Smallpox and the U.S. Government Response

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Several articles have appeared during the past 48 hours regarding the Centers for Disease Control’s smallpox response plan. It is interesting to see the different ways that the same story is being represented by different groups and media outlets.

In most, the first paragraph reads…

Health authorities should not force people to be vaccinated against smallpox, even if the virus resurfaces, the government’s top bioterrorism adviser said Monday as officials released their response plan.

A similar article reads…

The plan does not call for mass vaccination in advance of an outbreak, because the risks associated with vaccination are deemed to outweigh the risks of exposure to the variola virus, which is used in the vaccine.

Apparently the issue of forced vaccination has stirred up concern amongst more than a few people. Most of the articles say basically the same thing as the two primary sources are either Associated Press or Routers news services. What is interesting to see however is that both sources include information regarding the risks associated with vaccination (at least they mention it). I don’t think that ten years ago and certainly not 20 years ago we would see something like this in the major press. That is something we should be thankful for and appreciative of. People like Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), and countless others, have worked long and hard to see that America is aware of the risks associated with vaccination.

If you have not yet read the “The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act” it is available online in its entirety. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s public health practice program office website at:

The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act requires an Adobe PDF browser which can be downloaded from:

It’s a good idea to install adobe’s Acrobat reader on your computer so that you can view the above and other PDF documents that are available on the Internet.

An article from the San Francisco Chronicle gives us another viewpoint at the smallpox issue. Look below for the link to their article.

From the SFC…

The administration wants all 50 states to adopt a law allowing public health authorities to take over hospitals, seize drug supplies, quarantine people exposed to infectious pathogens, draft doctors to treat them, force patients to be vaccinated, and order police to restrain residents from leaving contaminated areas.

Here are all the links:

Nando Media: Centers for Disease Control’s smallpox response plan issued
YourHealthDaily: Smallpox Response Plan Operational
ABC News: Aggressive Response – Feds Unveil Smallpox Plan
MSNBC: CDC details smallpox strategy Federal plan opts for isolation, targeted vaccinations
Yahoo News: CDC Releases Plan for a Smallpox Emergency

San Francisco Chronicle: Health bill endangers civil rights – Bush pushes plan to expand control in bioweapon attack @ 10:35 am | Article ID: 1006886148