Smallpox Vaccinations Underway in Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/25/03

Smallpox Vaccinations Underway in Lubbock

Lubbock Health Department Director Tommy Camden says it didn't 't hurt. Health Board Member Doctor Donald May says this is about his tenth smallpox vaccination. He's ex-military.

Either way, both are bearing arms for their smallpox vaccination, because it's day one of the pre-event smallpox vaccination plan. "We're getting our smallpox response team immunized for two reasons. Number one, in case we have a release of the virus, we can get out there and contain it. Number two, to prepare in the health department so we can further vaccinate the health care response teams who will be on the front lines taking care of patients," said Ken Condon, Bio-Terrorism Coordinator.

That includes emergency room nurses, doctors, hospital laundry workers, and disease investigators. But for now, Condon says nurses will monitor the vaccination closely for seven days. They'll be looking for severe side affects, that sometimes can lead to death.

Recently, Condon says no one has died from taking the small pox vaccination nationally. Condon says they will begin vaccinating EMS, police, and fire immediately after phase one is through. That could possibly be in one month. Then, the vaccination will be offered to the public in the summer of 2004. Vaccinations are not mandatory. They are only given to people who want it, and who pass a strict screening process.

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