The antibiotics and vaccines may be in federal stockpiles, but 79% of 63 city and county health officials surveyed said they could not get the medications to their entire communities within 48 hours, the timeframe necessary to save lives after an anthrax or plague attack or pandemic flu outbreak, according to a report by the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security. The Democrats' report, based on information from 41 states, contends that the federal government has spent too much money stockpiling doses of antibiotics and vaccines and not enough money preparing the public health system to distribute the doses. HHS did not immediately return a call for comment. At deadline, Republican members of the committee had not issued a response. The report, "Bioterrorism: America Still Unprepared," was released by ranking member Jim Turner (D-Texas) and Donna Christensen (D-Virgin Islands). Read the report. -- by Joseph Mantone
Security hurdle: Getting stored vaccines to people
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