Feature

Vaccinations to begin

The week's news at a glance.

Washington, D.C.

The Bush administration is going ahead with plans to vaccinate 500,000 health care workers against smallpox, despite calls for a delay. The announcement came after the Institute of Medicine this week urged the government to limit the program’s risks. The smallpox vaccine can cause illness, and one or two deaths per million patients. Health care unions asked President Bush to postpone the inoculations—scheduled to start as soon as Jan. 24—and provide assurances that anyone harmed by the vaccination would be adequately compensated. Dr. Julie Gerberding of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the workers must be vaccinated as soon as possible so they will be prepared to respond in the event of a bioterror attack using smallpox bacteria.

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