Smallpox vaccinations imminent for hospitals

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recently approved a plan that calls for smallpox immunization of 510,000 health care workers. The plan suggests that all hospitals designate a "smallpox care team" that should be immunized prior to any release of the virus. The committee recommends that the team include a minimum of 40 health care workers per hospital, with some hospitals vaccinating 100 or more. This also may involve the creation of regional teams of subspecialist consultants, including surgeons and anesthesiologists in facilities where intensivists are not trained in anesthesia.

To help you prepare for sweeping procedural changes, American Health Consultants is offering Imminent Smallpox Vaccinations in Hospitals: Consequences for You and Your Facility, a 90-minute audio conference Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 2-3:30 p.m., EST. This session is designed to help you and your staff answer serious questions and prepare your facility for the inevitable. How will being vaccinated affect you? How do you protect yourself, patients, and family? What are the logistics of implementing a smallpox care team? How do you deal with vulnerable populations? How do you minimize side effects?

This panel discussion will be lead by William Schaffner, MD, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. A veteran, award-winning epidemiologist who has seen actual cases of smallpox and currently oversees a volunteer smallpox vaccine study at Vanderbilt, Schaffner began his distinguished medical career as a medical detective in the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. He also is a liaison member of ACIP. Schaffner and an expert panel of emergency and infection control professionals will help you prepare for this critical task.

The cost of the program is $299, which includes 1.5 hours of free CE, CME, ACEP Category I, and critical care credits. You can educate your entire facility for one low fee. The facility fee also includes handout material, additional reading and references, as well as a compact disc recording of the program for continued reference and staff education. For more information, or to register, call customer service at (800) 688-2421. When ordering, please refer to the effort code: 65341.