AMA Opposes Mass Smallpox Vaccinations

REUTERS
San Francisco
Dec. 4, 2001

Mass Innoculations Opposed by Nation's Largest Doctors' Group

The American Medical Association said today that it would not support an immediate national smallpox vaccination program, saying the potential threat of a bioterror attack did not warrant the risks.

The association, the nation's largest doctors' group, noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opposed a mass inoculation program in part out of fears that some people, roughly one in every million, could die from adverse reactions to the smallpox vaccine.

The A.M.A. said it supported study of alternative vaccination strategies, like immunizing "rings" of people around smallpox cases, a strategy that eradicated smallpox by 1980.

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