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 Article of Interest - Vaccinations & Immunizations

Michigan Halts Smallpox Vaccinations

Gongwer News Service, March 31, 2003

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With two health care workers in other states having died after receiving the smallpox vaccination, the state Department of Community Health announced Monday that it is suspending vaccinations here until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention further studies the causes of the two deaths and five nonfatal reactions to the vaccine.
There have been seven reported heart conditions or attacks across the country since the CDC began administering the vaccination program. The CDC last week announced it was authorizing medical deferrals for the vaccine for those with heart disease.
"Safety is our first concern for those who volunteer to serve on smallpox response teams and to receive smallpox vaccination," said David Johnson, the state's chief medical officer. "When the concerns regarding heart disease and smallpox vaccination have been sorted out, we expect to resume vaccinations with an extra measure of safety built in."
About 375 state volunteers have received the vaccine with no known cases of "serious adverse reactions" to the vaccine, the department said.

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