Vaccine bill would increase EEE research
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OSWEGO COUNTY, N.Y. -- A bill aimed at developing a vaccine for Eastern Equine Encephalitis and other diseases failed to make it through the full state legislature before the session ended, but an Oswego County family isn't giving up hope of one day finding a cure.
Four-year-old Maggie Sue Glenister Wilcox of New Haven died last August after contracting EEE. Since then, her family has made it their mission to help keep others safe from the disease, partly by pushing for greater research into developing a EEE vaccine.
State Senator Patty Ritchie backed that goal by sponsoring a bill that would create a special panel in the state Department of Health to review immunization development and disease control.
Currently, there is only an EEE vaccine for horses.
"We live in a great nation, and I just don't understand why there isn't a human vaccine. Obviously in my opinion I think that the human life lost is much more valuable that of a horse," said Donna Wilcox, EEE victim's aunt.
HIV, TB, and Lyme disease research are also included in this bill.
Although the bill did pass the Senate, it did not make it through the state Assembly before the session ended Thursday. That means it will need to be reintroduced when lawmakers return next year.