The social, political, ethical, and economic aspects of biodefense vaccines

Gregory A. Poland, Robert M. Jacobson, Jon Tilburt, Kristin Nichol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Besides natural disasters and naturally occurring novel infectious diseases, nothing potentially threatens the health and stability of nations and health systems as much as the devastating threat and unfathomability of bioterrorism. Other than attempts at political solutions and interdictive attempts, only antimicrobials and vaccines offer possible means for protection. Of these, vaccines offer the most immediate and definitive of preventive solutions. Limiting the development and use of vaccines however are social, political, ethical, and economic considerations, and this article will provide a brief exploration of each of these issues and the intersection with the need for such vaccines. In this article we define bioterrorism as the deliberate use of naturally occurring or bioengineered microorganisms in order to cause harm to people, animals, or plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)D23-D27
Issue numberSUPPL. 4
StatePublished - Nov 5 2009


  • Anthrax vaccine
  • Biodefense
  • Bioterrorism
  • Smallpox vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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