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Medical News and Perspectives
February 14, 2007

Bioterror Vaccine Production: Take 2

JAMA. 2007;297(6):575-576. doi:10.1001/jama.285.6.722

In 2004, the US federal government created Project Bioshield, a $5.6 billion program intended to spur researchers and companies to create vaccines and drugs to protect individuals in the United States from bioterror agents such as anthrax, smallpox, botulism, and bubonic plague.

It did not work.

To date, no new vaccines or drugs have been produced. Indeed, Project Bioshield's largest contract, $877.5 million to VaxGen Inc, Brisbane, Calif, for 75 million doses of anthrax vaccine, was cancelled on December 19 by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). VaxGen failed to meet certain production milestones as the company struggled to perfect its product.

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