Analysts: Obama likely to switch focus of vaccine policy

A group of vaccine developers say that the billions of dollars funneled into vaccine research and manufacturing under the Bush administration will soon stop flowing, but they say that the incoming Obama administration may have a set of incentives to offer as a replacement.

While Bush helped back new technology and the companies that were working on them, they say, Obama will be more beneficiary-oriented, offering services that people can't afford themselves. And new vaccine programs are likely to be a key part of that approach.

Ted Kennedy and Henry Waxman, two powerful Democrats, are backing an effort to launch a new vaccine program for adults. "There will be challenges about the payment and distribution systems for reaching the new markets," according to the RPM Report, "but the stage looks set for making use of the corporate expansions into vaccines during the last administration."

In the meantime, RPM notes that about a billion dollars of the $7.1 billion earmarked by the Bush administration for pandemic flu preparedness has yet to be spent.

- read the story in the RPM Report