Humanitarian Resource Institute:  A U.S. & International Resource on the Scope of Humanitarian Assistance

Smallpox Information Resource

In The Spotlight:

  • 7.2.2002: Smallpox Vaccine Would Now be Fatal for Many People whose Immune System is Weakened by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)  It is crucial to underline the seriousness of bioterrorism, especially in the case of smallpox, since according to the World Health Organization,  vaccination would be contraindicated for certain groups that include persons with immune disorders or those experiencing therapeutically-induced immunosuppression, persons with HIV infection, and persons with a history of eczema. This accounts for approximately 25 percent of the U.S. population (approximately 70 million) that would be excluded from vaccination because of high risk (or the possibility of coming in contact with a high-risk individual) would be vulnerable in a smallpox outbreak. If this statistical analysis is applied globally, at risk populations encompass hundreds of millions worldwide. These issues have once again drawn international attention to the importance of the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention as a crucial legal instrument in the global war against terrorism. 

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