U.S. IMMUNIZATION NEWS
"Nurses Urged to Refuse Vaccinations"
Dallas Morning News (www.dallasnews.com) (02/01/03) P. 25A; Jacobson Sherry
Some resistance against Texas' plan to vaccinate as many as 40,000
health-care workers against smallpox is building among the Texas Nurses
Association and 5,000 members are being urged to decline the shots. At the
national level, nurses associations are also discouraging members against
becoming immunized until all questions about the vaccine are answered.
About 375 hospitals out of 550 in the state plan to cooperate in the first
round of smallpox inoculations scheduled to begin February 17th, but local
hospital officials are concerned that the state nurses association will
become an obstacle to those efforts. Adverse reactions to the vaccine are
rare, but can range in degree from minor muscle aches to very dangerous
encephalitis or skin rashes, both of which can cause permanent disability
or death. To limit the number of adverse reactions, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been working on establishing
precise guidelines that would disqualify certain people from receiving the
vaccine under any condition. Under the CDC guidelines people currently ill
with diseases like lupus, HIV, cancer, or any disease that seriously
impedes their immune systems, or with histories of skin disorders including
eczema and atopic dermatitis, would be disqualified from inoculation.
Also disqualified would be people being treated with steroid eye drops,
mothers who are breastfeeding or women who are planning to become pregnant
in the month following the vaccine, and people who have known
life-threatening reactions to certain antibiotics, including polymixin B,
streptomycin, and neomycin.
"Soldier Suffers Reaction to Smallpox Short"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (www.jsonline.com) (02/02/03) P. 05A
Two American soldiers are now said to be in good condition as they recover
from serious reactions to the smallpox vaccine received in December. One
U.S. soldier developed generalized vaccinia ten days after immunization,
but a younger man, based overseas, developed encephalitis, a brain disease
that can cause paralysis or permanent neurological damage.