REVIEW OF THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION’S SMALLPOX VACCINATION PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION

Letter Report #3

May 23, 2003

Dr. Julie Gerberding

Director

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road, NE Atlanta, GA30333

Dear Dr. Gerberding:

The Committee on Smallpox Vaccination Program Implementation is pleased to offer you our third letter report in a series of brief reports providing advice to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the implementation of the pre-event smallpox vaccination program. In addition to some general comments about program activities, the committee would like to draw your attention to two main issues:

  1. Considerations for next steps in the pre-event vaccination program, and

  2. The smallpox components of the Continuation Guidance for the Cooperative Agreement on Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism—Budget Year Four detailed in Program Announcement 99051 (DHHS, 2003a).1

In particular, the committee would like to reaffirm the need for a pause in the program, before the vaccine is offered more widely, and also make some specific suggestions about the recently issued guidance. In a forthcoming report, the committee intends to focus on issues surrounding definitions and measurements of smallpox preparedness, and its integration into broader bioterrorism readiness. The committee will also discuss screening and follow-up issues relevant to the continuation of the vaccination program, and answer specific questions asked by CDC and its partners at the May 1, 2003 committee meeting.

General Comments

The committee reiterates its high regard for CDC and its partners, and the remarkable amount of work completed in the national smallpox vaccination program, especially in the context of additional strain on all resources caused by the emergence and spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). In fact, the committee heard from program administrators that

1  

The guidance was issued on May 2, 2003, after the release of the committee’s second report on March 27, 2003. State applications are due July 1, 2003.



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REVIEW OF THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION’S SMALLPOX VACCINATION PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION Letter Report #3 May 23, 2003 Dr. Julie Gerberding Director Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Road, NE Atlanta, GA30333 Dear Dr. Gerberding: The Committee on Smallpox Vaccination Program Implementation is pleased to offer you our third letter report in a series of brief reports providing advice to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the implementation of the pre-event smallpox vaccination program. In addition to some general comments about program activities, the committee would like to draw your attention to two main issues: Considerations for next steps in the pre-event vaccination program, and The smallpox components of the Continuation Guidance for the Cooperative Agreement on Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism—Budget Year Four detailed in Program Announcement 99051 (DHHS, 2003a).1 In particular, the committee would like to reaffirm the need for a pause in the program, before the vaccine is offered more widely, and also make some specific suggestions about the recently issued guidance. In a forthcoming report, the committee intends to focus on issues surrounding definitions and measurements of smallpox preparedness, and its integration into broader bioterrorism readiness. The committee will also discuss screening and follow-up issues relevant to the continuation of the vaccination program, and answer specific questions asked by CDC and its partners at the May 1, 2003 committee meeting. General Comments The committee reiterates its high regard for CDC and its partners, and the remarkable amount of work completed in the national smallpox vaccination program, especially in the context of additional strain on all resources caused by the emergence and spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). In fact, the committee heard from program administrators that 1   The guidance was issued on May 2, 2003, after the release of the committee’s second report on March 27, 2003. State applications are due July 1, 2003.