The trust of the general public in government’s ability to protect the public’s health also is a critical requirement for responding to bioterrorism. Conducting and disseminating assessments of national and state preparedness will inform and reassure Americans about the public health system’s ability to protect their health and will help jurisdictions continuously improve and learn from the process of preparing for public health emergencies, including a possible smallpox virus release.

It is an unfortunate reality that bioterrorism continues to be a threat. Therefore, future programs to prepare for this type of low-likelihood, high-consequence event will be needed, and the lessons learned from the smallpox vaccination program may help to ensure successful implementation.


Green L, Kreuter M. 1991. Health Promotion Planning: An Educational and Environmental Approach. Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Company.

Nolan P. 2004. The choice of the public in public health policy and planning: the role of public judgment. Journal of Public Health Policy 25(2):209-210.

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