WHO Reconsiders Smallpox Vaccination Policy

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:19 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - The World Health Organization may change its current recommendation on smallpox vaccinations, given the threat of bioterrorism. Right now, WHO does not recommend inoculations against a disease that was eradicated years ago. But WHO director-general Gro Harlem Brundtland reportedly has asked infectious disease experts to examine whether that recommendation should be changed. In the meantime, wire services report WHO is urging governments to "check their level of preparedness" for a variety of diseases, including smallpox. Mass smallpox vaccinations would protect most people, but in some people, the side effects of the vaccine itself could be deadly. The Bush administration is now working on getting enough vaccine to inoculate everyone in the United States, if the need arises. Scroll News This Hour for Details and See Earlier Story