Production of Smallpox Vaccine to Begin by December
New York Times; B8
By late November or early December small pharmaceutical company Acambis will begin producing 54 million doses of the smallpox vaccine as part of a contract signed last year, which was created in order to stockpile drugs against the theoretical threat of bioterrorism. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson is reviewing proposals from 10 other companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Aventis, and American Home Products, that have offered to make an additional 250 million doses of the smallpox vaccine in an attempt to have 300 million doses available by next year. To speed up manufacturing of the smallpox vaccine, Thompson has asked Congress for $509 million, but it is uncertain whether that is enough to cover costs.