"Contrary to popular mythology, there's absolutely no evidence Iraq worked
on smallpox"---Scott Ritter, Former UN Weapons Inspector (2002)
Smallpox Vaccine Ingredients
Note: received in email:
The Acambis vaccine cell lines contain (55 MILLION DOSES OF) ABORTED FETAL
tissue. After the 55 MILLION doses are gone, the vaccine will contain vero
cell lines. Vero Cells from the African green monkey open the door to
tumors, cancers and HIV/Aids and other primate viruses etc.
The vaccine contains bovine material as well, which could be, as the
claim, a THEORETICAL RISK for mad cow/nvCJD.
The aborted fetal tissue could also be a source of CJD,HIV, HCV etc etc.
Those who wish to research the contents of the vaccine can begin by
checking out: drcarley.com
Smallpox summit to be held
Wed, 1 Jan 2003
CHEYENNE (AP) -- Five health care representatives from around the state
to meet with state health officials over the next few days to finalize
for smallpox vaccinations.
Vaccinations for medical workers, who would be the first to respond to a
smallpox outbreak, are expected to begin in February.
The five representatives recently returned from a training seminar at the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta.
Among other things, the trainees learned how to use a bifurcated needle to
pick up drops of the vaccine and poke it into a person's arm 15 times in a
"What was amazing about the conference is that it makes smallpox a
said Katheryn McKee, a public health nurse for the Cheyenne-Laramie County
Health Department. "This is something we are really preparing for."
State Epidemiologist Dr. Karl Musgrave said Wyoming initially will receive
2,600 doses of vaccine.
In January, the five representatives will disperse around the state to help
prepare public health nurses for the first rounds of vaccination.
"There will be around 30 clinics across the state and they need to be
divided up in the most efficient way possible," said Daniel Kessler, a risk
communication specialist for the state Health Department.
McKee said CDC instructors stressed the importance of interviewing people
before they are vaccinated to reduce the risk of complications.
"If someone has any history of eczema, since the virus isn't around right
now, we're not going to go ahead with the vaccine and possibly harm them,"
he said. "Usually with immunizations, if you have questions you still go
ahead. With smallpox it's different."
The vaccine is not recommended for people with eczema, atopic dermatitis,
burns, herpes, chicken pox, weakened immune systems due to HIV or cancer
treatments, allergy to the vaccine, or moderate to severe short-term
Pregnant or nursing mothers and people under 18 should also not get the
vaccine, according to state health officials.
Copyright © 2002 by the Casper Star-Tribune published by Lee Publications,
Inc., a subsidiary of Lee Enterprises, Incorporated
Israel's smallpox vaccination, gas masks ineffective
Report: Israel's smallpox vaccination, gas masks ineffective
By Debbie Berman December 31, 2002
An internal Ministry of Health investigation of
Israel's smallpox vaccine revealed serious negligence
in its production, raising questions as to its
effectiveness. A Ministry of Defense expert claimed
two thirds of the gas masks distributed to the public
would provide insufficient protection in case of a
chemical or biological attack.
According to an exclusive report published today in
Yediot Aharonot, the investigation conducted by Dr.
Rachel Karpel, director of the Standards Institute in
the Health Ministry, revealed sixty-eight areas in
which the vaccination failed to meet international
pharmaceutical standards. Karpel recommended that the
existing supply of the vaccine be destroyed and that
health officials should begin production of a new
"If we were talking about a private manufacturer and
normal circumstances, the Ministry of Health would
demand stopping production and the immediate
destruction of supplies," Karpel wrote. "It is clear
that under these special circumstances we cannot
immediately destroy the supply and be left completely
helpless in an emergency," Karpel added, advocating a
three-step process for phasing out the old vaccines.
According to the report, the ministry-produced vaccine
was not inspected for additional viruses and germs,
and it was stored in the same freezer as test tubes
containing strains of cholera, plague and other
diseases. The facilities used for the production of
the vaccine were not sterile, the report said, and
some of the bottles used were reportedly broken or
caked with mud. The temperature of the vaccine's
storage was reportedly not regulated and freezers
malfunctioned on several occasions.
Israel's production of the vaccine is based on
injecting the virus into a fertilized chicken egg and
after a period of incubation, transferring the vaccine
into test tubes, which are stored until inoculation.
Most western countries today, including the United
States, utilize cow specimens and not chickens egg to
incubate the vaccination.
The internal Health Ministry report states that those
infected during a smallpox outbreak in Yugoslavia in
1972 were inoculated with the chicken-based vaccine,
which proved an ineffective form of protection.
Following the outbreak, the local population there
underwent a mass re- vaccination with the cow-based
The Ministry of Health denied the Yediot Aharonot
report regarding the shortcomings of the vaccine and
urged the public not to panic. Health Ministry
Dir.-Gen Dr. Boas Lev claimed Israel's vaccine is one
of the most effective in the world.
"We take this very seriously," he said. "Following the
Karpel report we stopped production and then all of
our labs met all standards requirements. We have
reached the conclusion that there is no need to worry
about any problems. Our production process is better
and cleaner than that of the Americans, and we have
years of excellent experience in this process."
Critical report on gas masks
A Defense Ministry expert on protection against
biological and chemical weapons said that only a third
of the masks distributed to the Israeli public would
serve as adequate protection in case of an attack,
Ha'aretz reported today.
Despite a report criticizing the quality of the masks
distributed to the public during the 1991 Gulf War,
the Defense Ministry has continued to manufacture them
without implementing changes or improvements to the
units, said ministry official Esther Krasner.
In a report outlining their drawbacks, Krasner said
the black rubber masks create "a range of problems
that limit their use for long periods of time. The
mask is conceptually based on sealing the face, which
requires a high degree of customization and practice
at putting them on. The mask causes psychological
limitations because there is resistance to breathing,
and tension caused by heat, pain and discomfort."
A defense establishment official said that one of the
biggest problems with the mask is the fact that it
comes in only two sizes. Therefore, the official said,
the mask does not provide adequate protection to most
of the population. Women with lower hairlines and
narrow faces are more likely to experience leaks in
Krasner has criticized the ministry's refusal to adopt
a hooded gas mask unit called the Sapphire, which
would outperform the current black rubber masks,
Ha'aretz reported. Krasner advocates making two
fundamental changes to the black masks: adding a
breathing mechanism, which would provide permanent
airflow, and adding a hood to extend protection to the
head and neck.
Responding to the reports, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.
Moshe Yaalon told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee that the gas masks distributed to
the public provided sufficient protection. Yaalon said
the newer model gas masks did not meet security
Smallpox Vaccine Test For Children Unlikely
Vaccine Test For Children Unlikely
Debate clouds chance for smallpox trial
December 31, 2002
By the time smallpox vaccinations are offered to the
public in 2004, researchers will have gathered reams
of information on dosage for virtually every age, with
the likely exception of children.
Key researchers close to a major pediatric test of the
vaccine told Newsday last week they doubt the trial
will proceed, the result of negative public response
to the prospects of a trial.
The issue of smallpox-vaccine testing in children has
inspired debate and sidelined clinical testing, a
controversy underscoring a broader issue: Many drug
therapies ultimately administered to children are
never tested in them.
Though the Bush administration two weeks ago vowed
support for a new measure requiring drug companies to
routinely test medications in children, officials did
not say whether the pediatric trial of the smallpox
vaccine should go forward. If the vaccine is not
tested and licensed for pediatric use, children whose
parents want them vaccinated in 2004 would be barred
from receiving the shots.
