The Effectiveness and Risks Associated
With the Smallpox Vaccine
Clover Park Technical College
The Vaccinia virus is considered to be one of the most effective vaccines in combating disease, culminating in its eradication of smallpox in 1980 . After the terrorist attacks of 2001 in the United States, the government implemented a program to vaccinate essential military and civilian personnel against smallpox as fears of biological terrorist attacks arose . Data from civilian and military personnel that have received the vaccine has provided information about the adverse effects that have been encountered . Cardiovascular conditions such as myocarditis and myopericarditis were experienced by some, along with headaches and a number of common reactions such as viral cellulitis, satellite lesions, and a number of exanthems such as vaccinia folliculitis [18; 16]. There has also been a recent case of a patient having a cutaneous leiomyosarcoma growing in his smallpox scar, raising concerns of potential growths in smallpox scars . In the event of mass population vaccination estimates have shown that as much as 25% of the population would not be able to receive the vaccine due to probable adverse effects . In 2003 the United States government passed the Smallpox Emergency Personnel Protection Act, within which is the Smallpox Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. This program compensates those who have had an injury due to being given the smallpox vaccination under a DHHS approved smallpox program; providing medical and lost income coverage .
The Effectiveness and Risks Associated With the Smallpox Vaccine
The best way to prevent infectious diseases due to viruses is vaccination . Implementation of vaccination to combat disease is considered one of the greatest achievements of public health policy; many diseases once thought to have no cure have had their “annual...