New plans for the small pox vaccine - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New plans for the small pox vaccine

December 4, 2002

Albany - 500 health care workers across the state may soon receive the controversial smallpox vaccine. The State Division of Public health announced a plan to vaccinate up to 15 volunteers, doctors, and nurses in each Public Health department.

If the CDC approves the plan, about a dozen health care workers in Albany would get shots including Infectious Disease Director Dr. Craig Smith. He thinks some health care workers should get the vaccine, but warns it can have severe side effects.

"I am strongly against vaccinating everybody for the disease. The cost and the side effects out way the benefits at this point," said Dr. Smith.

The vaccine can even be deadly in some people. Under the Georgia plan, only emergency and intensive care workers and those who monitor the spread of the disease would be eligible to volunteer for the vaccine. About 1,000,000 health care workers nationwide could receive the vaccination at the first of the year.