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On Tuesday, White House officials gathered scientists, pharmaceutical executives, and experts in public health at a summit to try to lay out a path toward creating better vaccines. What was the upshot?

For starters, there was tremendous optimism about the prospects for developing next-generation vaccines. And there were, in fact, glimmers of a tractable path to better products — if Congress will provide billions of dollars to speed things up.


The danger in this situation, though, is that of giving Sisyphus Prozac. It doesn’t really matter if you feel better about rolling the boulder up a hill if it is just going to come tumbling down.

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