Medical historians say use of the smallpox vaccine in
children has a long and storied past.
Dr. J. Michael Lane, a retired immunization director
at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, said the standard dose was established by
consensus among physicians a half century ago, not by
way of clinical testing.
Even though the vaccine was administered for more than
a century before smallpox was declared eradicated in
1980, the potential for side effects was commonly
accepted as a risk of preventing a dangerous disease,
"Until the 1970s and even into the '80s, the smallpox
vaccine dose was driven by our desire to have maximum
'take' rates," Lane said, referring to evidence of
immunity. "When there was smallpox in the world, we
did everything possible to ensure good take rates."
There was a lot of questioning about how much vaccine
should be put on the needle used to administer the
vaccination, Lane said. "It was almost like asking how
many angels could dance on the head of a pin.
"Now the game is different. It would be nice to get
good takes, but it would be even better to do that
with a minimalist dose. That has never been worked
out. There's no good pediatric data. What I'm saying
here is there's no data - period - for this
Federal health officials solicited public opinion in
October on the issue of testing diluted doses in
children, in response to opposition from
anti-vaccination group leaders as well as the public.
The clinical trial, which was to have begun before
year's end, is on hold.
Patricia El-Hinnawy of the federal Office of Human
Research Protection, which solicited public reaction,
said the decision now rests with Health and Human
Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.
"We have no idea when he will decide," El-Hinnawy
Given the opposition - during the comment period, more
than 300 responses opposed to such testing were
submitted - Lane said doctors face a difficult
"You can't license a vaccine for kids until you test
it in kids," he said. "Despite the fact that many
people in the medical community want to test it, it's
difficult to move beyond those who say it's unethical.
But I think the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] is
correct in saying we can't license it without testing
Groups such as the National Vaccine Information
Center, based in Vienna, Va., contend that, with only
a theoretical threat of smallpox, the risks of the
live-virus vaccine outweigh its benefits.
Smallpox vaccine at standard dosage is estimated to
cause up to 2.7 deaths, as well as 15 adverse
reactions, in 1 million people who receive it.
Reactions range from flulike symptoms to encephalitis.
Doctors do not know - but some suspect - that adverse
outcomes would be lessened with a weakened vaccine.
Results of a major clinical trial of 680 adults
between the ages of 18 and 32, reported in March,
showed that diluted vaccine - up to one-tenth the
standard strength - worked as well as the so-called
standard dose in producing immunity.
The trial is instructive, scientists say, because it
demonstrates that a weaker dose works in an age group
never before vaccinated against smallpox. The last
case of the disease in the United States occurred in
1949; routine vaccinations ceased in 1972. A new
trial, headed by medical investigators in New York, is
enrolling 1,000 volunteers across the country to test
the vaccine in adults between the ages of 32 and 75.
Experts on bioterrorism in the Bush administration
have said an attack using the virus as a weapon is
probably remote, but they nevertheless believe
terrorist groups possess the virus.
Despite a freeze on the pediatric vaccine trial,
administration officials want to establish keener
dosages for all other medications given to children.
Thompson last week said the administration would
support the new measure, a new Pediatric Rule, calling
for testing medication dosage levels in children.
Even if the smallpox vaccine is never tested in
children, experts say a new Pediatric Rule would
eliminate guesswork when it comes to establishing
doses for other medications administered to children.
The FDA had made a rule in 1998 requiring drug
companies to test medications in children, but it was
shot down in October by a federal judge in Washington,
who said the agency was exceeding its authority.
"We have strongly defended the Pediatric Rule in
court," said FDA Commissioner Dr. Mark B. McClellan,
"because public health will be best served by enabling
the FDA to require testing of drugs for pediatric use.
But continued litigation is likely to take years, and
its outcome is uncertain."
"This is a very complex issue," Lane said. "I am
passionately pro-vaccines. I was director of a
national immunization program, and part of my job was
aggressively promoting vaccination.
"I can understand people who say it's unethical to
administer smallpox vaccine to children. But it's also
an awkward situation for people who want to run the
vaccine trials" to determine the best dose.
Challenges lie in details of smallpox plan
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Challenges lie in details of smallpox plan
Health professionals are being asked to step up to be vaccinated, but
physicians and other experts worry about putting immune-compromised
patients at risk.
By Victoria Stagg Elliott, AMNews staff. Jan. 6, 2003. [Received 30 DEC 2002] Additional information
Military personnel and embassy staff in high-risk areas will get it.
President George W. Bush will, too. But his family members won't. And
emergency physicians, other doctors and health care workers will be offered
it as a precaution in the event they are part of volunteer response teams
in the aftermath of an attack.
It is the smallpox vaccine, and the specifics of who should get it and when
are part of President Bush's smallpox response plan unveiled in December
But the details of how the approach will be implemented are raising
concerns within the physician community over persistent questions of
logistics, safety and liability.
For now, though, the president's marching orders are clear: "Our government
has no information that a smallpox attack is imminent," he said. "Yet it is
prudent to prepare for the possibility that terrorists ... who kill
indiscriminately would use diseases as a weapon."
During the past year, public health agencies have been planning for this
type of attack, stockpiling enough vaccine to immunize every person in the
United States, drawing up response models and training several thousand
clinicians to administer the vaccine to those most likely to be on the
front lines. The public is expected to be offered the vaccine next year.
For many public health officials, the vaccination question is the most
unusual health issue they've ever faced.
The vaccination plan raises questions about logistics, safety and
"This is not a very easy decision," said Jonathan B. Weisbuch, MD,
representing the American Assn. of Public Health Physicians at the AMA
Interim Meeting in New Orleans in December 2002. "We're being asked to do
harm to people in [light] of unknown risk out there."
The mixed reaction from the health care community to the president's plan
reflects this uneasiness.
Several medical groups, including the Infectious Disease Society of
America, the American Public Health Assn. and the AMA, endorsed the
approach. But Service Employees International, the country's largest union
of nurses and other hospital employees, and the American Nurses Assn. did
not -- warning that the plan put their members and patients at risk.
Serious issues remain
Even those who are most supportive of the plan have reservations. Their
focus is on issues of liability, the risks posed to patients and
themselves, and how screening procedures could determine who among the most
likely first responders should receive or not receive the vaccine.
The Homeland Security Act passed in 2002 does give physicians and other
health care workers who administer the vaccine liability protection, but
several organizations have expressed concern that this shield may not go
far enough. For example, the doctor or nurse who gives the injection will
be protected, but what about the patients who receive it?
A vaccinated person will be a potential danger to immune-compromised people
for a few weeks. Will that individual be at fault if the virus is
inadvertently transmitted to another?
50% of the public would turn to their physicians for information in a
"The Dept. of Homeland Security bill was signed by the president, and that
addresses some of the issues of liability, but there are questions that
continue to be asked by physicians and patients for which we still await
the answers," said Scott D. Deitchman, MD, MPH, a member of the AMA Council
on Scientific Affairs, in New Orleans.
But although physicians are worried about being liable for any adverse
reactions, there is also great concern about ensuring compensation for
those harmed by the vaccine. The SEIU and ANA both issued statements saying
that such funding might be needed, not just for the people who may be
killed or disabled, but also for those who may be sickened for a few days
and lose work and wages.
Both groups also were concerned that the vaccinations be truly voluntary,
without fear of discrimination or reprisal for declining the offer.
