Biodefense involves medical measures to protect people against biological agents; this means medicines and vaccinations. It also means medical research and preparations to defend against bioterrorist attacks.
Biodefense is a very robust biohazard response. It is short term, local, usually military measures to restore biosecurity to a given group of persons in a given area. Protection of water supplies and food supplies are quite often a critical part of biodefense. Biodefense is most often discussed in the context of bioterrorism, and is generally considered a military or emergency response term.
Biodefense applies to two distinct target populations: civilian non-combatant and military combatant (troops in the field).
Biodefense of troops in the field
The Department of Defense (“DoD”) has focused on the development and application of vaccine-based biodefenses since at least 1998. In July 2001 the DOD commissioned a report, the “DoD-critical products” were listed as vaccines against anthrax, smallpox, plague, tularemia, botulinum, ricin, and equine encephalitis. Of these targets, two are toxins (botulinum and ricin) while the remainders are infectious agents. Department of Defense (2001). Report on Biological Warfare Defense Vaccine Research & Development Programs. Retrieved 2005-02-25.
Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academies (2004). Giving Full Measure to Countermeasures: Addressing Problems in the DoD Program to Develop Medical Countermeasures Against Biological Warfare Agents. National Academy Press (Washington, D.C.).
Department of Defense (2001). Report on Biological Warfare Defense Vaccine Research & Development Programs, Retrieved 2005-02-25.
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