Vaccine Development Needs a Booster Shot

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 10, 2004 | Go to article overview

Vaccine Development Needs a Booster Shot


Byline: Henry I. Miller, M.D., SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Every year in this country influenza kills tens of thousands and hospitalizes about a quarter-million.

In epidemic years, the numbers can be astronomical, even when there is enough vaccine to go around. This year there isn't: The supply was cut in half last week when one of only two companies that make flu shots for use in the United States abruptly announced its 48 million doses were unavailable because of possible contamination problems.

Flu vaccine should be an attractive product for manufacturers - it is used every year, recommended for virtually everyone, and extremely safe. But like virtually all other vaccines, it isn't profitable. And that has so discouraged vaccine development that supplies of many lifesaving vaccines are in jeopardy.

The fundamental problem is government policies discourage companies from investing aggressively to develop new vaccines. Innovation has suffered, and producers have abandoned the field in droves, leaving only four major producers and a few dozen products. There are only two producers of injectable flu vaccine, for example: Chiron, unable to supply any product this year because of alleged contamination; and Aventis Pasteur, whose 54 million doses will be all that's available. (In addition, there will be another 2 million doses of FluMist, an inhalable nasal vaccine.)

This is not the first time we have had dangerous shortages of several essential vaccines. Some school systems have been forced to waive immunization requirements because there aren't enough vaccines available.

Vaccination to prevent viral and bacterial diseases is modern medicine's most cost-effective intervention. Although their social value is high, their economic value to pharmaceutical companies is low because of vaccines' low return on investment and the manufacturers' exposure to legal liability.

There are short- and long-term remedies that must be undertaken immediately.

In the short-term, there should be Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration clinical tests to see if the injectable vaccine is effective when diluted. If, as previous evidence suggests, the vaccine is still effective when diluted by a factor of 2, that would make available another 54 million doses. We could have those results within a month. That would, in effect, make a dire threat to public health disappear.

Second, the FDA should make it clear that though the labeling for FluMist, the nasal vaccine, indicates it is intended for recipients aged 5 to 49 years, it will likely also be effective in those younger or older. (The labeling reflects the relatively narrow patient population in whom preapproval clinical trials were performed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Vaccine Development Needs a Booster Shot
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.