As for public health officials, they are struggling to create an effective
screening process and to develop a hierarchy to figure out who should be
vaccinated in the first phase. Those who are full-time hospital staff
members should be easy to track. But what about temporary and part-time
workers, especially in a large facility?
And if all of those on the list are vaccinated at once, who will care for
patients? Should the effort include staggered timing to ensure that
doctors, nurses and aides are not all exposed to the vaccine at once, to
ensure adequate staffing can be maintained?
Meanwhile, there is evidence that covering the injection site with a
dressing and long sleeves may prevent transmission. Frequent hand-washing
also will help. But nothing is 100% effective.
58% of the public fears a smallpox attack.
"It reduces the risk significantly but not to zero," said Michael Williams,
MD, an American Academy of Neurology delegate to the Interim Meeting.
"There are many who are seriously considering that we ought to advocate for
administrative leave for health care workers because we don't know what the
risk to our patients would be, even if that risk is low."
President Bush did not comment on the steps to be taken in case of an
outbreak, but the CDC's response plan includes guidelines for organizing
"ring vaccinations," a strategy for immunizing all contacts that
effectively eradicated smallpox.
This approach has been endorsed by several medical associations, including
the AMA. Few public health experts, however, believe that it would be
"As much as I, from a public health purist perspective, would like to use
the post-event ring strategy -- and it will be important initially --
ultimately ring vaccination will fail in this country if imposed, simply
for political reasons," said Donald E. Williamson, MD, Alabama state health
officer, speaking for the Assn. of State and Territorial Health Officials
at the AMA meeting. "It simply won't happen."
Back to top.
A recent poll reflects a growing concern among the public about the threat
of a smallpox terrorist attack. Findings are based on a telephone survey of
1,002 adults conducted in October 2002 and compared with results from a
similar survey taken in May 2002. Of those questioned:
* 65% are willing to be vaccinated against smallpox, compared with 59%
* 58% said they are worried about a possible smallpox attack, compared
with 43% in the earlier survey.
* 50% said they would put their highest level of trust in their doctor
when seeking information during a smallpox crisis.
* 12% said they were not at all worried about an attack, down from 25%
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
CDC smallpox site (http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/smallpox/)
HHS smallpox site (http://www.smallpox.gov)
AMA Council on Scientific Affairs bioterrorism site
"Smallpox vaccine Licensed"
"Smallpox vaccine Licensed"
The stockpiled Dryvax smallpox vaccine now available in a new format--a
100-dose kit that allows dilution of the vaccine--has been licensed by the
Each kit, manufactured by Wyeth Laboratories, Inc., includes one vial of
lyophilized smallpox vaccine (dried, calf lymph type), one prefilled
diluent syringe, one transfer needle, and one box of bifurcated needles.
The kit is ready to go if and when the government decides to vaccinate the
general public against smallpox.
The kit's label states that nonemergency use of the vaccine is not
recommended for the following segments of the general population: infants
younger than 12 months; pregnant women; people of any age with eczema or
other exfoliative skin conditions; people of any age who are allergic to
any element of the vaccine; people of any age on high doses of
corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs; and people of any age with
immune system deficiencies.
Family Pracitice News, Dec. 1, 2002
Smallpox Vaccine May be Referenced in Bible Apocalypse
Date: 25 Dec 2002
Tetrahedron Publishing Group
Health Science Communications for People Around the World
206 North 4th Avenue, Suite 147
Sandpoint, ID 83864
208-265-2575; FAX: 208-265-2775
Release: No. DITA-105
Date Mailed: Dec. 24, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elaine Zacky 208/265-2575; 800/336-9266
Smallpox Vaccine May be Referenced in Bible Apocalypse
The Bush administration s embattled smallpox
vaccination program looks even more devilish than medical
doctors fear. The Bible apparently warns of polluted vials used
in the End Times to transmit a foul-smelling pox-like plague
upon the earth.
The smallpox vaccine produces an oozing infectious
sore that authorities warn may infect others with the deadly
contagion. Its scab then turns to a scar leaving a "mark of the
beast" that appears to be described in The Book of Revelation
16:1-2 and 13:18. With the advancement of nanotechnology, many
people fear the smallpox vaccine may also carry programmable
This final book of the Bible is traditionally
neglected by those who prefer to preach the good news of
spiritual salvation, versus the prophesy of apocalyptic
destruction, according to Dr. Leonard Horowitz. The emerging
diseases expert with a postdoctoral degree from Harvard
University in public health believes these verses may regard the
smallpox vaccine in particular.
According to Dr. Horowitz, "the Great Creator grows
tired of people's misplaced faith and trust in the last days
before the final judgment. MDs, or 'medical deities,' are
politically elevated to positions of authority over life and
death through a 'beast system' heavily engaged in a
pharmaceutical cult." In this regard, Revelation refers to drug
companies and medical physicians as satanic "sorcerers" that
cast "magic spells" through healing potions and deceive even the
world's wealthiest people. Their misplaced loyalties are
reflected in their industry logo - an image depicting the staff of
life with a snake twirled about it.
God finally dispatches help to put an end to this
grave deception. In Rev. 16:1-2 the first of seven apocalyptic
angels is instructed to pour out a deadly vial of liquid on the
people. Suddenly, "there fell a noisome [foul smelling] and
grievous sore [only] upon the men which had the mark of the
beast and upon them which worshipped his image."
"Given recent disclosures of the high risks of
disease and death from smallpox vaccinations, this message
delivers food for thought," Dr. Horowitz says. Especially in a
secular world wherein people have yet to learn the wisdom behind
the Bible s warning, "Come out of her my people, lest ye be
infected by her plagues."
Amazingly, in his most recent of thirteen books,
prophetically titled and released three months before the 9/11
attacks on America, Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism and
Toxic Warfare (1-888-508-4787), Dr. Horowitz decrypted an early
British secret society's code that uses the multiples of six
(6). It deciphers the word "VACCINATION" into "666."
"Try using this alphanumeric mystery school math for
yourself," he encourages. "A=6, B=12, C=18 . . . and so on to Z.
Using this decoding method, V=132, A=6, C=18, C=18, I=54, N=84,
A=6, T=120, I=54, O=90 and N=84. That totals precisely 666, the
number Revelation 13:18 also warns is associated with the mark
of the beast."
Even more bizarre, the name "Santa Claus," Dr.
Horowitz explains, deciphers to "666" too, but not likely by
accident. History shows this name also derives from
Britannia. "Look up the phrase 'Lord of misrule' in Webster's
Dictionary," challenges the doctor minister. "It's defined as 'a
master of Christmas who revels in England especially in the 15th
and 16th century.'"
One might be inclined to scoff at these details, but
the primary smallpox vaccine maker for America is a British
company called Acambis (acquired by Aventis following 9-11).
Moreover, Dr. Horowitz has been incredibly accurate with his
predictions detailed over the Internet at
www.prophecyandpreparedness.com. Merry "X-mass" everyone.
- end -
Note to journalists: For additional interviews on this topic
contact Dr. Leonard Horowitz at 208-265-2575 or
Spartanburg woman part of national smallpox study
(Greenville-AP) De. 23, 2002 - A 49-year-old Spartanburg dental assistant
has become part of a nationwide study looking to prevent serious reactions
from smallpox vaccine.
Debbie Summey was accepted into the trial last week. She will be vaccinated
against smallpox after Christmas. After a few weeks, technicians will
collect her plasma, which will be rich in smallpox antibodies, and ship it
to a company in Canada. There, her plasma will be combined with other
donors to create a treatment used on people who have severe reactions to
the smallpox vaccine.
