The U.S. Department of Defense also has developed an experimental tularemia vaccine. To date, health officials have limited the use of this vaccine to laboratory and other high-risk workers.
Tularemia is Extremely Rare and Relatively Benign
Out of 300 million people, there are approximately 200 reported cases in the United States each year; of these cases, less than two percent are fatal.
Tularemia is Easily Treated
Tularemia is extremely rare and often benign. Antibiotics, such as doxycycline, streptomycin, gentamycin, tobramycin or ciprofloxacin, can effectively treat tularemia.
Tularemia Vaccine Efficacy Poor
A tularemia vaccine strain is being reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, but its future availability is uncertain, mainly because of the length of time it takes for the vaccine to work (about 2 weeks).
Tularemia Vaccine Contracts
Two contracts totaling approximately $60 million have been awarded to the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque and DynPort Vaccine Company, LLC, to support research, identify and evaluate new tularemia vaccine candidates. The new awards include grants totaling approximately $87 million for the construction of four biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) laboratories as well as two five-year contracts totaling approximately $60 million to support the development of a vaccine against tularemia, a potential agent of bioterror.