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 will be immunized. The committee recommends that the team include at least 40 health care workers per hospital, with some hospitals vaccinating 100 or more, including emergency department nurses.

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. 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 led by William Schaffner, MD, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. An epidemiologist who has seen smallpox cases and oversees a volunteer smallpox vaccine study at Vanderbilt, Schaffner began his career in the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service. He also is a liaison member of ACIP.

The second speaker, Jane Siegel, MD, is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. As a member of the CDC Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, she is on a bioterrorism working group that reviewed the critical issues regarding smallpox vaccine.

The program's third speaker, Joseph J. Kilpatrick, RN, NREMT-P, is an adjunct instructor with the Texas A&M University Texas Engineering Extension Service in College Station, where he develops courses and provides training on weapons of mass destruction and emergency medical services (EMS). Trained as an emergency department and flight nurse, Kilpatrick also has worked as an independent nursing contractor.

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