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IOM report on national vaccine plan
Date:12/11/2009

WASHINGTON -- While vaccines help prevent many diseases in the United States, we lack immunization protection against several serious illnesses, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine that identifies priority areas for updating the National Vaccine Plan. The revised plan should include a strategy to accelerate development of high-priority vaccines, said the committee that wrote the report. In addition, it should emphasize the importance of expanding funding for safety research and monitoring, and include the development of a national communications strategy to clarify the importance of vaccines and bolster public confidence in the immunization system.

The National Vaccine Plan aims to provide centralized coordination of the various components involved in protecting Americans from vaccine-preventable illnesses and vaccine-related adverse reactions. The immunization system engages many partners -- including multiple government agencies and departments, vaccine researchers, manufacturers, public health officials, health care providers, and the public -- in identifying vaccine needs, researching and developing new products, assessing safety, and getting people immunized. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a draft update to the plan in 2008 and requested that IOM conduct an independent assessment of issues that merit priority attention.

The updated plan should call for a greater proportion of vaccine research and development to be directed at specific goals, such as producing vaccines against diseases for which there are none or developing a single vaccine that would work against all influenza viruses, the committee said. The majority of vaccine research and development stems from the focus and interests of individual researchers rather than a set of priority targets identified through a centralized planning process.

Given the absence of a framework to set a national vaccine-safety research ag
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Contact: Christine Stencel
news@nas.edu
202-334-2138
National Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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