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Pentagon Has Smallpox Plan for Troops

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 738 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... PENTAGON HAS SMALLPOX PLAN FOR TROOPS By Robert Burns
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 7, 2002
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      PENTAGON HAS SMALLPOX PLAN FOR TROOPS
      By Robert Burns
      AP Military Writer
      AP/Dr. Fred Murphy
      Thursday, November 7, 2002

      http://wire.ap.org/?FRONTID=SCIENCE&SLUG=SMALLPOX%2dMILITARY

      WASHINGTON (AP) ‹ The Pentagon has readied a plan for vaccinating some U.S.
      troops against smallpox and is awaiting White House approval before giving
      the first shots, according to a senior defense official.

      Amid heightened concerns about biological warfare, the Pentagon is pushing
      to provide every available form of protection for troops who might be
      exposed to germ weapons in Iraq or elsewhere. U.S. officials said this week
      that they believe Iraq is among four nations that have unauthorized samples
      of smallpox; the others are Russia, North Korea and France.

      Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has not yet given the go-ahead to
      implement the smallpox inoculation plan, according to the defense official
      who discussed it on condition of anonymity. Rumsfeld met with President Bush
      on Thursday morning and planned separate discussions with other members of
      the president's national security team.

      White House deputy press secretary Scott McClellan said Bush has not made a
      decision. Another adviser said a decision does not appear imminent.

      The Health and Human Services Department has set aside about 1 million doses
      of smallpox vaccine for the military. Those doses are expected to be
      provided from the 1.7 million that have been licensed by the Food and Drug
      Administration.

      The federal government has tens of millions more doses on hand, but they
      have not yet been licensed and would have to be administered as an
      experimental drug.

      Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops have received vaccines to protect them
      against anthrax, and after a long pause in that inoculation program, the
      pace of vaccinations was accelerated in September, officials said. It is
      believed that Iraq has substantial amounts of anthrax that it could use
      against invading U.S. troops.

      Smallpox vaccinations for troops could begin as early as this month,
      officials said, depending on the pace of coordination with the White House
      and other government agencies.

      First to receive it would be those the Pentagon calls ``first responders''
      -- troops responsible for assisting in domestic disasters, such as a
      bioweapons attack. They include medical specialists. Next to get it probably
      would be troops in combat units designated to deploy first in a major
      military crisis abroad, such as an invasion of Iraq.

      As many as 500,000 troops might eventually be inoculated, according to
      another senior defense official. Of the 1.4 million men and women in the
      active-duty military, fewer than half have ever received the smallpox
      vaccine, the official said.

      For the civilian population, top federal health officials have recommended
      making the vaccine available in stages, beginning with people who work in
      hospital emergency rooms; then other health care workers and emergency
      responders; and finally the general public.

      The White House is still considering how quickly to move -- specifically,
      whether to wait until the vaccine is licensed or to offer it more quickly.

      Smallpox was declared eradicated from Earth in 1980, and routine
      vaccinations in the United States ended in 1972. All stocks of the virus,
      except those stored at official labs in Atlanta and Moscow, were supposed to
      have been destroyed.

      It is a powerful weapon: It kills 30 percent of its victims, is highly
      contagious and has no known treatment [see below for potential treatments
      --DS].

      But while the disease is frightening, so is the vaccine. It's made with a
      live virus called vaccinia that can cause serious damage to people
      vaccinated and those with whom they come into close contact. Health
      officials estimate that about 15 out of every million people being
      vaccinated will face life-threatening side effects, and one or two of those
      15 will die.

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      RELATED WEBSITES:

      SMALLPOX VACCINATION 101:
      http://smallpoxvaccination101.com/

      NATIONAL VACCINE INFORMATION CENTER (NVIC):
      http://www.909shot.com

      DR. CLASSEN'S VACCINE SITE:
      http://www.vaccines.net/%c2%a0

      IMMUNIZATIONS:
      http://www.pcslink.com/~klove/immunize.htm

      VACCINE INFORMATION AND AWARENESS (VIA) WEB SITE:
      http://www.access1.net/via/

      CONCERNED PARENTS FOR VACCINE SAFETY:
      http://home.sprynet.com/~gyrene/index.htm

      ANTHRAX VACCINE INFORMATION:
      http://www.anthraxvaccine.org

      VACCINATION NEWS:
      http://www.vaccinationnews.com

      VACCINEWEBSITE.COM:
      http://www.vaccinewebsite.com

      DR. TIM O'SHEA'S THEDOCTORWITHIN.COM:
      http://www.thedoctorwithin.com/index1.html


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