More than a million military personnel and health care workers will be
vaccinated beginning next month. Some scientists estimate 15 out of every
million people vaccinated will have serious complications, and two out of
every million will die.
Posted 12:21pm by Deirdre Edwards
Smallpox - 6 Articles in New Eng J. of Med
20 December 2002
THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE
The articles listed below were published today at www.nejm.org
to help to inform the current national debate about smallpox
vaccination. The articles will appear in the January 30, 2003,
issue of the Journal.
Perspective: Smallpox Vaccination -- The Call to Arms
T.L. Schraeder and E.W. Campion
Special Article: A Model for a Smallpox-Vaccination Policy
S.A. Bozzette and Others
Special Article: The Public and the Smallpox Threat
R.J. Blendon and Others
Current Concepts: How Contagious Is Vaccinia?
Sounding Board: A Different View of Smallpox and Vaccination
Letter to the Editor: A Smallpox False Alarm
J.A. Hanrahan, M. Jakubowycz, and B.R. Davis
Gunmen Deputized to Secure Smallpox Vaccination Areas
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2002
Two IL hospitals won't give staff smallpox vaccine
2 state hospitals won't give staff smallpox vaccine
By Jeremy Manier
Tribune staff reporter
Published December 19, 2002
Two Illinois hospitals have joined a growing group of medical centers
nationwide that are opting out of a federal plan to vaccinate emergency
workers against smallpox, reflecting concerns that the known risks of the
vaccine may outweigh the uncertain threat of a terrorist attack with the
Carle Foundation Hospital in Champaign and Decatur Memorial Hospital in
Decatur notified the Illinois Department of Public Health in the last week
that their workers will not be vaccinated, public health officials said
At least two other hospitals in Atlanta and Virginia also have said they
will not take part in the voluntary plan, citing the small but real risk
that vaccinated workers could suffer serious side effects or accidentally
transmit the vaccine's virus--which is different from smallpox--to
Such opposition could pose an obstacle to President Bush's plan, announced
last Friday, to vaccinate up to 11 million people against smallpox,
including a first round of 500,000 hospital and health agency workers. Bush
has stressed that participation is voluntary, and Illinois health officials
said they will not try to persuade hospitals to take part.
Dr. James Leonard, chief executive officer of Carle Foundation Hospital,
said he struggled for more than a week over whether any of the 2,400
at his hospital would get inoculations.
Leonard said that after consulting with experts around the country, he was
struck by the consensus that while the risk of a smallpox attack is
the vaccine's risks are clear: Up to 52 people out of every million
vaccinated could experience life-threatening side effects, with one to
dying. The vaccinia virus used for immunizations also can pose a risk to
people with weakened immune systems, including patients with AIDS or
"I thought to myself, `What are we missing?'" Leonard said. "I came to the
conclusion that we were not missing anything--[the plan] had taken on a
of its own, and I just couldn't justify the risk to the folks that work
and to our organization."
Dr. Gary Noskin, chief of infection control at Northwestern Memorial
Hospital in Chicago, said the hospital has not yet decided whether to take
part in the smallpox plan. He said some experts fear that news of adverse
reactions to smallpox vaccines could sour the public on shots for diseases
with a more immediate threat, such as measles.
Another concern is legal liability for vaccine side effects. Although the
recently passed Homeland Security Act would protect municipal health
agencies, experts say it's unclear whether hospitals could be held liable
for complications that their employees or patients experience.
"I suspect that will be tested in the courts," Noskin said.
Illinois officials asked 152 hospitals outside Chicago to submit their
for smallpox vaccination by Dec. 13. About 75 percent of hospitals had
returned their plans as of Wednesday, public health spokesman Tom Schafer
said. The Carle Foundation Hospital and Decatur Memorial are the only two
that have said they will not take part.
Chicago public health officials said their preparations will take another
few weeks, but so far no city hospitals have told authorities that they
Schafer said health officials will not try to persuade hospitals to take
part. In the event of an actual smallpox attack, he said even hospitals
do not participate could be protected. The smallpox vaccine can provide
protection up to 72 hours after someone has been exposed to the virus, and
federal plans call for the ability to vaccinate every person in the U.S.
within 10 days in case of an outbreak.
"In the event of a localized outbreak, the vaccine would be offered in
areas first," Schafer said.
As for the current vaccination plan, Schafer said, "We've stressed that
strictly a voluntary program."
Copyright 2002, Chicago Tribune
Americans would refuse smallpox vaccination
Posted on Thu, Dec. 19, 2002
Study: Americans would refuse smallpox vaccination if doctors rejected it
BY MARIE MCCULLOUGH
Knight Ridder Newspapers
PHILADELPHIA - (KRT) - Americans may criticize, disobey and sue their
physicians, but when it comes to getting the smallpox vaccine, Americans
will likely imitate them.
A new survey by Harvard University researchers indicates that 80
percent of Americans would refuse precautionary vaccination if they heard
that their own and many other physicians were rejecting it.
Most Americans - 67 percent - also would decline to be inoculated if
they heard that "some people" died from it.
The findings have implications for the Bush administration's
two-stage plan for voluntary vaccination of more than 10 million health,
emergency and police workers as a precaution against a smallpox attack.
Already, some physicians are declining to join the first stage, which
involves vaccinating 500,000 health workers and "first responders"
beginning next month. The doctors argue that the vaccine's risks are real
and quantifiable, while smallpox, a disease that was eradicated 22 years
ago, remains a theoretical threat.
Several major medical centers, notably Grady Memorial Hospital in
Atlanta and Virginia Commonwealth University's hospital in Richmond, have
officially opted out of the vaccination program. Some others, including
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, are considering it.
"The decision comes down to this: Which is the greater risk right
now, vaccination or smallpox?" said Paul Offit, head of CHOP's Vaccine
Education Center. "We are leaning toward saying there is more real risk in
In October, Offit was the only member of the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention's vaccine advisory committee to oppose vaccination
of 500,000 workers. Instead, he advocated inoculating a team of 15,000 who
could respond to a smallpox outbreak.
Many physicians are worried that the vaccine might accidentally
infect hospital patients, with deadly consequences. That's because the
vaccine is a primitive type made from a live cowpox virus that can be
spread, just like any virus.
Physicians also have expressed concern about Bush's promise to make
the vaccine available to any adult American who "insists," because the
public does not understand the risks and benefits of inoculation.
Indeed, the Harvard survey - published Thursday as part of a special
online release by the New England Journal of Medicine - suggests Americans
are largely clueless about smallpox, despite an avalanche of news coverage.
(The nationally representative sample of 1,006 people was interviewed from
Oct. 8 to Dec. 8.)
Almost a third of respondents said they believed smallpox had struck
in the United States in the past five years, and two-thirds said they
believed there had been outbreaks elsewhere in the world. (Actually, the
disease was eradicated in the United States in 1949 and in the world in
More than three-quarters believed smallpox can be treated to prevent
death or disability. (Actually, the infection is untreatable, kills a third
of its victims and disfigures or blinds most of the rest.)
Only 42 percent knew that the vaccine, if given within two or three
days of exposure to smallpox, can prevent infection, and even fewer
believed there would be enough vaccine in an emergency. (Actually, the
government has stockpiles and plans to vaccinate the whole country if
bioterrorists attack anywhere.)
