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GETTING IT RIGHT

ANCHOR LEAD: WHY IS THE FLU VACCINE SOMETIMES INEFFECTIVE AND WILL THAT RESULT IN MORE DEATHS DURING A PANDEMIC? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

This year’s flu was different than the one the vaccine was made against, so more people got sick. John Bartlett, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, says such a mistake is also possible when a pandemic emerges.

BARTLETT: We do have a fairly predictable pattern of pandemics so we know that influenza is going to come back to haunt us, but we have a great deal of trouble knowing which strain its going to be, and when it will occur. :14

Bartlett says there is good news on the federal front, however.

BARTLETT: Funding that was for biodefense, nobody is very excited about biodefense, biodefense is no longer a hot ticket item because it seems to be bombs, not germs, but thatís now shifted, and a lot of those resources are now in avian flu. To me, its absolutely appropriate. :18

Bartlett says the jury is still out on whether bird flu will morph into a pandemic strain, but there’s no question that such a strain will emerge eventually. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.

 


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