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Smallpox Vaccine

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OPINION
December 17, 2002
The decision to offer smallpox vaccine at this time (Dec. 12, 13) is clearly a wise one. The only effective place to store any vaccine is within the population. We should not depend upon a delivery system (especially in an emergency) that must transport, within four days, smallpox vaccine from its storage depot to qualified personnel for proper administration to the mass population. In addition, and in response to the controversy, by vaccinating the public before an act of terrorism, we will be able to do so selectively, reducing the risk of vaccinating those who would be at high risk for complications from the vaccine.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NATIONAL
December 20, 2011 | By David Willman, Washington Bureau
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is scrutinizing the award by the Obama administration of a $433-million sole-source contract for an experimental smallpox drug. In a letter sent Tuesday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and three of his Republican colleagues requested documents related to the awarding of the contract this year to Siga Technologies Inc., based in New York City. Siga's controlling shareholder is Ronald O. Perelman, a longtime Democratic Party donor.
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NATIONAL
September 2, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The approval of a new vaccine against smallpox was announced by the Food and Drug Administration, which says the shots could be made quickly if the virtually extinct virus reappears. The vaccine, ACAM2000, is intended to inoculate people at high risk of exposure to smallpox, a highly contagious disease. The FDA said the vaccine also could be used in the event of a bioterrorist attack.
NATIONAL
November 13, 2011 | By David Willman, Los Angeles Times
Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work. Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world's richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor. When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company's financial demands, senior officials replaced the government's lead negotiator for the deal, interviews and documents show.
NATIONAL
October 7, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
NATIONWIDE * The American Academy of Pediatrics says the nation's smallpox plan should involve limited vaccinations if a case occurs, not universal inoculations before there's even an attack. Potential side effects are too severe, and available vaccines have not been tested on children, who may be at higher risk for bad reactions, the academy said in a policy statement released today.
HEALTH
September 13, 2004 | From Reuters
Smallpox is a highly contagious viral disease that killed untold millions until it was officially eradicated in 1979. But fears after the September 2001 attacks that it might be used as a biological weapon sparked a U.S. effort to ensure there was enough vaccine. Now researchers have reported that heavily diluted doses of the existing vaccine remain effective, which means the U.S. stockpile of the vaccine can be stretched if needed.
NEWS
March 28, 2002 | From the Washington Post
A pharmaceutical company has discovered 70 million to 90 million long-forgotten doses of smallpox vaccine in its freezers, instantly increasing the known U.S. inventory of the vaccine sixfold and ensuring the nation an adequate supply in the event of a bioterrorist attack, according to government sources familiar with the find.
NEWS
March 30, 2002 | MEGAN GARVEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A pharmaceutical company agreed Friday to donate more than 75 million doses of smallpox vaccine to the U.S. government, greatly speeding federal health officials' goal of being able to vaccinate every American in the event of an outbreak of the deadly disease. The doses had been stockpiled at the Swiftwater, Pa., branch of the French vaccine maker Aventis Pasteur since the United States ended its mandatory inoculation program in 1972.
SCIENCE
June 12, 2003 | Allison M. Heinrichs, Times Staff Writer
As the number of monkeypox cases climbed from 48 to 63 Wednesday, federal health authorities expanded their investigation of the outbreak into another 12 states and recommended that anyone who might have come in contact with infected pet prairie dogs be immunized with the smallpox vaccine.
NATIONAL
March 28, 2003 | Vicki Kemper, Times Staff Writer
Federal officials said Thursday they were preparing to expand the government's smallpox vaccination program, even as a second vaccinated worker died and an expert panel encouraged health departments to ensure they are prepared to respond to a bioterrorist attack rather than simply vaccinate. The death Wednesday of a Florida nurse's aide, who suffered a heart attack 17 days after being vaccinated, came just three days after a vaccinated Maryland nurse had a heart attack and died.