The level of ignorance "is surprising to me because there has been a
lot of coverage," said survey author Robert J. Blendon, a professor at
Harvard's School of Public Health. "They just aren't taking away the
That's probably because 66 percent had been ignoring or barely
following smallpox news - a statistic that suggests healthcare workers will
not bone up on the vaccine until they are required to.
Oddly, more than half of respondents were willing to be vaccinated -
unless, that is, their doctors refused or they heard some people died from
it - yet the vaccine was perceived as far more dangerous than it actually
is. A quarter thought it would likely kill them, while 41 percent thought
they would likely suffer serious side effects.
Such effects are actually rare, based on studies from the 1960s. For
every million people vaccinated, the immunization causes about one death
and about 52 life-threatening fevers, infections or brain-swelling.
CDC officials say they are working feverishly to overcome the
knowledge gap. The agency has developed a website (www.cdc.gov/smallpox),
CD-ROMs, videos and a public information hotline (888-246-2675). Friday,
the CDC will conduct a satellite broadcast from noon to 1:00 p.m. EST to
help educate healthcare workers; it will be rebroadcast on Jan. 9 at 1:00
The CDC is not surprised by resistance to the vaccination program,
director Julie Gerberding said. The agency "fully expected" that some
hospitals would refuse to participate. Even so, she said, all 50 states
have submitted plans that, if successful, will vaccinate 440,000 workers at
3,600 medical facilities.
Health Pros Balk At Smallpox Shots
December 19, 2002
(AP) Many doctors and nurses nationwide are wary of President Bush's
suggestion that they be vaccinated against smallpox, and some hospitals
have rejected the proposal as too risky for their employees.
"There are concerns about the efficacy of the vaccine and the risk for
taking the vaccine," said Jim Lott, spokesman for the Hospital Association
of Southern California. The group represents 190 private and public
"On rare occasions, we hear about people who say they want to step up and
serve their country," he said. "But we're hearing more the other way," with
employees raising questions.
Seeking to be prepared for attacks with biological weapons, the Bush
administration has ordered a half-million U.S. soldiers in high-risk
regions to get smallpox vaccinations, and proposed voluntary vaccinations
for millions of health care workers.
Jim Bentley, a senior vice president of the American Hospital Association,
said most hospitals seem willing to participate, others are deliberating,
and a few have indicated they do not want their staff vaccinated.
Among the reluctant facilities are Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and
Virginia Commonwealth University's health center in Richmond, Va.
Dr. Richard Wenzel, chairman of Virginia Commonwealth's infectious disease
department, said the hospital would support the program if a single case of
smallpox were reported or if federal authorities warned of imminent danger
of an outbreak.
"Meanwhile, it is difficult to support the decision to vaccinate hospital
personnel when there has been no case of smallpox seen for 30 years,"
Wenzel said Wednesday.
There is a "very large probability" that vaccinating hospital workers would
result in transmission of the disease to people whose resistance had been
lowered by HIV infection and other conditions, Wenzel said.
"When we weigh the risks and benefits, we choose to come down on the
conservative side," he said.
However, Bush's proposal has been embraced elsewhere.
"We do have a plan to give the smallpox vaccinations," said Kristin Foley
at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center. "This is not an issue for us."
Dr. J.D. Miller of Appalachian Regional Health Care, which operates nine
hospitals in Kentucky and West Virginia, said many employees strongly
supported the program and were anxious to get vaccinations.
Hospitals in Iowa are discussing the program, said Kevin Teale of the state
Department of Public Health, "but we haven't been given a flat-out no by
The American Medical Association has endorsed the concept of voluntary
vaccinations for health care workers, but says it will monitor the program
for possible complications.
The American Nurses Association has been even more cautious.
"We want people to be able to make an informed decision," the association's
president, Barbara Blakeney, said last week. "I do not believe we have the
answers we need to make that informed decision."
Blakeney said nurses, like other hospital workers, were worried about
questions of liability and whether they would be compensated for treatment
of possible side-effects caused by vaccinations.
"It is our duty to protect, as much as possible, those persons who would
step forward to protect us all," Blakeney said.
Under the federal plan, civilian vaccinations will proceed in two phases.
They will begin in a few weeks for about 450,000 people - including
emergency room staff - most likely to encounter a highly contagious
Later, vaccinations will be offered to about 10 million additional
emergency responders, including police officers, firefighters and a wide
range of health care workers. Health officials predict about half of this
group would agree to vaccinations.
Connecticut's 32 hospitals are coordinating their response to Phase One of
the program, asking about 150 people at each hospital if they are willing
to be vaccinated. Those employees will go through an education program
before making a final decision.
In Minneapolis, the Hennepin County Medical Center is recruiting volunteers
to be vaccinated and then serve on a special smallpox response unit. The
center hopes for 200 volunteers, but could operate the unit with as few as
40, said emergency preparedness director Mark Lappe.
Initial interest is high, Lappe said. "But what many other agencies across
the country have experienced is once people look more closely, there's a
Few Side Effects in Israeli Smallpox Vaccine Drive
Posted on Thu, Dec. 19, 2002
Few Side Effects in Israeli Smallpox Vaccine Drive
JERUSALEM - Israel's smallpox vaccination of 15,000 emergency workers
in preparation for a possible U.S.-led war on Iraq caused few side effects,
a Health Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.
Four people were hospitalized as a result of the vaccination drive,
said spokesman Ido Hadari.
These included the child of one worker and the spouse of another, who
had come into contact with their family member's vaccine scar, causing
blisters and a mild fever. The other two were treated for minor side
Smallpox vaccination can carry severe side effects and even cause
death in very rare cases.
Hadari said Israel was sharing its results with the United States
which vaccinated 100 military medics on Wednesday in the first wave of a
program to immunize millions of troops and emergency workers who could be
called to respond to any smallpox attack.
Washington launched the drive amid concern some terror organizations
could have developed smallpox into biological weapons.
The virus kills around 30 percent of its victims.
Israel and the United States also fear Baghdad may have developed
smallpox as a weapon. Israel is preparing for possible Iraqi missile
attacks should the United States launch an offensive against Baghdad.
Babies born in Israel were inoculated with the smallpox vaccine up
until 1980, and all Israeli military conscripts were vaccinated until 1996.
"You can expect that one case out of a million that gets the
vaccination might die. In a population that has been vaccinated in the
past, we can say there will be only one death for every two to four
million," Hadari said.
Israel has stockpiled enough doses of smallpox to vaccinate its
entire population of six million. Hadari declined to say when the rest of
the population might be vaccinated.
Iraq fired 39 Scud missiles at Israel in retaliation for U.S.-led air
attacks during the 1991 Gulf War.
The missiles were armed with conventional warheads but some Israelis
fear Saddam Hussein may arm Scuds with chemical or biological warheads if
he believes the U.S. is on the verge of ousting him.
SMALLPOX VACCINE CAMPAIGN COLLAPSES
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
SMALLPOX VACCINE CAMPAIGN COLLAPSES
By Jon Rappoport
DECEMBER 19. Before our eyes, the mass smallpox-vaccine plan is going
into the toilet. NBC is reporting, get THIS: "Health officials strongly
discourage this [getting the vaccine], and said once people became aware
of the risks, they expected few to press for the vaccine."
TRANSLATION: THE WHOLE THING IS A BUST. THE MEDICAL CARTEL COULDN'T KEEP
ITS STORY STRAIGHT. DOCTORS AND MEDICAL BUREAUCRATS SCURRIED AWAY FROM
THE SCENE YELLING, "DON'T BLAME ME IF A LOT OF PEOPLE DIE."
