Public Health nurse Joyce Minter says she was no stranger to the small pox vaccine. That's why she decided to volunteer for the pilot program.[
" Well I've had them before this was actually my fourth one and so since I hadn't had any complications prior so I was going to go ahead and do it."
Two and a half years ago Joyce spent on Saturday along with five other co-workers from the health department prepping
for the small pox vaccine. It was part of a nationwide effort to not only immunize certain health care professionals to give the shot to others...but to prepare local health authorities should a terrorist based smallpox outbreak occur.
Registered Nurse Wende Latham coordinated the smallpox response locally. " Made sure double, triple checking that they were healthy enough and met the criteria and we had the clinic on Saturday morning and basically had everyone done within an hour."
What happened to vaccinated health care workers over the course of nearly three years? .In this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers say there was a low rate of life threatening reactions to the vaccine. Of the 38-thousand volunteers vaccinated nationwide, there were a reported 822-side effects.
12-percent of those side effects were considered serious.
In ten instances, the side effect was considered life threatening.
None of those vaccinated here in washoe county reported any side effects from the vaccine...and that's after three weeks of monitoring. The study attributes the low number of side effects were probably due to heavy screening of volunteers. In a real scenario the numbers could be higher as that strict criteria would be waived.
Ofthose adverse side effects, 21-cases involved heart problems believed to be brought on by the smallpox vaccine itself. that information has meant prople at risk for heart attack or stroke are at high ridk for having complications from the smallpox vaccine along with eczema, psoriasis, and immuno-compromised patients.