Members of the general public should not get the smallpox vaccine now being given to soldiers and front-line health emergency workers in case of a biological attack, experts said on Tuesday. Noting that the vaccine is dangerous and the risk of a smallpox attack is only theoretical, the Institute of Medicine committee said it does not really matter how many people are vaccinated, as long as the right preparations are in place. “Smallpox is not the only threat to the public health and vaccination is not the only tool for smallpox preparation,” Dr. Brian Strom, Professor of Medicine and at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and chair of the committee, told a telephone news briefing. The Institute, an independent organization that advises the federal government on health matters, praised The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its six-month-old vaccination effort. Full Story
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