HHS unveils plans to advance vax science, policy

HHS has released an update to the National Vaccine Plan, the first since it was originally enacted in 1994. Despite advances in technology in recent years, many people still contract vaccine-preventable diseases. The plan is designed to serve as a guide to revamp the country's vaccine system and covers issues like R&D, supply, financing, distribution, safety, global cooperation and informed decision-making among consumers and healthcare providers, according to the HHS release.

The plan has five broad goals: develop new and improved vaccines; enhance the vaccine safety system; support communications to enhance informed vaccine decision-making; ensure a stable supply of, access to, and better use of recommended vaccines; and increase global prevention of death and disease. HHS will hold a series of regional meetings this year that will focus on how to execute its new strategy. The final implementation plan will be completed by the end of the year.

"Vaccines are a critical cornerstone of the public health system," said Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh in a release. "The National Vaccine Plan articulates a vision that will ensure that the nation's prevention strategies protect the public for the next decade and beyond."

- here's the HHS release
- see the full plan (.pdf)