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Issue Number 314            May 23, 2002

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. Announcement: National community smallpox vaccine forums have been set

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May 23, 2002
ANNOUNCEMENT: NATIONAL COMMUNITY SMALLPOX VACCINE FORUMS HAVE BEEN SET

The recent effort to build stores of smallpox vaccine, spurred by concerns about a possible risk of deliberate smallpox release by terrorists, has generated national dialogue on the current recommendations for the use of smallpox vaccine. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the National Vaccine Advisory Working Group (NVAC) are reviewing the current recommendations with the aim of developing special recommendations for the use of smallpox vaccine  "both pre-event and, should an event actually occur, post-exposure," according to a bulletin posted by  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The recommendations are expected in late June.

As part of its review process, the ACIP-NVAC Smallpox Vaccination Working Group is inviting  comments and suggestions from health care professionals, emergency responders, and all interested  people on the use of smallpox vaccine. This includes the general public.

Four day-long Community Forums on Smallpox (Vaccinia) Vaccine Use will be held in June as follows:

JUNE 6

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Marriott
55 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Mount Sinai Hospital
Stern Auditorium
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029

JUNE 8

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
Renaissance Airport Hotel
9801 Natural Bridge Road
St. Louis, MO 63134

JUNE 11

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
Convention Center
200 East Market Street
San Antonio, TX 78205

Following is CDC's official notice about the meetings:

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), is reviewing and updating recommendations on the use of smallpox (vaccinia) vaccine made in June 2001. The Department of Health and Human Services has asked the ACIP to provide updated recommendations by June 20, 2002.

CDC has organized four one-day community forums on smallpox vaccination issues that will be held in New York (June 6, 2002), San Francisco (June 6, 2002), St. Louis (June 8, 2002) and San Antonio (June 11, 2002). . . .

The risk for smallpox occurring as a result of a deliberate release by terrorists is not known, but is considered very low. However, the potential risk prompted DHHS to purchase enough doses of smallpox (vaccinia) vaccine to protect the entire nation in the event of an outbreak. This purchase, which is expected to result in the availability of about 286 million doses by early 2003, has fostered a national dialogue on the current recommendations for use of smallpox vaccine. The community meetings [are] part of that dialogue.

These meetings will provide an overview of the smallpox vaccination issues being considered by the ACIP. These include recommendations for the use of vaccine in the pre-attack setting as well as the emergency use of vaccine following an attack. The critical issues under review are:

- With no known cases of smallpox worldwide, should routine smallpox immunization be re-introduced for the U.S. population? That is, should there be any change in the current recommendations for not vaccinating persons in the general population unless a biological terrorism event has occurred?

- Should pre-attack immunization be recommended for certain individuals whose occupations may place them at increased risk of exposure in the event of an intentional smallpox virus release, and if so, what criteria should be used to identify these persons?

These meetings will provide [health care providers and the general public] with the opportunity to give input to the CDC and the Working Group on Smallpox Vaccination of the ACIP and the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC).

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To see the agenda for the Community Forums on Smallpox (Vaccinia) Vaccine Use, go to: http://www.immunize.org/smallpoxagenda.pdf

PLEASE NOTE: THERE IS NO PRE-REGISTRATION FOR THESE FORUMS. ON-SITE REGISTRATION WILL TAKE PLACE BETWEEN 7:00 AND 8:00 A.M. THE FORUMS BEGIN AT 8:00 A.M.

For more information about the forums, contact either Vicki Evans by phone at (404) 639-8637 or email at vae3@cdc.gov or Alan Janssen by phone at (404) 639-8517 or email at axj3@cdc.gov

 

Immunization Action Coalition1573 Selby AvenueSt. Paul MN 55104
E-mail: admin@immunize.org Web: http://www.immunize.org/
Tel: (651) 647-9009Fax: (651) 647-9131

This page was updated on  May 23, 2002