|June 20, 2003||Smallpox Vaccination
IDPH Smallpox Web site
Smallpox Vaccine and Monkeypox
STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS RELEASE GUIDELINES FOR USE OF SMALLPOX VACCINE
FOR PEOPLE EXPOSED TO THE MONKEYPOX VIRUS
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced that smallpox vaccine will be offered to individuals who have been exposed to monkeypox. All vaccinations will be voluntary.
The decision was made in consultation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials from other affected states. On June 11, the CDC released recommendations and guidance for the use of smallpox vaccine in connection with the current outbreak of monkeypox.
"Smallpox vaccine is not without risk, said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director. Individuals need to weigh the potential risks of having a smallpox vaccination versus possibly acquiring monkeypox."
Monkeypox virus is new to the Western hemisphere and is generally thought to be substantially less severe than smallpox in humans. The smallpox vaccine has significant potential adverse side effects, including in rare events serious injury or death. As a result, it is important that the relative medical risks and benefits of smallpox vaccination versus monkeypox exposure be evaluated very carefully.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has arranged for the smallpox vaccine to be made available to individuals in accordance with the CDCs interim guidance. The vaccine will be offered under the following guidelines:
The vaccine will come from the states existing stockpile. The vaccinations will be carried out in accordance with the newly established CDC monkeypox vaccination protocols and guidelines.
As of today, the Department is investigating 19 possible cases, including five people who have been confirmed by CDC laboratory testing to have monkeypox virus.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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