More from NBC: "'The federal government is not recommending
vaccination.of the general public,' said Health and Human Services
Secretary Tommy Thompson. 'There may, however, be members of the public
who insist on being vaccinated.'"
TRANSLATION: AVOID THIS VACCINE LIKE THE PLAGUE. UNLESS YOU'RE CRAZY.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who leads the smallpox vaccine program for the US
National Institutes of Health, said [this is MSNBC's paraphrase of
Fauci: "While the vaccine will be offered to adults on a voluntary
basis, it will not be available for children except in the event of a
smallpox [biowar] attack." Then Fauci remarked on the record: "Ethical
and safety concerns bar children from clinical trials being conducted
now, meaning the vaccine cannot be licensed for them. If Mom comes up to
one of the local and state health officials and says, 'I want vaccine
for my 5-year-old,' currently there doesn't appear to be a mechanism for
them to get it."
TRANSLATION: THEN WE SAID YES. NOW WE SAY NO. GET OUT OF MY FACE. I'M
GOING TO THE BAHAMAS FOR TWO WEEKS. HOLD ALL MY CALLS.
And then we have this, which I thought was a hacker's trick of inserting
an early April Fool's story at AP: "Health and Human Services Secretary
Tommy Thompson said Sunday he does not plan to be inoculated with the
smallpox vaccine and recommends that other Cabinet members not request
the inoculation either."
TRANSLATION: YEAH, A FEW MONTHS AGO I WAS LIKE AN ANGRY GOD DEMANDING
THAT THE WHOLE COUNTRY GET SHOT UP WITH THIS STUFF. BUT NOW I WOULDN'T
TOUCH IT ON A BET. AND BUSH, HA HA, IT'S TOO LATE FOR HIM. HE ALREADY
PROMISED HE'D TAKE IT HIMSELF. I MEAN, IF HE'S ORDERING ALL THE TROOPS
TO GET IT, THEN HE, AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF, HAS TO DO IT TOO. THAT'S HIS
PROBLEM. HOLD ALL MY CALLS. AND REFER ALL INQUIRIES ABOUT THE DANGER OF
THE VACCINE TO SOLDIERS TO THE PENTAGON. I'M OUT OF IT. THAT'S THEIR
DEAL. SOLDIERS AREN'T PEOPLE. THEY'RE SOLDIERS.
PLEASE GET THIS STORY OUT.
If I'm hallucinating and these wire stories and NBC and CNN reports are
all part of a plot of to personally derange me, I'll take the heat.
One thing to remember: Now the vaccine is all about A BIOWAR ATTACK. IF
THERE IS NO ATTACK, THEN THOSE 300 MILLION DOSES ARE ON THE SHELF,
EXCEPT FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL RUNNING ON FUMES FROM THE EARLIER
PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN AND THINK THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO DO THEIR DUTY AS GOOD
LITTLE PATRIOTS AND GET THE SHOT---WHICH MAY INCLUDE THOUSANDS AND
THOUSANDS OF THOSE LOCAL VACCINE CENTERS THAT HAVE BEEN PREPPING THEIR
COMMUNITIES ABOUT THE UTTER NECESSITY OF TAKING THE SHOT. I BET THE CDC
IS BURNING UP THE WIRES SENDING OUT CANCELLATION AND DON'T-BLAME-US
SO NOW, SUPPOSE A BIOWAR ATTACK IS STAGED? WHAT HAPPENS THEN? I'LL TELL
YOU WHAT HAPPENS. THE SAME GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO ARE RUNNING OFF INTO
THE NIGHT WILL COME BACK AND SAY, "YOU HAVE TO GET THIS TOXIC VACCINE."
EXCEPT THEY MAY BE MORE CAUTIOUS. ONE CASE OF SMALLPOX IN LITTLE ROCK
MAY NOT TRIGGER 300 MILLION VACCINATIONS. WE'LL SEE.
Do you think hundreds of people putting out the truth about this vaccine
on the Internet had any effect on the sudden and amazing turnaround by
IS THE POPE CATHOLIC?
Note: NO ONE IN THE GOVERNMENT IS YET SAYING, "WOW, WE SCREWED UP
ROYALLY. WE SAID YES AND WE NOW SAY NO NO NO." AND NO ONE IN THE
CONTROLLED PRESS IS SAYING, "MAN, THIS IS A DISASTER. THEY TOLD US A AND
NOW THEY TELL US B. ARE THESE PEOPLE IDIOTS?" THERE ARE A HUNDRED VERY
CORROSIVE QUESTIONS REPORTERS COULD ASK THE WHITE HOUSE RIGHT NOW BUT
THEY'RE SO FAR BITING THEIR TONGUES. HARD. SO HARD THEY'RE BLEEDING.
"SECRETARY THOMPSON, AREN'T YOU THE GUY WHO WAS ABSOLUTELY FOAMING AT
THE MOUTH WITH SOME KIND OF BIZARRE ANGER A FEW MONTHS AGO? WEREN'T YOU
READY TO PUT PEOPLE IN CHAINS IF THEY REFUSED THE VACCINE? YOU KNOW,
QUARANTINE, HOUSE ARREST, 20 YEARS AT HARD LABOR ON A DESERT ISLAND?"
IF THE SMALLPOX VACCINE IS DISCREDITED, CAN OTHER VACCINES BE FAR
Smallpox: Montana Responds
Montana Will Vaccinate Core Group for Smallpox
HELENA - Up to 3,000 public health professionals and select health care
workers in Montana will be offered the smallpox vaccine starting next month
in compliance with President Bush's national plan announced Friday.
The state plan calls for offering vaccine to a small team of state
Department of Public Health and Human Services employees and to similar
teams of health care workers throughout the state, such as physicians and
nurses. All vaccinations are voluntary.
"In anticipation of the President's announcement, Montana and every other
state have established procedures to comply with whatever is requested by
the White House," said Terry Krantz, who is overseeing Montana's smallpox
vaccine policy planning for DPHHS. "We are sharing information and requests
with tribal and county health departments, hospitals, clinics and other
emergency personnel, and we are gathering their input and listening to
To help maintain a timely and accurate flow of information to the public
regarding smallpox, Krantz and members of his staff on Thursday invited the
Montana media to ask any and all questions they have related to smallpox.
Detailed information about the virus and Montana's planning efforts are
available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at
www.cdc.gov/smallpox and via the DPHHS web site at www.dphhs.state.mt.us.
"We want the public to be as informed as possible about the smallpox virus
and the vaccine," Krantz said. "We recognize the value of making good
information available to the public to reduce anxiety, and will continue to
The White House plan calls for three phases of vaccinations. The first,
tentatively set to begin in January calls for vaccinating the public health
and health care workers.
Phase two involves vaccinating first responders, such as fire fighters,
emergency medical technicians, law enforcement and other health care
Phase three involves offering the vaccine to the general public. However,
immunization of the general public at this time is not recommended.
GA hospital doesn't give smallpox shot yet
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2002
A tidbit with thanks to: Sheri Nakken
Grady Mamorial Hospital is at 80 Butler Street SE, Atlanta, GA 30303
CDC is at 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta GA 30333
Mapquest shows a distance of 5.03 miles between the two addresses, and
estimates the driving time to 11 minutes
CDC told them something they aren't telling the rest of the world?
