Sunday, September 6, 2009

Concerns with an Inappropriate Military Vaccination

After talking last week about the risks of smallpox immunization in the military, and hearing about the vaccinated soldier who experienced adverse reactions to the vaccine and is not being given any benefits, I was interested in the issue.

The article I found,, tells how a soldier’s two-year old son experienced a life-threatening reaction when he came in contact with his recently vaccinated father. The boy had eczema, which causes the adverse reaction. The story highlights two aspects of the ordeal that I found troubling. First, that the soldier was vaccinated for smallpox in the first place, when military protocol specifically stated that soldiers with household contacts with eczema should not be immunized. There was obviously a glitch in the army’s organizational system that is inexcusable when it causes lives to be threatened. Second, the inefficient response from the army and health workers alike to a disease that showed all the symptoms of smallpox would have been ineffective had the boy actually been the first case from a bioterror attack. The article as a whole shows the need to revamp the army and health system’s ability to provide adequate healthcare in times of peace and in the event of a bioterror emergency.

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