Panel Urges Caution on Smallpox Inoculation
Washington Post; A9
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an executive-branch panel that considers the nation's vaccination policies, has issued a recommendation suggesting that the smallpox immunization campaign currently aimed at inoculating emergency response workers to the disease in case of a terrorist attack should not be expanded to additional people for the moment. The panel made its statement based on findings that there may be an elevated risk of heart complications among vaccinated people; however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuing in its search for emergency workers willing to be vaccinated. According to CDC Director Julie L. Gerberding, the agency will take the panel's recommendation into account, but the CDC intends to move forward with its smallpox immunization schedule. "The more people we have vaccinated, the better off we'll be, and the fact that we have almost 40,000 people vaccinated is I think a tremendous step forward compared to where we were just six months ago," said Gerberding.