Establishment of a Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB)

If CDC is unable to assure this independent functioning of the DSMB, the committee recommends that the proposed organizational arrangement be reconsidered.

CDC Safety System Guidance to States

The committee recommends CDC evaluate each state’s capacity for managing adverse reactions before indicating that a state is ready to begin vaccinations.

Focus Areas of Training and Education

The committee recommends that CDC expand the scope of their training and education regarding the identification, treatment, and reporting of serious adverse reactions to all clinicians.

The committee recommends that the first communication clinicians should receive is basic information about the details of the pre-event smallpox vaccination program.

Communication Planning

The committee recommends that CDC’s communication efforts about smallpox vaccination clearly separate public health issues from national security matters. The latter are best addressed by representatives of the administration more directly involved in such matters, and not by representatives of scientific agencies. Therefore, the responsibility of CDC is to deliver clear, consistent, and science-based public health communications.

The committee recommends that CDC identify a single “voice” for the national vaccination program, a credible individual with a strong scientific background and an experienced communicator who can serve as the key CDC spokesperson. Additionally, the agency should develop several backup sources for the media who can offer the same level of informed comment and thoughtful observation as the program’s primary “voice.”

The committee recommends that more attention be given to developing a variety of materials and channels to inform and educate the public about the immunization program before vaccinations begin.

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