US health officials recommend offering smallpox vaccination to allBMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7368.794/e (Published 12 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:794
- Fred Charatan
Top health officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now favour offering smallpox vaccination to the public. However, if the proposal is adopted by the government it will be implemented only after up to 10 million healthcare workers are immunised and after a vaccine is licensed for general use, which will not be before 2004.
“Right now our thinking is in favour of making the vaccine available to the general public after we have ensured that we can adequately immunise healthcare professionals,” said Dr Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC. “We live in a society that values individual choice,” she said. “If we have vaccine and we have data to accurately assess the safety [of vaccination], one school of thought …