Or they know the CDC too well and aren't going to listen to them?
Grady's workers won't be given smallpox shot yet
Risk outweighs threat, hospital says
By M.A.J. McKENNA
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff Writer
Grady Memorial Hospital has decided not to vaccinate its workers
against smallpox, backing away from a state and nationwide campaign to
protect health care workers before any possible bioterrorist attack.
Echo From an Earlier Smallpox War
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2002
Before you read this news story, first read these few short paragraphs from The Drug
Story by Morris A. Bealie
Bringing the subject down almost to date the rawest publicity stunt pulled by public relations firms for the
biologicals manufacturing business was in New York City in February and March of 1947.
On February 25 Eugene LeBar, a Mexico City importer took a bus to New York City. On March 10th he
died in one of the city hospitals. The diagnosis was "hemorrhagic bronchitis." Somewhere between that
date and April 10th the Rockefeller public relations firm, recently assigned to the American Medical
Association because the upward spiral of drug trust profits wasn't spiraling upward fast enough, had a
Senor LeBar, they reasoned, during his long trip had been in the same atmosphere with
thousands of people from El Paso to New York. Why not drum up a smallpox scare all over the United
States and make ten million more dollars filling the nation's blood stream with cow pus and horse
With New York's publicity-loving, Mayor, William O'Dwyer, as the spearhead, this is exactly
what they did. The bronchitis diagnosis was changed to one of smallpox 30 days after Senor LeBar's
demise. Mayor O'Dwyer ordered everyone in New York vaccinated, although he had no more power to do
this than Mahatma Gandhi had.
A Distant, Troubling Echo From an Earlier Smallpox War
By MICHAEL POLLAK
The word went out: everyone in New York should get a smallpox vaccination.
"It was just public knowledge," my mother recalled 55 years later. "It was
in the newspapers. On the radio."
It was early April 1947. I was 6 months old. A month earlier, a man
returning from Mexico had fallen ill and checked into the city's Willard
Parker Hospital, where he died on March 10. By the time a smallpox
diagnosis was confirmed, two other people were showing symptoms.
On April 5, Dr. Israel Weinstein, the director of public health, announced
an outbreak. A few days later, after a second death, he urged all New
Yorkers to be vaccinated, regardless of age and previous vaccinations.
Last week, the call for smallpox vaccinations was again sounded, though
this program is more limited - for now. In its first phases, a million
military personnel and civilian health care workers will be vaccinated. In
2004 the vaccine is expected to be available to the public, on a voluntary
Back in 1947, the response - also voluntary - was overwhelming. Within two
weeks of the discovery of a potential epidemic, five million people were
The emergency mentality from the recent war mobilization helped. People
waited for hours in the rain. Private doctors, public and parochial
schools, company and union clinics and 3,000 volunteers pitched in. Former
air raid wardens kept the throngs calm. Shots were given in the 84 police
precinct station houses. Newspapers ran pictures of city officials getting
shots. "Among city residents vaccinated yesterday were 25 children, from
babies of 2 months to adolescents of 13 years," at one center, The New York
My father, a Navy officer, had worked with Filipino civilians on Leyte
after the 1944 invasion; he and a lot of other recently returned veterans
had seen the terrible disfigurement of smallpox up close. Mom took me from
our Riverside Drive apartment to the pediatrician's office for the
About 10 days later, I grew restless and irritable. A fever kept rising. I
was admitted to the hospital, had convulsions and went into a coma. The
diagnosis was vaccinial encephalitis, a brain inflammation linked to the
vaccine. The doctors told my mother they didn't know whether I would live,
or whether there would be neurological damage.
After days in intensive care, the fever broke, and I went home. I grew up
with chronic tics, similar to the muscle spasms of convulsions, that I have
to fight to this day. Their connection to my encephalitis cannot be proved,
but, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are
consistent with the neurological effects of the disease.
Smallpox vaccine, made from vaccinia, a cousin to smallpox, is among the
most dangerous of vaccines. I was lucky. A 3-year-old girl in New Jersey
died of vaccinial encephalitis in April 1947 after her shot. I graduated
from Harvard and eventually became an editor at The Times.
By virtually any measure, the 1947 crash vaccination program was a huge
success. Twelve cases of smallpox were reported, with two deaths. (A
1901-02 outbreak caused 1,959 cases and 410 deaths.) But the same spirit
that allowed near-universal vaccinations did not extend to thorough
reporting of side effects.
In a November 1947 article in The American Journal of Public Health, Dr.
Weinstein minimized the problem. He noted 46 probable cases of encephalitis
in New York City during the vaccination campaign, adding that many were
probably unrelated to the vaccine, but he did not try to estimate the
number of cases of vaccinial encephalitis, explaining that a diagnosis
could be made "with certainty" only by microscopic examination of the brain
A University of Michigan medical team reported in March in the journal
Effective Clinical Practice that the data presented from the 1947 campaign
in New York were of limited value in judging the adverse effects of mass
smallpox vaccinations "because of differences in disease classification and
inconsistency in case-finding efforts." We will never know the collateral
damage from the 1947 program.
The study noted that smallpox had a 30 percent death rate, but that a mass
vaccination of 179 million people ages 1 to 65 could be expected to cause
about 4,600 serious side effects and 285 deaths, even if it excluded those
at risk for problems, like pregnant women and people with immune
deficiencies. That is not a lot of illnesses compared with unchecked
smallpox, but we don't face unchecked smallpox. We face the unknown.
Smallpox vaccine fights smallpox; the truth fights terror.
If we are going to go to war against smallpox, and there is any perception
that side effect statistics are being ignored or suppressed, it will serve
as a powerful recruiting poster for those who fear vaccines. The victims of
vaccination's collateral damage need to be counted.
Smallpox Shots: Make Them Mandatory
On Sun, 15 Dec 2002
Smallpox Shots: Make Them Mandatory
When it comes to epidemic diseases, you don't get to decide. The state decides
By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
Monday, Dec. 23, 2002
The eradication of smallpox was one of humanity's great success stories.
After thousands of years of suffering at the hands of the virus, the
human race gathered all its wit and cunning and conquered the scourge,
eradicating it forever. Well, forever lasted less than 25 years. It does
not bode well for the future of our species that it took but a blink of
the eye for one of history's worst killers to make a comeback - not on
its own, mind you, but brought back by humans to kill again.
During the age of innocence - the '90s, during which it seemed history
had ended - the big debate was whether the two remaining known stocks of
smallpox in the world, one in Russia and the other in the U.S., should be
destroyed. It seemed like a wonderful idea, except that no one could be
absolutely sure that some smallpox stores had not fallen into other
hands. In fact, we now think Iraq is working on weaponizing smallpox, and
perhaps North Korea and others too.
The danger is greater now than ever - first, and ironically, because of
our very success in eradicating it in the past. People today have almost
no experience with, and therefore no immunity to, the virus. We are
nearly as virgin a population as the Native Americans who were wiped out
by the various deadly pathogens brought over by Europeans. Not content
with that potential for mass murder, however, today's bad guys are
reportedly trying to genetically manipulate the virus to make it even
deadlier and more resistant to treatment. Who knows what monstrosities
the monsters are brewing in their secret laboratories.
What to do? We have enough vaccine on hand, some diluted but still
effective, to vaccinate everyone in the U.S., with more full-strength
versions to come. President Bush has just announced that his
Administration will take the concentric-circle approach: mandatory
inoculations for certain soldiers, voluntary inoculations for medical and
emergency workers, and then inoculations available to, but discouraged
for, everybody else.
