Bush Unveils National Flu Pandemic Strategy

President Bush talks about flu preparedness and response at the National Institute of Health.

President Bush talks about flu preparedness and response at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., Nov. 1. Reuters hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters

President Bush unveiled a strategy Tuesday that he says will help the nation prepare for a possible pandemic of avian flu.

In remarks at the National Institutes of Health, the president called on Congress to allocate $7.1 billion to develop new vaccines, aid in early detection of any outbreak and make sure communities across the country are equipped to respond.

The president said that while there have been no cases of the avian influenza detected in the United States so far, preparations need to be made now.

A breakdown of how the money would be allocated under Bush's plan:

— $1.2 billion to acquire 40 million vaccine doses, enough for 20 million people, by 2009.

— $1.6 billion to accelerate production of cell-based vaccines with a goal of being able to produce 600 million doses within six months by 2010.

— $739 million to purchase 24 million treatment courses of antivirals, which stem the effects of the disease if contracted.

— $600 million to add vaccine manufacturing capacity.

— $400 million to advance the development of promising antivirals.

— $212 million to enhance the Strategic National Stockpile with new equipment such as ventilators.

— $170 million to subsidize the states' purchase of 31 million treatment doses of antivirals. States would provide 75 percent of the funding for those purchases.

Source: Congressional Staff/Associated Press

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