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B. What's the Prospect of a SARS Vaccine?

Narrator: This is Science Today. With mounting global concern over the spreading epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, the possible need for a vaccine looms heavily, but Dr. Arthur Reingold, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Preparedness at the University of California, Berkeley, says that SARS vaccine research is still in its infancy.

Reingold: There's already been early work to take this particular Corona Virus and put it into established cell lines with an eye towards the future and possibly the need for a vaccine. I don't think we know if we're going to need a vaccine for this virus or not. And if we do, it's certainly going to be a while.

Narrator: Designing the vaccine to maintain safety and efficiency standards will contribute to the delay.

Reingold: If we did have an emergency and an emergent need for a new vaccine, they're a lot of thorny questions about under what circumstances you would short-circuit the normal procedures that assure that the vaccines that we give people are safe and effective. How we would quickly judge the effectiveness of such a vaccine also would take some hard work.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.