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Administration Mobilizes to Prepare U.S. Against Possible Pandemic

October 14, 2005
by Jonathan S. Landay
Knight Ridder Newspapers

The Bush administration is scrambling to prepare the nation for a possible global rampage by a new flu germ that it fears could kill nearly 2 million Americans, sicken tens of millions more and shatter the economy... ...The federal government also should order a crash program to develop, mass-produce, license and distribute an influenza vaccine, which can be designed only when a lethal virus is isolated, experts said. But only three companies produce conventional influenza vaccines for sale in the United States and only 50 million to 60 million doses per year. "This is probably the biggest gaping hole in all of this," said Kim Elliott, deputy director of Trust for America's Health, a nonprofit health policy organization. She said it would probably require 600 million doses - two for every American - to protect the population against avian flu.

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