NIH Director: Ebola Vaccine Would Likely Have Been Found By Now If Not For Budget Cuts


vaccineAs the federal government frantically works to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and as it responds to a second diagnosis of the disease at home, one of the country’s top health officials says a vaccine likely would have already been discovered were it not for budget cuts.

Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, said that a decade of stagnant spending has “slowed down” research on all items, including vaccinations for infectious diseases. As a result, he said, the international community has been left playing catch-up on a potentially avoidable humanitarian catastrophe.

“NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'” Collins told The Huffington Post on Friday. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”

It’s not just the production of a vaccine that has been hampered by money shortfalls. Collins also said that some therapeutics to fight Ebola “were on a slower track than would’ve been ideal, or that would have happened if we had been on a stable research support trajectory.”

“We would have been a year or two ahead of where we are, which would have made all the difference,” he said.

Read more at Huffington Post.

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  1. “the main NIH and CDC problem is political correctness holding back needed preventive measures to protect the American public”

    Such as?

    “The CBC received $300.000.000 more than Obama requested”

    Both Republicans and Democrats should hang their head in shame, as both have supported budget cuts to CDC and NIH.

  2. Full disclosure: I am the principal investigator on a research grant from CDC and also receive funding from NIH, so I do have a stake in this.

  3. Chuckie:

    Is that your motto for life? Just throw enough money at something, and all problems would be solved? How many billions have been thrown at HIV, and still no vaccine. Genius.