Am I missing something here? From my understanding of the statements below,
621 microbiologists working with "dangerous" viruses were vaccinated against
smallpox. Dates were 1994-2001. Why would a smallpox vaccination be used to
prevent lab exposure if they were not working with smallpox or monkeypox?
Maybe I am missing it? I thought that there is a vaccination against chickenpox, so
smallpox vaccine would not be needed for ordinary chickenpox.
Could it be that 621 microbiologists have been working with smallpox all along?
Noting the date of 1994, I have to wonder?
The disease supposedly erradicated and virus safely tucked away in Russia and
US, why did they need smallpox vaccinations?
Maybe they have been playing with smallpox all along, and not obeying the treaties
Also, will the mass vaccination cause smallpox in some and will that cause an
outbreak? Patricia Doyle
(1) Smallpox immunity from childhood jabs has died out, says study June 10, 2002
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com Source: Agence France Presse
English 29 May 2002
Only a tiny fraction of people who were vaccinated against smallpox before the
disease was declared eradicated more than 2 decades ago have still retained their
immunity, according to a U.S. study. The figures are bad news to those who
believe that they will be protected against a smallpox bioterror weapon thanks to a
jab in their childhood.
Of 621 microbiologists in Maryland who received fresh vaccinations against
smallpox between 1994 and 2001 to protect them in their daily work of handling
dangerous viruses, only 6 percent were still immune from their early vaccination.
The U.S. government is planning to buy 286 million of doses of smallpox vaccine
by the year (sic), enough to protect every American from the disease. However,
health professionals are divided as to whether it is best to vaccinate everyone
immediately, in a pre-emptive campaign, or wait until there is any clear threat. A
pre-emptive campaign would make it far easier to contain any outbreak.
However, many people would die -- at least 180 in the US population -- because of
health complications arising from the vaccine, says the British weekly New
Scientist, which reports on the Maryland research in next Saturday's issue.
Smallpox was declared eradicated by the World Health Organization in 1980,
prompting countries around the world to stop routine vaccinations. The virus is
highly transmissible from person to person and has a 33 percent mortality rate.
-- ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org
[Residual immunity, even if unmeasurable, may still make the difference between
surviving rather than dying from a smallpox infection. - Mod.JW] ******
 As Experts Debate Need for Voluntary Smallpox Vaccination, 3 in 5 Say They
Date: 10 Jun 2002 From: ProMED <email@example.com Source: AScribe -
The Public Interest Newswire 5 Jun 2002 [edited] <http://www.ascribe.org
Although not a single case of smallpox has been reported in the United States, 3 in
5 Americans (59 percent) surveyed by the Harvard School of Public Health and
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation say they would get vaccinated as a precaution
against a bioterrorist attack using smallpox if a vaccine were made available to
This is the case even though people were told that the vaccination may produce
serious side effects in a small number of cases. If cases of smallpox were reported
in their own community, more than 3/4 (81 percent) of Americans say they would
get vaccinated. This includes the 59 percent who had already said they wanted to
get vaccinated in the near future, even without cases having been reported, as well
as an additional 22 percent who became interested in vaccination once local cases
were mentioned. One in 10 (9 percent) would not get vaccinated even if an
outbreak of smallpox occurred in their community.
These findings, based on interviews with 2000 Americans nationwide, come at a
time when 2 federal government advisory committees of experts, the Advisory
Committee on Immunization Practices and the National Vaccine Advisory
Committee, are debating whether or not voluntary smallpox vaccinations should be
offered to the public.
Also starting on Thu 6 Jun 2002, in New York City and San Francisco, the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting a series of public forums on the
use of the smallpox vaccine. <http://www.cdc.gov/nip/smallpox/News.htm#Forums
"The survey results also raise the question of whether or not the country should
move ahead with voluntary vaccination of frontline workers, such as doctors,
nurses, and emergency personnel," said Robert J. Blendon, professor of Health
Policy and Political Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health. "If there were
a bioterrorist attack using smallpox, millions of Americans would want to find
health professionals to vaccinate them. If the professionals themselves have not
been vaccinated, it could lead to serious delays and public panic."
The substantial public interest today in receiving a smallpox vaccination grows in
part from continuing fears about a future bioterrorist attack. Now, 9 months after
the September 11th attacks, more than 4 in 10 (43 percent) report being worried
about a future attack using smallpox, down from 53 percent in November 2001.
About half (49 percent) of women, compared with 36 percent of men, are
currently worried about such an attack.
