News & Perspective

Dec 05, 2002

Dec 05, 2002

With smallpox vaccination campaign likely, CDC seeks to expand VIG supply

(CIDRAP News) – As the likelihood of a large-scale smallpox vaccination program grows, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking to expand the government's limited supply of vaccinia immune globulin (VIG), the mainstay of treatment for severe reactions to the vaccine.

Nov 22, 2002

Nov 22, 2002

Homeland Security law leaves HHS in control of bioterrorism preparedness

(CIDRAP News) – In passing a bill to create a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this week, Congress left the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in charge of most bioterrorism preparedness and civilian biodefense research programs—to the relief of medical research and public health groups.

Nov 18, 2002

Nov 18, 2002

Decision on smallpox vaccinations expected soon, Osterholm says

(CIDRAP News) – Now that the federal government has some licensed smallpox vaccine in its stockpile, a presidential announcement on vaccination recommendations may be coming very soon, bioterrorism expert Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, predicted last week.

"I believe that in the next days you'll be hearing from the president about this vaccine," Osterholm told healthcare workers at a meeting in Minneapolis.

Nov 05, 2002

Nov 05, 2002

FDA licenses repackaged smallpox vaccine from federal stockpile

(CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated the licensing for the government's decades-old stockpile of Dryvax smallpox vaccine by approving a new vaccine kit that includes a new diluent and bifurcated needles, according to federal officials.

Oct 25, 2002

Oct 25, 2002

CDC notes 25th anniversary of world's last smallpox case

(CIDRAP News) – The world's last naturally acquired case of smallpox occurred almost exactly 25 years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes in today's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The smallpox case occurred in the Merca District of Somalia on Oct 26, 1977, the CDC says. Less than 3 years later, in May 1980, the World Health Organization declared the world free of naturally occurring smallpox.

Oct 18, 2002

Oct 18, 2002

ACIP suggests which hospital workers need smallpox shots; total could reach 500,000

(CIDRAP News) – The federal government's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) amended its June 2002 recommendations on smallpox vaccinations for healthcare workers this week in an effort to ensure that the healthcare system will have enough immunized people to deal with a smallpox outbreak.

Sep 04, 2002

Sep 04, 2002

Smallpox vaccination decision in White House hands

(CIDRAP News) – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently sent a recommendation on smallpox vaccination policy to President Bush, but HHS officials still are not confirming reports that it calls for vaccinating as many as 500,000 healthcare workers.

"I can't confirm anything other than that the recommendation went to the White House," Bill Pierce, an HHS spokesman in Washington, DC, told CIDRAP News today.

Jul 15, 2002

Jul 15, 2002

Study says mass vaccination far better than targeted response in smallpox attack

Note: This article was updated on Jul 16, 2002, with comments from a senior health economist at CDC on the study discussed.

Jul 10, 2002

Jul 10, 2002

Scope of smallpox vaccination program not yet decided, HHS officials say

(CIDRAP News) – Though two top federal health officials recently were quoted as saying that half a million healthcare workers may be vaccinated against smallpox, the official word from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is that the scope of the vaccination program has not yet been decided.

Jun 21, 2002

Jun 21, 2002

ACIP urges smallpox shots only for response teams, some hospital workers

(CIDRAP News) – Caught between the unknown risk of a smallpox attack and concern about adverse vaccine reactions, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) yesterday recommended that only healthcare workers assigned to deal directly with a smallpox outbreak be vaccinated against smallpox.

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