Santa Clara County Public Health Officials To Present Smallpox Vaccination Plan to County Supervisors
Santa Clara County public health officials today will present a smallpox vaccination plan to the county Board of Supervisors that calls for the vaccination of hundreds of health care workers as early as February, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Under the plan, the county would request about 5,000 doses of smallpox vaccine to inoculate workers at the county's 12 hospitals. Each hospital, based on size, would vaccinate 100 to 500 workers who would serve on smallpox "response teams"; workers could decide not to receive the vaccine. After the teams of health care workers receive the vaccine, the plan recommends that paramedics and other emergency workers receive the inoculation. The plan would allow the public to request individual vaccinations at a later time. Under the plan, the county would test individuals who volunteer to receive the vaccine for conditions such as AIDS, cancer or eczema, which could place them at higher risk of side effects. Some county health care workers have raised concerns about the vaccinations. "If someone gets the shot and gets ill, they have to be reassured that all their medical costs will be paid, and if they miss work that they are compensated for it," Malinda Markowitz, a registered nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose and secretary of the California Nurses Association, said.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.