- All Americans could be forced to have smallpox jabs under
plans being considered by President Bush, despite fears that such a
would kill hundreds.
- Underlining White House fears about America's
to a new wave of bioterrorism, Mr Bush said that he was discussing with
Tommy Thompson, the Health Secretary, whether to order mandatory
- "One of my concerns is if we were to have universal
vaccination, some might lose their life," he said. "But I'm
at all options, all possibilities."
- Authorities in the US have already announced that they
intend to stockpile 300 million doses of smallpox vaccine, enough for the
country's 260 million citizens. But last night was the first time that
anyone had suggested they would be compulsory rather than used to cover
- Mr Bush made his remarks yesterday as he was touring
the Centres for Disease Control in Atlanta, which houses one of only two
officially kept samples of smallpox since the World Health Organisation
declared in 1979 that the virus had been eradicated. Earlier this week
scientists at the Vektor Institute in Siberia, which holds the other
gave warning that underpaid Russian workers could be tempted to sell the
virus to terrorists.
- The last case of smallpox was in 1977. The vaccine is
fatal for one in a million cases.
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