Only 3 Get Conn. Smallpox Vaccinations

Just three people, far fewer than hoped, got smallpox vaccinations Friday as Connecticut became the first state to begin inoculating health care workers against a possible bioterror threat.

The plan was for all 20 members of the state’s “Genesis Team” to get the shots before fanning out across the state to administer the vaccine to other doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners who volunteer. But the number of volunteers dwindled all week and dropped sharply when a nurses’ union recommended waiting until liability questions are resolved, said Dr. Michael Grey, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Connecticut medical school and head of the team. Ultimately, the government hopes to vaccinate nearly 500,000 health workers across the country so they could treat patients in an attack. A law protecting those giving the shots from lawsuits took effect Friday. Full Story

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