The National Institutes of Health has awarded Vanderbilt University, Nashville, a $12.6 million contract to test a newly discovered stockpile of the nation's smallpox vaccine that could be administered to U.S. citizens in the event of a bioterrorist attack. Clinical trial testing will begin at Vanderbilt on 75 million to 90 million doses of the smallpox vaccine found in October by manufacturer Aventis Pasteur, which produced the stockpile for the Department of Defense. The vaccine stockpile had been frozen for 30 years. Pasteur turned over the doses to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which oversees the nation's current stockpile of smallpox vaccine-enough to immunize 15 million of the country's 283 million people. If shown to be effective at its weakest dilution, a total of 750 million additional people could be vaccinated with the recently discovered Pasteur stockpile, Vanderbilt officials said. "We're going to be trying this out in several hundred volunteers to see how far it can be cut or diluted and still be effective," John Howser, a spokesman for Vanderbilt, told Modern Healthcare. --Julie Piotrowski
Vanderbilt gets funding to test smallpox vaccine
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.