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McNeil, Donald, G., “Nation Is Facing Vaccine Shortage For Seasonal Flu: An Increase in Demand,” NYT, A1, Nov. 5, 2009.

  1. “The current problems began years ago, experts said, when vaccine companies started abandoning the American market. Vaccines, which involve living viruses, are much harder to make than most drugs.  Profits are lower and unused flu vaccine expires after a few months.  Also, vaccines are primarily intended for children, and Americans frequently sue when a child is injured.”
  2. “Little was done to lure companies back until bioterrorism fears emerged after the anthrax attacks of 2001 and H5N1 avian flu virus, which kills about 60 percent of humans infected with it, emerged in 2003, Dr. Fauci said.”
  3. “The drawback of relying on foreign plants was made clear recently when the Australian government pressured CSL to keep its vaccine at home instead of fulfilling its contract for 36 million doses of swine flu vaccine for the United States.”
  4. “Although the government itself ordered and paid for all this year’s swine flu vaccine, about 90 percent of each year’s seasonal vaccine is made for the private sector.”
  5. “They [vaccine makers] are under pressure to make more to donate or sell to the World health Organization. Even optimistic predictions say the world’s poorest countries will get only 10 percent of the vaccine they need by winter’s end.”

Vaccination, Flu, Australia, WHO, Developing Countries


McNeill, Donald, G., “Transfers of Surplus Flu Vaccine Are Going Slowly to Countries That Need It,” NYT, A15, February 2, 2010.

  1. “There is now so much unused swine flu vaccine in the world that rich nations, including the United States, are trying to get rid of their surpluses.”
  2. “…95 countries that told the World Health Organization last year that tehy had no means of getting flu vaccine…”
  3. “… countries that can afford vaccines save themselves first and, when the worst has passed, transfer their leftovers to the poor, using the W.H.O. as a clearinghouse. …’it’s a very complex operation.’”
  4. “Each country must submit a plan proving it can store and refrigerate vaccine, give it to those who need it most, inject it safely and do medical follow-up.  It must also sign letters exempting donors from legal liability, and the W.H.O. has to certify the vaccine as safe if the country has no regulatory agency.”
  5. “Bill Gates … dismissed flu vaccine shipments a ‘a pipe dream.’  ‘It’s not practical; they have no infrastructure to deliver it.’
  6. “At first , there was deep skepticism; 80 percent of French residents polled said they would refuse.  But after a few deaths were reported, such huge lines formed that, in Lyon, the riot police were called.”
  7. “The chairman of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, Daniel Vasella, recently warned governments breaking their contracts might not be be first in line in the next pandemic.  ‘Reliable partners will be treated preferentially,’ Mr. Vasella said.”
  8. “Canada recently lent Mexico five million doses because Mexico’s first shipments were not due to arrive until this month.  Similar bilateral deals took place between Western and Eastern Europe, a W.H.O. spokesman said.”
  9. “The [U.S.] cancellation of 22 million doses out of 36 million ordered from CSL Ltd., an Australian manufacturer that fell behind on orders anyway…”
  10. “The [US] country also promised 25 million doses to the W.H.O. [and the rest will be stockpiled in bulk antigen form, i.e. a portion of which will not placed in viles.] an extra step that involves a separate payment.”

Vaccination, Flu, WHO, Pandemic, Poland, Canada, Mexico, France, Australia


Fox News, “U.S. Flu Shots on Hold After Probe Into Australian Ban on Vaccine for Children,”,2933,596767,00.html July 15, 2010, checked July 19, 2010.

  1. “U.S. health authorities are holding off approval of this year’s seasonal flu shot as they probe Australia’s ban on the vaccine, which has been found to induce fever in young children, The Australian reported Thursday.”
  2. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is collaborating with Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to ‘assess any potential implications for the U.S. flu season.'”
  3. “The FDA has also written to Australian pharmaceutical giant CSL — which manufactures the controversial Fluvax vaccine — detailing its ‘number of significant objectionable conditions’ relating to CSL’s compliance with American ‘good manufacturing practice.'”
  4. “FDA investigators observed “deviations” from U.S. manufacturing standards in CSL’s production of both seasonal flu and swine flu vaccines for the U.S. market.”
  5. “The audit was carried out the week Australian authorities suspended use of the Fluvax vaccine after it triggered febrile fits in nearly one percent of children younger than five.”
  6. “The FDA’s complaints relate to the presence of black particles in multi-dose vials of Afluria, the brand name for CSL’s seasonal flu vaccine in the U.S.”
  7. “It remains suspended for under-fives as researchers struggle to work out why it triggers febrile fits at nine times the usual rate.”