It sounds good, but it is not quite right. If smallpox were a threat just
to individuals, then it could be left up to individuals to decide whether
or not they want to protect themselves. When it comes to epidemic
diseases, however, we don't leave it up to individuals to decide. The
Forget about smallpox. This happens every day with childhood diseases. No
child can go to school unless he's been immunized. Parents have no
choice. Think of it: we force parents to inject healthy children with
organisms - some living, some dead - that in a small number of cases will
cripple or kill the child. It is an extraordinary violation of the
privacy and bodily integrity of the little citizen. Yet it is routine.
Why? Because what is at stake is the vulnerability of the entire society
to catastrophic epidemic. In that case, individuals must submit.
Which is why smallpox vaccines were mandatory when we were kids. It
wasn't left up to you to decide if you wanted it. You might be ready to
risk your life by forgoing the vaccine, but society would not let you -
not because it was saving you from yourself but because it had to save
others from you. The problem wasn't you getting smallpox; the problem was
you giving smallpox to others if you got it. Society cannot tolerate
that. We forced vaccination even though we knew it would maim and kill a
small but certain number of those subjected to it.
Today the case for mandatory vaccination is even stronger. This is war.
We need to respond as in war. The threat is not just against individuals,
but against the nation. Smallpox kills a third of its victims. If this
epidemic were to take hold, it could devastate America as a functioning
society. And the government's highest calling is to protect society - a
calling even higher than protecting individuals.
That is why conscription in wartime is justified. We violate the freedom
of individuals by drafting them into combat, risking their lives -
suspending, in effect, their right to life and liberty, to say nothing of
the pursuit of happiness - in the name of the nation.
Vaccination is the conscription of civilians in the war against
bioterrorism. I personally would choose not to receive the smallpox
vaccine. I would not have my family injected. I prefer the odds of
getting the disease vs. the odds of inflicting injury or death by
vaccination on my perfectly healthy child.
Nonetheless, it should not be my decision. When what is at stake is the
survival of the country, personal and family calculation must yield to
national interest. And a population fully protected from smallpox is a
supreme national interest.
If it is determined that the enemy really has smallpox and might use it,
we should vaccinate everyone. We haven't been called upon to do very much
for the country since Sept. 11. We can and should do this.
From the Dec. 23, 2002 issue of TIME magazine
"60 Million May Die from Smallpox Vaccination"
For 60 million, the cure may kill
Fri Dec 13, 7:18 AM ET
Steve Sternberg USA TODAY
Mother's intuition may have saved Melissa Schweitzer's life.
A sickly child, Melissa was plagued with chronic infections, so her mom
decided to let her skip her smallpox vaccination.
Doctors didn't figure out until Melissa was 11 that she lacked a natural
supply of three infection-fighting antibodies, which put her at risk of a
massive infection -- from the live virus, called vaccinia, used to make
''Mothers' intuition,'' says Schweitzer, now 34, who gets monthly antibody
infusions to protect her from ordinary infections. ''There's something to
be said for it.''
Schweitzer, of Annapolis, Md. is one of about 60 million people in the USA
with conditions that leave them essentially defenseless against vaccinia.
They include people with HIV (news - web sites)/AIDS (news - web sites) or
other immune deficiencies, people who have had organ transplants, cancer
patients undergoing chemotherapy and people with eczema and certain other
Health authorities also advise against vaccinating women who are pregnant
who might become pregnant because no one knows how live vaccinia might
Vaccinia is a much weaker version of its relatives, smallpox and cowpox. In
most cases, it is readily conquered by a healthy person's immune system.
even in healthy people, vaccinia can have life-threatening side-affects.
Research done in the 1960s found that 12 people per million develop an
infection of the brain called encephalitis. One or two per million die. The
research suggests that widespread vaccinations would cause about 4,600
serious side effects and 285 deaths.
Anyone whose condition hasn't been diagnosed, like young Melissa, faces the
greatest risks. That population includes about 300,000 people in the USA
with undiagnosed HIV. Some may become infected simply by coming in contact
with someone who has just been vaccinated with smallpox vaccine.
The Bush vaccination plan, to be released today, represents a relatively
small-scale beginning to mass vaccinations. But even a limited program
unleash vaccinia among some people who are defenseless against it.
Because the risk of a smallpox attack is unknown, health authorities can't
accurately balance the risks of vaccination against the likelihood of a
smallpox outbreak. Until a case appears, the risk of the vaccine will
be greater than the risk of getting smallpox. And any vaccine-related
illnesses could have a far-reaching impact on public acceptance of
''Experts are worried,'' says Tara O'Toole, of the Center for Civilian
Biodefense at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health,
''that a general vaccination program will inevitably cause some lethal side
effects . . . (that will) demolish the public's faith in vaccination and in
following the government's bioterrorism recommendations.''
Once smallpox is released, the scenario changes dramatically because the
disease is deadly, and it spreads rapidly. Smallpox kills about 30% of its
victims, each of whom may pass the virus to as many as six people.
Everyone will be vaccinated if a case is detected. People who have had
contact with a known or suspected case and who have not been vaccinated
would be isolated to keep them from passing on the disease, says Marcella
Layton, director of communicable diseases for the New York City Department
''Our medical advisers favor isolation over vaccination,'' says Jonathan
Goldsmith, medical director of the Immune Deficiency Foundation, an
group. ''We think that's your best choice. Keep kids out of school and
parents out of work for a few weeks.''
O'Toole says she believes people will demand vaccination, ''especially when
they see the first cases of smallpox on TV.''
Doctors can treat severe vaccine reactions with potent anti-vaccinia
antibodies drawn from the blood of people who have gotten the vaccine. But
that preparation, called vaccinia immune globulin, or VIG, is in short
supply. Only 600 doses exist, but the government has ordered about 30,000
An additional option is the drug Cidofivir, which is now licensed to treat
retina infections in people with HIV and AIDS.
Doctors say Cidofivir could be used alone or along with VIG, making
the latest in a small group of viruses that are beginning to yield to
Thompson Won't Get Smallpox Vaccine
Thompson Won't Get Smallpox Vaccine
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson Says He Won't Be
Inoculated Against Smallpox
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON Dec. 15 -
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said Sunday he
does not plan to be inoculated with the smallpox vaccine and recommends
that other Cabinet members not request the inoculation either.
"I do not believe it is necessary or should be taking place," he
President Bush said Friday he will take the vaccine along with U.S.
military forces but was not recommending the risky inoculation for most
Americans. The inoculation will be free for those who want it, Thompson
said over the weekend.
"The president is doing it because he is the commander in chief, and
he believes that if he is ordering his troops ... to get this vaccination,
he should do it as well," Thompson told CNN's "Late Edition."
"He also is recommending that elected officials be considered just
like the general public, and I have also made the same kind of
recommendation to the governors and to health offices who are not going to
be in the first line."
Vaccinations for a few dozen military personnel began Friday. By late
January states are expected to begin inoculating health care response teams
and others who would respond to a smallpox attack.
The government will make the vaccine available to the general public
beginning in late spring or early summer, although it is not recommended
for most people.
The vaccine carries rare but serious side effects. One or two out of
every 1 million patients will be killed by the vaccine, and 15 will face
Smallpox was eradicated in the 1970s and, while experts fear that
terrorists or hostile nations could unleash it in an act of bioterror, Bush
says no immediate threat exists.