Panel Debates Bioterrorism Protection For Children

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Obama administration is asking a presidential panel to help decide an ethical quandary: Should the anthrax vaccine and other treatments being stockpiled in case of a bioterror attack be tested in children?

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says officials can't assume that adult treatments will work in children. She says the nation must develop protections for youngsters in a way that makes child safety the highest priority.

Controversy over whether to open pediatric studies of the anthrax vaccine led Sebelius to ask the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to tackle the question. She's made it clear that the issue involves far more than anthrax.

The commission began its deliberations Thursday. Recommendations are expected by year's end.


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