Reactions May Be Linked to Vaccine
Washington Post; A8
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that three Florida health care workers have experienced serious side effects that could be linked to their recent smallpox inoculations, including one nurse who has developed a severe rash called "generalized vaccinia." Twenty-four people nationwide have reported complications associated with the vaccine, but none have been life-threatening; the other two Florida cases involved symptoms that are not usually associated with the smallpox vaccine: angina and gallbladder inflammation. The nurse is being treated with antihistamines and is not expected to have lasting scarring, and the other two individuals have been treated and are in good condition, officials said. By Feb. 21, 7,354 volunteers had been vaccinated as part of the administration's bioterrorism preparations, and over 108,000 military personnel have been vaccinated during the past six weeks. Sandia National Laboratories senior scientist Alan Zelicoff has been studying data from the CDC, the military, and an Israeli immunization campaign, and he says that so far the current immunization experience is consistent with that seen during the 1960s. Florida Health Department spokesman Rob Hayes says that the state has vaccinated almost 1,200 people and is checking them each day for side effects.