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Div. of Media Relations
1600 Clifton Road
MS D-14
Atlanta, GA 30333
(404) 639-3286
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May 30, 2002
Contact: CDC Media Relations
(404) 6393286

Media Advisory

Smallpox Public Forums

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hosting four public forums to provide health professionals and the general public with information about smallpox and smallpox vaccine, and to solicit comments on the use of smallpox vaccine before and after a potential smallpox outbreak or bioterroist attack.

WHO: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
WHAT: Public Forums on the use of smallpox vaccine
WHERE/WHEN: Thursday, June 6, 2002

New York, New York
Mt. Sinai Hospital
Stern Auditorium
One Gustave L. Levy Place
8:00 AM - 5 PM Eastern Time

San Francisco, California
San Francisco Marriott Downtown
55 Fourth Street
8:00 AM - 5 PM Pacific Time

Saturday, June 8, 2002

St. Louis, Missouri
Renaissance Airport Hotel
9801 Natural Bridge Road
8:00 AM - 5 PM Central Time

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

San Antonio, Texas
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
200 East Market Street
8:00 AM - 5 PM Central Time

WHY: CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have asked the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) to review the current U.S. smallpox vaccine recommendations. These two groups advise the CDC and DHHS on vaccine use and policies. The ACIP-NVAC Smallpox Working Group met on May 8-9, 2002 in Atlanta to discuss this issue, and plans to provide an updated set of smallpox vaccine recommendations to the CDC and DHHS by June 20. After these forums, the National Academy of Science will hold a scientific forum on June 15 in Washington, DC to obtain input from scientists, clinicians, and others about the options for smallpox vaccine use. The ACIP will then meet in Atlanta on June 19-20 to formulate recommendations to be presented to the Secretary, Health and Human Services. The ACIP meeting will also allow for approximately 4 hours of public comment.
BACKGROUND: The last natural case of smallpox occurred in 1977. The ACIP currently recommends that only scientists and laboratory personnel who work with viruses related to smallpox be vaccinated with smallpox vaccine. The ACIP does not currently recommend that any other people, including members of the general public, be vaccinated prior to a confirmed case of smallpox. By the end of this year or early 2003, DHHS expects to have a stockpile of 286 million doses of smallpox vaccine-enough to protect every United States citizen, if needed.

The ACIP-NVAC Smallpox Working Group review primarily involves three questions:

1. With no known cases of smallpox worldwide, should there be any change in the current recommendation for not vaccinating members of the general public before there is a confirmed smallpox case or a confirmed bioterrorism attack using smallpox?

2. In addition to laboratory workers who work with viruses related to smallpox, are there other individuals in specific occupational groups who should be vaccinated to enhance smallpox preparedness? If so, what guidelines should be used to determine which individuals should be vaccinated before there is a confirmed smallpox case or a confirmed bioterrorism attack using smallpox?

3. Should there be any change(s) in the recommendation that surveillance and containment ("ring vaccination") be the primary control and containment strategy in the event of a confirmed smallpox case or a confirmed bioterrorism attack using smallpox?

For more information about smallpox visit http://www.cdc.gov/

For public inquiries about smallpox call:

  • English - 888 246 2675
  • Espanol - 888 246 2857
  • TTY - 866 874 2646

You can submit comments about smallpox vaccine recommendations online at http://www.cdc.gov or submit your comments in writing to ACIP-NVAC Smallpox Working Group, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MS E-05, 1600 Clifton Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30333.

 


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