New smallpox vaccination monitoring system on-line

CDC tracking vaccinated health care workers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a monitoring system for hospitals immunizing health care workers for smallpox.

The Hospital Smallpox Vaccination Monitoring System (HSVMS) is a free, voluntary, web-based program developed to assist hospitals or other vaccine monitoring sites in real-time monitoring and tracking of health care workers who receive smallpox vaccine.

"We are really engaged here in a gold standard assessment of safety," says Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, CDC director. "[There will be] rapid communication with a body of experts who are helping us to interpret the information about side effects. This will help us assess the relationship between potential adverse effects and the vaccine program about as rapidly as I think any system could possibly be created."

Key points about the new program include:

• Health care workers who receive smallpox vaccine should be seen daily upon reporting to work for 21-28 days following vaccination. HSVMS can be used to record this daily assessment of the vaccination site, symptoms reported by the vaccinee, vaccine take, determination of fitness for duty, and workdays lost.

• HSVMS is open to hospitals or other vaccine monitoring sites that have designated health care response teams and provides a secure mechanism for transferring data between facilities and the CDC. It is suggested that all hospitals and other vaccine monitoring sites inform the health department in their state or jurisdiction that they would like to utilize HSVMS to monitor vaccinee experience.

• HSVMS is easy to use and requires a minimal amount of time to operate.

• HSVMS will enable the hospital or other vaccine monitoring sites to easily produce summary reports by day and by vaccinee, as well as overview reports of the facilities’ experience.

Health departments may access HSVMS to view and obtain data from their specific state or jurisdiction. Users will need Internet access and 4.0 or higher Internet Explorer or comparable Netscape system.

To access HSVMS, users will need to obtain a digital certificate and a password. For more information on how to enroll, go to www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/smallpox/vaccination/HSVMS.