Responding to the H1N1 Pandemic with Vaccines: Vulnerabilities and Lessons Learned

The H1N1 strain of influenza, or swine flu, poses significant risks to vulnerable populations, but the United States does not yet have enough vaccine doses to inoculate Americans who are at risk. It is important to learn from these circumstances and take steps to improve pandemic preparedness going forward. The United States can emulate some European strategies that have proved to be effective. Further, it should embrace new technologies in vaccine development, which can enable faster production and make a smaller supply capable of inoculating more people. As a matter of national security, more vaccine-production plants should be located in the United States, ensuring that other countries are not in a position to keep vaccines from Americans by barring exports.

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