Smallpox Immunization Program Stalls

November 7, 2003
by David McGlinchey
National Journal

With a national television address, high-level bipartisan backing, and his own presidential immunization, President Bush kicked off America's national smallpox vaccination campaign with great fanfare at the end of 2002...Almost a year into the program, however, volunteers have stayed away in droves, and fewer than 40,000 medical workers have been vaccinated...Some public health experts said the rush to conduct smallpox vaccinations might have been a hasty, premature decision that misdirected scarce resources. The immunization effort "was not a particularly well-developed plan and policy," said Shelley Hearne, executive director of Trust for America's Health, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public health organization based in Washington.

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