Ten years after 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks alerted America to the threat posed by bioterrorism, progress in developing and procuring vaccines and drugs to protect the civilian population has been frustratingly slow. An investment of over $20 billion has yielded a few new medical countermeasures, but there is nothing for most of the pathogens that top government threat lists.

The Department of Homeland Security has identified a dozen pathogens as serious bioterrorism threats. Of these, the U.S. has stockpiled sufficient smallpox vaccine for the entire population and sufficient vaccine for post-exposure anthrax protection for about 9.6 million civilians. The stockpile also includes treatments for anthrax and botulinum toxin.