NEWS
May 24, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Those last vials of smallpox, tucked away by the U.S. and Russia and due for destruction, have won at least another three years in existence --  suggesting other countries concur with the U.S. about their value, one leading health official said. Delegates at the annual meeting of the World Health Organization agreed on Tuesday to wait until 2014 to decide on a firm deadline for the final destruction of the lethal virus, Reuters reports . The World Health Organization has called for the destruction of such stockpiles since the disease was declared eradicated in 1980.
NEWS
May 17, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
International health officials are expected to decide this week whether to hold on to the last remaining stockpiles of smallpox, one of the deadliest diseases in history – or to proceed with their destruction. The U.S. argues that scientists need access to the virus for just a while longer -- saying they need more time to develop antiviral drugs and vaccines in preparation for a potential terrorist attack that everyone hopes never comes. The Wall Street Journal explains the U.S. position, while also pointing out that other countries are convinced the risk of an accidental release isn’t worth taking.  At stake in the discussion – taking place at an annual meeting of the World Health Organization – are stockpiles at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and at a Russian government laboratory.
NEWS
August 30, 2010
It was 30 years ago this year that the last smallpox vaccination was given worldwide, after the disease had officially been declared eradicated. But the elimination of smallpox vaccinations has, ironically, led to the emergence of a related--albeit less infectious--disease known as monkeypox. New findings reported Monday indicate that the prevalence of monkeypox infections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has increased 20-fold since the halt of the smallpox vaccination campaign.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Dr. Walter Plowright, the British veterinarian often called one of the "heroes of the 20th century" because of the massive increase in meat and dairy products resulting from his invention of a vaccine that has almost totally eliminated the cattle disease rinderpest, died Feb. 19 in London. He was 86. Most Americans have probably never heard of rinderpest, a virus in the same family as measles that causes one of the most lethal diseases in cattle. It never established a foothold in the Americas and was eliminated from Europe early in the 20th century, but its introduction to Africa in 1889 in cattle shipped from India caused what some consider the most catastrophic natural disaster ever to affect that continent.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 2009 | Jia-Rui Chong
First came the stomachaches and low fevers. Then Lance Cpl. Cory Belken broke out in a rash. His temperature shot up to 104.6 degrees. The young man became delirious, telling his mother, Barbara Skaggs, that he wanted to go to the smoking section even though he had never smoked. His blood pressure dropped.
HEALTH
November 17, 2008 | Marc Siegel, Siegel is an internist and an associate professor of medicine at New York University's School of Medicine.
"Eleventh Hour" "Containment" episode CBS, Nov. 6 The premise: Dr. Jacob Hood (Rufus Sewell) is a biophysicist and a science advisor to the U.S. government who investigates crises. An old friend, Dr. Calvert Rigdon (Oded Fehr), virologist and director of the Pennsylvania Health Department, asks Hood to come to a demolition site to help investigate an infectious outbreak.
NATIONAL
December 16, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said he does not plan to be inoculated with the smallpox vaccine, and he recommends that other Cabinet members not request the inoculation either. President Bush said that he will take the vaccine along with U.S. military forces but that he was not recommending the risky inoculation for most Americans. The vaccine, which will be free for those who want it, carries rare but serious side effects.
NATIONAL
September 2, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The approval of a new vaccine against smallpox was announced by the Food and Drug Administration, which says the shots could be made quickly if the virtually extinct virus reappears. The vaccine, ACAM2000, is intended to inoculate people at high risk of exposure to smallpox, a highly contagious disease. The FDA said the vaccine also could be used in the event of a bioterrorist attack.
HEALTH
September 13, 2004 | From Reuters
Smallpox is a highly contagious viral disease that killed untold millions until it was officially eradicated in 1979. But fears after the September 2001 attacks that it might be used as a biological weapon sparked a U.S. effort to ensure there was enough vaccine. Now researchers have reported that heavily diluted doses of the existing vaccine remain effective, which means the U.S. stockpile of the vaccine can be stretched if needed.
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