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OSTP Issues Pandemic Preparedness Plan

September 22, 2021

On Sept. 2, the Biden administration released American Pandemic Preparedness: Transforming Our Capabilities, a $65 billion plan – invested over 10 years-  to address future pandemics. The preparedness strategy includes five main pillars: Transforming our Medical Defenses; Ensuring Situational Awareness; Strengthening Public Health Systems; Building Core Capabilities; Managing the Mission. 

The memo credits the speed of designing the vaccine to nearly 20 years of Federally-funded fundamental scientific research. This is a critical point. Discovery and invention – across scientific disciplines – never happens overnight and the scientific process builds on previous advances and failures. The memo also identifies human behavior as one of the factors leading to the quickening pace of new infectious diseases.  

The COVID pandemic has brought into focus the importance of the behavioral and social sciences to reduce the spread of the virus, understand and address vaccine hesitancy, and provide accurate and clear communication.  FABBS and many of our member and sister societies have drawn from our sciences in an effort to inform policies and practices and to help prepare for future pandemics. FABBS and our members have also identified areas for additional research and are communicating these needs to Congress and the administration as they consider initiatives such as the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) and pandemic preparedness efforts.  

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