Vaccination, Flu, Australia


Bita, Natasha, “Checks by the TGA reveal 98 per cent of drug labs have problems,The Australian, July 19, 2010.

  1. “Deficiencies have been uncovered at 98 per cent of the pharmaceutical laboratories audited by the drugs regulator in the past year.”
  2. “The federal government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration yesterday revealed that only three of the 139 labs it audited last financial year were problem-free.”
  3. “But the TGA is now investigating the cause of discolouration affecting some multi-dose vials of Panvax — a problem it became aware of only after the FDA blew the whistle during its own audit of CSL in April. The TGA has proclaimed Panvax to be safe, even though it still does not know the cause of the discolouration.”
  4. “The TGA is conducting a separate inquiry into CSL’s seasonal flu shot — a world-first combination of swine and seasonal flu strains in a single vaccine.”

Vaccination, Oversight, Lab Safety, Australia


Homeland Security Newswire, “U.S. – Australia announce cyber defense treaty”, 19 September, 2011, Homeland Security Newswire.

  1. “Last week, the United States and Australia announced a mutual defense treaty that declared a cyberattack on one would result in retaliation by both nations.”
  2. “The latest announcement comes as an addition to the Australia, New Zealand, United States Security treaty (ANZUS), which commits the three nations to support one another if one is attacked.”
  3. “The treaty, signed sixty years ago, now includes cyber attacks as well as physical attacks.”
  4. “This new agreement appears to be the first instance of a mutual defense treaty in the cyber realm outside of NATO.”
  5. “The treaty highlights how the United States percieves cyber attacks.”
  6. ““I think it’s in large measure a recognition of what I’ve been saying time and time again, which is that cyber is the battlefield of the future…””
  7. “The Obama administration released its cyberescurity strategy that similarly announced that certain cyber attacks would result in retaliation that could potentially involve a physical response.”
  8. “So far, the majority of cyber attacks have been focused on stealing sensitive data.”
  9. “In July, the Pentagon revealed that a foreign intelligence service stole 24,000 files from a U.S. defense contractor earlier this year.”
  10. ““We’re all going to have to work very hard not only to defend against cyber attacks but to be aggressive with regards to cyber attacks as well.””

Cybersecurity, Australia


Editors, “Australia Could Support Bioweapon Vaccine Development,” Global Security Newswire, November 22, 2011 Last Checked November 25, 2011

  1. “The United States has requested support from the government operator of a newly opened biological defense laboratory in Australia to develop vaccines for potential bioterrorism agents.”
  2. “The Australian Animal Health Laboratory is expected to study deadly agents such as the Ebola virus.”
  3. “Research personnel at the Biosecurity Level 4 facility are expected to collaborate with overseas counterparts.
  4. “‘They want to develop anti-biological warfare options, which could include vaccines, or better equipment such as face masks for their troops, particularly after the anthrax scare.”

Biodefense, Vaccination, Australia, Biosecurity, Ebola


Fox, Liam, “WHO Warns of Untreatable Tuberculosis,ABC News, November 26, 2011 Last Checked December 3, 2011

  1. “The World Health Organization is warning of the potential for an untreatable form of tuberculosis to develop on Australia’s doorstep.”
  2. “It says infections of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) in Papua New Guinea’s remote south-west have reached crisis levels.”
  3. “The country’s health minister says tuberculosis is now a greater health emergency than HIV/AIDS.”
  4. “‘Children 14-years-old infected with MDR TB in a family with already five patients dying.’”
  5. “A research team from WHO found the rural health centres are rundown with very limited or no medical supplies.”
  6. “There is no TB coordinator in the region so no one is monitoring patients to ensure they stick to the lengthy treatment of drugs required to beat the disease, meaning many do not.”
  7. “WHO’s Dr. Donald Enarson says, ‘Multi-drug resistance has passed from being created from bad treatment to now being established in a community by itself and spreading among community members.’”
  8. “Local medical records show 94 people have contracted MDR TB in Western Province since 2005.”
  9. “Dr. Ernesto Jaramillo says, ‘When treatment is delivered under the current conditions which many patients are having, then it’s a matter of months or years before we have forms of TB that cannot be cured.’”