The interest in vaccination may also reflect Americans' familiarity with the
smallpox vaccine. Nearly 3 in 5 Americans (56 percent) report having been
vaccinated earlier in their lives. In the near run, the public sees little risk that they
or a family member will get smallpox. Only 1 in 12 Americans (8 percent) believes
that they or someone in their immediate family is likely to contract smallpox during
the next 12 months. This compares with [1 in 5] 20 percent who believe they or a
family member are likely to be injured in some other type of terrorist attack.
Most Americans (74 percent) are at least mildly optimistic that they would survive
if they contracted smallpox and received immediate medical care, 44 percent see it
as very likely that they would survive, while 30 percent thought it somewhat likely.
The public is also somewhat optimistic that adequate planning, preparation, and
professional education have taken place in their community in regards to a possible
smallpox attack. Most Americans (84 percent) report confidence that their own
doctor can recognize the symptoms of smallpox. Almost half (45 percent) are very
confident. [Really! - Mod.JW]
About 2/3 of Americans (70 percent) believe that their local hospital emergency
room is prepared to diagnose and treat people who have smallpox. However, this
includes only 23 percent who think their local ER is very prepared. Similarly, 2/3
(66 percent) are confident that their local health department is prepared to prevent
smallpox from spreading if there were an outbreak of the disease, but this includes
only 19 percent who think the local health department is very prepared. If they had
symptoms of what they thought might be smallpox, most Americans would seek
help from the traditional health care system. The most common place to turn for
diagnosis or treatment would be their own doctor or medical clinic (83 percent),
followed by a hospital emergency room (62 percent) or outpatient department (52
percent). Very few Americans (27 percent) would seek assistance from a public
health department clinic.
The survey finds that there is no single spokesperson the public most trusts on
these issues. When asked, in the event of an outbreak of disease caused by
bioterrorism, which of 6 public officials they trusted most to provide correct
information about how to protect themselves and their families from the disease,
43 percent said a senior scientist from the Centers for Disease Control.
No other official was chosen by more than 16 percent. The other choices were the
heads of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Homeland
Security, and FBI, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the city or state health
commissioner. Asked whom they trusted most to provide correct information about
where to go if they were exposed to a disease caused by bioterrorism, Americans
were nearly evenly split between the CDC (28 percent) and their city or state
health commissioner (26 percent); 19 percent chose the head of the Department of
Health and Human Services.
Americans' knowledge about smallpox is mixed. More than 3/4 (85 percent) know
that smallpox is contagious. Many believe that smallpox is easily spread. For
instance, 90 percent know that if someone has contracted smallpox and has the
symptoms, they should be kept isolated from uninfected people.
However, less than half (43 percent) of Americans know that if a person has been
exposed to smallpox but does not have symptoms, getting a vaccination would
prevent the person from coming down with the disease. Only about 1/3 (32
percent) know that once a person develops symptoms of smallpox, there is no
cure. "This is the central issue for public health education," said Blendon.
"Americans need to know that according to experts, if people are exposed to
smallpox but do not yet have symptoms, an immediate vaccination will help protect
them against the disease. The message is that you should not wait until you get
sick. If you have been exposed, go get vaccinated right away, because once the
symptoms start, there is no treatment to stop the course of the disease."
Since the Fall of 2001 there have been only a few changes in Americans' behavior
in response to bioterrorist threats. Most Americans continue to believe that in the
near run they or someone in their immediate family is unlikely to contract anthrax
Currently, 10 percent think they or a family member is likely to contract anthrax
during the next 12 months, down slightly from 14 percent in October 2001 shortly
after anthrax-laden mail was first discovered, but nearly identical to the 9 percent
figure in November-December 2001.
The proportion of Americans believing that they or a family member is likely to
contract smallpox during the next year has remained virtually unchanged: 9 percent
in October 2001, 8 percent in November-December 2001, and 8 percent currently.
Decreases have been seen in the proportion of Americans who:
- are taking mail precautions (from 37 percent in October 2001 to 24 percent in
- are avoiding public places and consulting a website for information about how to
protect themselves in case of bioterrorism (from 12 percent each in October 2001
to 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively, in May 2002).
Of note, there has been a significant rise, from 5 percent in October 2001 to 15
percent in May 2002, in the proportion of Americans who report that they or
someone in their family has gotten a prescription for or purchased antibiotics in
response to concern about bioterrorism. This suggests that some Americans are
stockpiling antibiotics in case of a future bioterrorist attack.
Methodology & survey data is available at:
Comment From Michael Shore - Jerusalem firstname.lastname@example.org 6-14-2