Smallpox Vaccination - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Smallpox Vaccination

Patrick got sick - he's got this rash, and being an astute clinician I think he's got chicken pox. But nowaday it brings up the subject of smallpox, and with Homeland Security we need to know something about it. Let me tell you about smallpox.

Up until 1970 the smallpox vacciniation was not a problem. but it is now because after 1970 we stoopped giving it - we thought it was gone. But here are the facts: The small pox vacciniation is a live virus so you have to be very careful about it. It's estimated that about 1 in 1000 can have serious problems with it, and about 1 in a million can actually die from the smallpox vaccination. So these are the considerations.

If you have atopic dermatitis, whether it's active or not, you should not get it. If you have any active skin disease you should not get it. If you're contemplating pregnancy or are pregnant, you shouldn't get it. If you're using steroid eye drops you should not get it.

Now if you get the vaccination it will protect you, but you may choose not to get the vaccination right away because here are the facts: smallpox takes a long time to develop and you have to have close contact - it's not contracted through the air - it's not aerosolized, or even touch. You have to be in close proximity and it generally takes about 2 weeks from the time you contact it to the time you get it. And even after that you have about 3 days to get the vaccination which will protect you.

So to get the vaccination may be a serious question in your mind. I think if you work in emergency rooms or you're a health care provider you should seriously consider it. Other than that, I would probably wait.

I'm Dr David Vastola and that's life.

Powered by Frankly

1100 Banyan Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.