Pandemic

Your pandemic flu shot may come in the mail

Illustration of open old fashioned mail box with the flag on the side being a red cross symbol
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

What's new: Scientists announced Wednesday they have successfully developed three key advances toward a possible pandemic flu vaccine — and it's one that could eventually be delivered to your doorstep via the mail, and be self-administered.

Why it matters: One of public health officials' greatest fears is another flu pandemic that could kill millions. It's not a question of if another one occurs, but rather when. Pandemics can kill large amounts of people worldwide. The largest influenza pandemic, known as the Spanish flu, occurred 100 years ago. It killed at least 50 million people.

Pandemics: A fast-spreading threat

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Not all security threats are born from bad intentions. U.S. and global leaders aren't paying nearly enough attention to the threat from infectious disease, contends Lisa Monaco, homeland security adviser to President Obama:

"As Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor, I worried about bad actors doing something awful with a bomb, a piece of malware or a pathogen. But in the case of pandemics, the more likely scenario is not a bad guy with a bug, but a naturally occurring infectious disease like we saw with Ebola in 2014, or worse yet, a new strain of flu."