Procurement compromise possible

Anthrax vaccine standoff could be close to resolution in deal sparing non-biodefense research funds

John Dudley Miller(johmiller@nasw.org)
Jun 30, 2003

The yearlong stalemate between the Bush administration and Congress over how and when to manufacture a safer second-generation anthrax vaccine may soon be resolved, The Scientist has learned. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is about to propose a deal to a US Senate subcommittee that would spare funds intended for other types of research, according to three sources close to the negotiations.

Although details may yet change and agreement is not certain, the broad outlines of the proposal require OMB to abandon its insistence that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) procure up to 25 million doses of the new recombinant protective antigen (rPa) vaccine this year by scavenging $233 million intended for other NIAID research.

In return, the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, which oversees NIAID, will allow the agency to divert about $60 million...

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