manafort Case Moves to Closing Arguments
4 days ago
THE LATEST
THEY CALLED NO WITNESSES
Manafort Defense Rests
5 days ago
THE LATEST
ANDREW MILLER IS AN AIDE TO ROGER STONE
Judge Holds Witness in Contempt in Manafort Case
1 weeks ago
THE LATEST

"A federal judge has found a witness in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell made the ruling Friday after a sealed hearing to discuss Andrew Miller’s refusal to appear before the grand jury. Miller is a former aide to longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone."

Source:
TAX FRAUD, FAILURE TO REGISTER
Gates Says He Committed Crimes with Manafort
1 weeks ago
THE LATEST

Paul Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates said in court today that "he conspired with Manafort to falsify Manafort’s tax returns. Gates said he and Manafort knowingly failed to report foreign bank accounts and had failed to register Manafort as a foreign agent."

Source:
Gates to Be Called Next in Manafort Case
1 weeks ago
THE LATEST
×
×

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