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 should designate a "smallpox care team" that will 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, including emergency department physicians and nurses, infection control professionals, intensive care unit nurses, infectious disease consultants, radiology technicians, respiratory therapists, engineers, security, and housekeeping staff.

To help you prepare for sweeping procedural changes, American Health Consultants offers 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. The session is designed to help you and your staff answer serious questions and prepare 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? The 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 career as a medical detective in the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service.

The cost of the program is $299, which includes 1.5 hours of free CE, CME, ACEP Category I, and critical care credits. 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 information or to register, call customer service at (800) 688-2421. When ordering, please refer to the effort code: 65341.