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In Brief

In Brief
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Smallpox Vaccine Production Begins

Production of smallpox vaccine began recently at the laboratories of Acambis, of Cambridge, MA, and Cambridge, England. The small biotechnology company signed a contract with the government last year to produce 54 million doses of the vaccine. It was part of the preparedness campaign to begin stockpiling vaccines against what was then the strictly hypothetical possibility of bioterrorism attacks. Now, 54 million doses seems insufficient, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson is negotiating with10 other companies to produce an additional 250 million doses. Mr. Thompson has said the government would have enough vaccine for every American by the end of 2002.

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Facial Injuries Best Prevented by Airbags and Seat Belts

Driver-side airbags combined with seat belt use reduce the incidence and severity of facial injury in motor vehicle crashes, according to an article in the October issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. Researchers at Albany (NY) Medical Center Hospital studied data from motor vehicle crashes that involved 164,238 drivers and 62,755 right front seat passengers in New York in 1994 to evaluate the effect of driver-side and passenger-side airbags on the incidence and severity of facial injury. The researchers found a facial injury rate of one in 449 for people who used both seat belts and airbags compared with one in 40 for people who did not use either seat belts or airbags. People who used airbags without seatbelts sustained facial injuries at a rate of one in 148, and those who used seatbelts without airbags had an injury rate of one in 217.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.