smallpox response plans and their personal roles, and clinician awareness of clinical resources, such as the CDC Clinician Information Line).
It is not apparent from the materials and information available to the committee whether educational products and training activities for other health care providers (e.g., respiratory therapists and radiology technicians) and other members (e.g., security and housekeeping staff) of hospital response teams are available at the time of the writing of this report. Furthermore, the committee’s liaison panel expressed a need for educational materials that are relevant to professional practice and the circumstances of vaccination (for example, health care providers working with recently vaccinated patients, or emergency medical technicians and other first responders who may be exposed to newly vaccinated individuals). Each of these groups, as well as the functional groups within public health response teams, requires customized materials and information, and the committee encourages CDC to assess and respond to their needs for training and education utilizing a range of materials and channels of dissemination most appropriate for each group.
The committee was pleased to find out that CDC has been taking steps to increase the readability of materials developed to provide important information about smallpox vaccine and vaccination, and even to translate many into other languages (Nowak, 2003). The committee recommends that all print materials addressed to a diverse audience (e.g., the public) should be easily read and understood by all members of that audience. Also, all communication materials in other languages should be culturally appropriate.
Simple translation may not be enough in cases where illustrations, format, and other facts are not culturally appropriate for the target audience. States will likely request materials in languages that correspond to the profile of their potential vaccinees.
Although CDC has thoughtfully developed its process for informing and educating potential vaccinees and their contacts, more is needed to ensure an adequate level of comprehension is reached.
For this reason, the committee recommends that educational and training materials be tested for ease of comprehension with samples representing a cross-section of the sex, race, ethnicity, and level of education.
This should be done for all current materials and should routinely be done prior to wide dissemination of all newly developed material, though time constraints might make this more difficult. Special attention is needed to highlight uncertain compensation for adverse reactions, and simplifying legal explanations currently provided on the Informed Consent form.