People must understand that readiness will be expensive, that funding might never be used, and that capacities are in reserve. That’s a tough message to communicate, and a tough position for politicians to be in, given so many competing priorities. We are lucky to have leaders who are willing to take those steps, but we need to do more, and we need to do it faster.
DR. GOODMAN: We may have rare opportunities for win-win approaches. For example, progress in the inter-pandemic use of flu vaccine with current technologies will increase the capacity and ability to respond during a pandemic.
DR. STOHR: Perhaps we need dress rehearsals for the delivery of vaccines and antivirals, which would enable us to see what is missing and what is needed. We have not mentioned syringes or the whole downstream need for vaccine packaging, such as multi-dose containers. If one link is missing in the chain, all our preparatory work may be in vain.
DR. FINEBERG: As we begin to discuss research priorities in detail, we clearly have to consider the total preparedness strategy, including communication among scientists, across cultures and political boundaries, with the public at large, and with policymakers. All of that will affect the success of a flu preparedness strategy