Swine Flu Vaccinations Should Begin This Fall, Say Experts

Here's a rundown of some of the stories we've been following on Science's policy blog, ScienceInsider:

The United States should begin vaccinating its citizens this fall against the H1N1 influenza virus, says an expert panel that guides the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices proposed rationing the limited supplies of vaccine among high-priority groups representing roughly half the country's population. At the top of the list are people with underlying conditions that put them at risk for severe disease, pregnant women, those from 6 months to 24 years old, anyone who lives with infants under 6 months old, health-care workers, and emergency personnel. HHS hopes to have enough doses of the vaccine by October for everyone in these groups.

A mistake in handling manuscripts--not deliberate copying--led to an embarrassing use of borrowed text in a recent paper on the use of human embryonic stem cells, claims one of the authors, Karim Nayernia of Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. The journal's editor withdrew it after receiving an allegation of plagiarism, but Nayernia says the error occurred when a postdoc accidentally submitted the wrong draft for online publication.

A Senate appropriations panel has matched President Barack Obama's constrained funding request for the National Institutes of Health in 2010. The $442 million boost to $31.8 billion is less than half of the increase the House of Representatives approved last week. Legislators won't make a final decision on the spending bill until fall at the earliest.

In other news, epidemiologist David Michaels, known for studying nuclear workers' health risks, has been chosen to run the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, pending Senate confirmation. Meanwhile, Richard Besser, the former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is moving to ABC News.

For more on these stories and the latest science policy news and analysis, visit ScienceInsider.