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Smallpox Vaccine

Guest terry jackon1

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Guest terry jackon1

Heart Problems Bedevil Smallpox Program


A panel of experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday recommended that the field of candidates for a smallpox vaccination be sharply limited.


The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices now says that anyone with three known risk factors for heart disease shouldn't get the vaccine, even if they don't have any diagnosed history of heart problems, according to the Los Angeles Times.


Those risk factors are smoking, hypertension, and high cholesterol levels. This would substantially cut down on the number of people eligible for the jab. Earlier this week, the government had urged people with a history of heart disease to put off getting vaccinated.


As the Pentagon announced Friday that a third person who recently got the vaccine died of a heart attack, four states -- California, New York, Illinois, and Florida -- have temporarily suspended the program, according to the Times.


The Department of Defense said that a 55-year-old National Guardsman, who was called to active duty and who got the vaccination last week, suffered a heart attack on Monday and died the next day. An autopsy showed that the guardsman had "substantial narrowing of the blood vessels in his heart," and a history of heart disease, before the vaccination. The Times reports that he was also a smoker.


The guardsman's death is the first in the military, which has vaccinated some 350,000 people so far. There have been 10 reports of inflammation of the heart, but the Pentagon says they've recovered.


Two health-care workers who were recently vaccinated also died of heart attacks in the last week.



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