April 12, 2003 |
Congress and the White House approved a compensation package Friday for people injured by the smallpox vaccine, ending months of delay and disagreement in hopes of jump-starting the government's stalled inoculation program. "The plan should have gone forward long before now," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who brokered a compromise with White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. "We have no time to spare in protecting the nation from a bioterrorist attack."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2003 |
Top federal health officials have blocked a controversial study proposed by Harbor-UCLA Medical Center that would have tested the safety of smallpox vaccine in 2- to 5-year-old children, researchers said Monday. After sharp criticism from patient advocates, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration determined that "there is no justification for this particular clinical investigation to proceed," according to a Jan.
April 5, 2003 |
The military has decided to bar people with high risk of heart disease from being inoculated against smallpox after three deaths from heart attacks possibly linked to the vaccine. The military will defer vaccinations for people with three or more risk factors, which include tobacco use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar or a heart condition in a close relative under age 50.
April 1, 2003 |
With the government's smallpox vaccination program already in critical condition, House members could not agree Monday on the details of a federal compensation plan that is key to its survival. The administration-sponsored bill was defeated on a vote of 206 to 184, with opponents arguing that it was not generous enough to attract the hundreds of thousands of front-line health-care workers who have declined to volunteer for the risky vaccine.
March 29, 2003 |
Pentagon officials announced Friday that a National Guardsman who had been vaccinated against smallpox had died and that until a possible link between the vaccine and heart attacks is ruled out, the military will not inoculate personnel with heart disease. Four state health departments, including California's, have gone further. California's health director, Diana M. Bonta, directed health departments throughout the state Friday to suspend all smallpox vaccinations until at least April 7.
March 28, 2003 |
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.
March 26, 2003 |
Federal health officials said Tuesday that they are investigating whether the smallpox vaccine contributed to the heart attack of a Maryland health-care worker who died Sunday. They also are investigating the case of another vaccine recipient who suffered a heart attack and is on life support, as well as cardiac problems among five other health-care workers who volunteered for the government's smallpox vaccination program.
March 19, 2003 |
Only a minority of Los Angeles County hospitals report that they have health workers willing to be inoculated against the smallpox virus under the national anti-terrorism preparation program. Hospitals were supposed to submit their lists of volunteers to the county at the start of the week. By Tuesday, 31 of the county's 83 hospitals said they would participate in the county vaccination program; 17 said they would not, and 35 did not respond.
March 14, 2003 |
The nation's largest population centers -- home to more than 30 million people -- have vaccinated only 296 front-line health-care workers against smallpox, the deadly disease that the Bush administration has pegged as a top bioterrorist threat. The big cities, from New York to San Antonio, where the deadly smallpox virus could spread most easily and quickly, are proving to be among the hardest places to build a cadre of health-care workers prepared to respond to an outbreak.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2003 |
With 15 pinpricks to his left shoulder, Dr. Mark Horton on Thursday moved to the head of Orange County's line of defense against bioterrorism. The county's top medical officer became the first local health worker to be vaccinated against smallpox as part of a nationwide program aimed at preparing "first responders" if the virus is unleashed in a terrorist attack.