UNDT responds to vaccines for first responders question

Following growing interest over whether or not security and emergency response units who are most vulnerable to anthrax exposure should be immunized, Universal Detection Technology has issued a response on the matter.

Dr. Thomas Waytes first brought the issue of vaccination to the forefront at the annual EMS Today Conference in Baltimore. Waytes, vice president of Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., asked, "How can first responders provide necessary medical treatment following an anthrax attack while preserving their own health and safety."

A one day delay in the initiation of chemoprophylaxis and treatment of exposed persons in the early state of an inhalational anthrax outbreak can lead to thousands of additional deaths and millions of dollars of additional expenditures, making timely detection of an outbreak a critical necessity.

"Immunizing first responders goes hand-in-hand with giving them the necessary tools and training to rapidly detect on-site the presence of anthrax or other deadly bioagents and respond appropriately," Jacques Tizabi, CEO of Universal Detection Technology, said. "The growing threat of bioterrorism is prompting more industries and organizations to adequately equip themselves with the bioagent detection capabilities."

Rapid detection of biothreats is integral for disease outbreaks. UNDT's five-agent bioterrorism detection kits, the company says, can be used to accurately test for anthrax spores' presence in as little as three minutes.