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NIH Budget Threatens Vaccine Work

NIH Budget Threatens Vaccine Work


President Bush's proposed 0.5% funding increase for the National Institutes of Health in fiscal year 2006 could result in considerable belt tightening at the federal agency and scaled-back programs in several research areas, including HIV vaccine studies, a top NIH official has announced. The minuscule funding proposal comes on the heels of doubled NIH funding between 1997 and 2003. Anthony Fauci, head of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says he expects HIV vaccine research to be hit especially hard by the tighter budget, and as a result vaccine trials will likely have to meet certain goals or 'milestones' in order to get continued funding. Less promising HIV vaccine candidates could have their federal funding rescinded and trials shut down, he says. NIH-funded vaccine researchers also will be urged to work more closely with private industry and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative to 'get the most bang for the buck,' Fauci predicts.

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