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Strategy to stop a pandemic

New approach could effectively use a scarce supply of vaccine

6:13pm, July 4, 2008

When deadly bird flu strikes, six degrees of separation could be the distance from here to hell. Even if a vaccine is found to be effective, it may be impossible to produce enough shots for everybody quickly enough, so authorities would have to decide how to use the doses they have in the most effective way. Researchers are now proposing a new strategy for targeting shots that could, at least in theory, stop a pandemic from spreading along the network of social interactions.

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