Modeling Smallpox Vaccination Policy

February 11, 2003 Room 2154 Rayburn

Representative Christopher Shays and Representative Henry Waxman invite you to attend a bipartisan briefing by Dr. Sam Bozzette, the lead author of a newly released RAND study, Modeling Smallpox Vaccination Policy, which weighs the benefits of smallpox vaccination against its risks. This research can assist policymakers as they address the issues surrounding smallpox vaccination. Dr. Bozzette is an infectious disease specialist affiliated with the VA San Diego Healthcare System UC San Diego and RAND.

Dr. Bozzette will present the major findings of the RAND study:

  • This study is based on the most comprehensive empirical model ever conducted of the possible consequences of a smallpox attack against the United States.

  • The model makes it possible to examine the tradeoffs of risk vs. benefits using six plausible smallpox attack scenarios.

  • Just published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study estimates that if 60 percent of the U.S. population were immunized, there would be about 500 deaths.

  • The bottom line conclusion is that vaccinating Americans against smallpox is too dangerous to justify unless the likelihood of a major biological attack on the U.S. is substantial; however, it is prudent to vaccinate health care workers now.

  • This report did not examine issue of implementation or broader economic consequences of an attack or of vaccination policy.

Lunch will be provided.

RSVP: Hunter Granger (703) 413-1100 extension 5180, or wea@rand.org.

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