US unveils plan to boost pandemic preparedness: 4 key objectives

The White House on Oct. 18 unveiled a strategy to bolster the nation's ability to respond to future pandemics and other biological threats, including an objective to manufacture enough of a new vaccine to protect the population within 130 days of a new outbreak. 

Biden administration officials described the strategy — which is largely focused on early warnings of infectious disease threats, enhanced diagnostics, and accelerated vaccine and therapeutic development — as a "whole-of-government effort" that will require involvement from 20 federal agencies to implement. HHS will support a number of the national biodefense strategy's goals and said it is "already executing the strategy with existing funding." 

The White House said achieving all of the strategy's objectives will require additional Congressional support, including the $88 billion over five years President Joe Biden requested in March as part of the budget for fiscal year 2023. 

Here are four of the strategy's key objectives over the next five to 10 years: 

  • Enable testing for any pathogen within 12 hours of a detected outbreak to support "thousands of samples on the first day, surge tens of thousands of diagnostic tests within one week, and develop rapid diagnostics within 90 days"
  • Develop vaccines for a new pathogen within 100 days and scale manufacturing to supply enough for the entire U.S. population within 130 days
  • Repurpose existing drugs within 90 days or develop novel therapeutics within 180 days
  • Expand the nation's personal protective equipment surge capacity by maintaining a minimum 90-day PPE surge capability

Click here to read more about the strategy. 


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