Tuberculosis, Drug Resistance, Australia, WHO


Walsh, Liam, “World War II plan to poison Japanese crops revealed“, 6 December 2011,,, Last Checked 6 December 2011.

  1. “Poisoning Japanese crops with chemical weapons during World War II was a “worthwhile” and justifiable tactic, according to newly declassified Australian military documents. The documents also indicate authorities contemplated testing crop-destroying chemical weapons in central Queensland’s Proserpine.”
  2. “The thinking contrasts with Australian policy today – in 1993 Canberra signed a global ban on the use and development of chemical weapons”
  3. “The World War II details emerged on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Japan’s attack of Pearl Harbour, which triggered the US to enter the conflict. The war ended almost four years later with the US dropping atomic bombs on Japan. It was later revealed the US had contemplated a chemical bombardment on Japanese crops.”
  4. “Documents declassified by the National Archives of Australia, following requests by The Courier-Mail, refer to Australia receiving information from Allies about crop destruction with chemical weapons. Documents refer to targeting “vegetable gardens” in Japanese-held islands and rice crops.”
  5. “Minutes, from a September 1948 meeting of Australia’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Subcommittee, record a Lt Col N.L. Carter as saying “from a strategic point of view, crop destruction might not be a satisfactory weapon but tactically it might be worthwhile”.”
  6. “The committee, in contemplating chemical-warfare research topics, also said: “The problem should be very similar to that which was considered in the latter stages of the war when it was thought that an attack on the Japanese vegetable gardens throughout the islands might well be justified.” Chemical weapons were ultimately not used. But an attack on crops would have further squeezed Japan, which suffered hunger shortages.”
  7. “The Australian committee in mid-1948 received a report from UK experts, detailing how the US by July 1945 had built up chemical stocks theoretically “sufficient to destroy one-tenth of the rice crop of Japan”. But this would have logistically been a “formidable” operation to achieve, the report says.”

Chemical, Japan, Australia, Classified


Gatling, Lance, and Sheldon, JohnA New Opportunity for U.S.-Asian Space Cooperation,” February 25, 2013. Defense News. Last checked February 25, 2013.|head

  1. “The satellite export control reforms in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provide an opportunity to further Washington’s strategic interests through cooperation in Asia-Pacific national security space.”
  2. “The NDAA allows the president to propose removing space-related items from the State Department’s Munitions List and administer them under the Department of Commerce’s Control List…”
  3. “This is especially important because the technology in question is often available throughout the world”
  4. “Export reform may provide an opportunity to strengthen key alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia and Singapore; reinforce links with friends such as the Philippines and Thailand; and expand ties with Indonesia, Myanmar, Mongolia and Vietnam. These countries all seek to exploit space capabilities for national security purposes.”
  5. “Japan, South Korea and Australia are developing national security space systems. Their efforts might be encouraged by deeper U.S. engagement and space-capacity building — actions consistent with the 2010 U.S. National Space Policy.”
  6. “As the global economy increasingly shifts toward Asia, the strategic attributes of space power — perspective, access, presence and extended strategic depth — create economic openings and could help ameliorate the potential for conflict.”
  7. “Space systems can also provide redundant and secure communications, and support greater and more efficient border security, maritime domain awareness and exclusive economic zone monitoring.” Dual-use remote sensing space systems can help countries more efficiently utilize scarce naval and air assets to support freedom of navigation and defend sovereign rights.
  8. “Not only can space systems improve a nation’s security, they could help a U.S. under fiscal constraints; consequently, it is very much in U.S. interests to help its friends and allies become dependable space powers.”
  9. “The importance of regional space policy precipitated the recent introduction of national security space issues at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum. Today, an increasing number of countries, including the U.K., European countries, Russia, China and Japan, are willing to provide their expertise in space hardware and launch services for either commercial or “soft power” political engagements to these Asian nations and beyond.”
  10. “Cooperation on space systems with allies will demonstrate a new level of trust on the part of the U.S., as the technology has been seen as overly guarded for years.”
  11. “Active dual-use space cooperation would provide a strategically and politically powerful statement of American commitment.”
  12. “The net result: a greater level of political and strategic commitment to trans-Pacific security relationships and greater trust in partnership with America. The time is right for this step.”

Export Control, Dual Use, Asia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Mongolia