Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has
authorized the release of $100 million to states for boosting their efforts
to vaccinate health care workers against smallpox. The funds were authorized
in a bill that also provides compensation for injured vaccinees.
President George W. Bush had hoped that 500 000 "first responders"
would step up for vaccination, but by April 25, only 34 541 had been
vaccinated. (In contrast, the Department of Defense had vaccinated more than
400 000 military personnel between mid-December of last year and early
May.) Some state health departments balked at Bush's plan, complaining that
a mass vaccination effort would shift resources from other vital areas.
Vastag B. $100 Million More for Smallpox Vaccinations. JAMA. 2003;289(21):2787. doi:10.1001/jama.289.21.2787-a