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Information for People Selected for Smallpox Response Teams

About the National Smallpox Preparedness Program

In December 2002, President Bush initiated a national preparedness program to protect Americans against smallpox as a biological weapon. Communities have been asked to form smallpox preparedness teams that are ready to respond to a smallpox attack on our country. If you have been asked to be a member of a smallpox response team, you must now decide whether to participate in this effort and receive the vaccination in order to protect others. This decision must be weighed carefully.

As you consider your participation on a smallpox preparedness team, please read the materials provided on this page.

Emergency Response Team Vaccination Information

NOTE: A copy of the Smallpox Pre-Vaccination Information Packet is provided to everyone selected for response teams. Anyone considering the vaccine should consult the resources in this packet.

What You Need to Know About the Smallpox Vaccine

Learn about smallpox disease and about the benefits and risks of the smallpox vaccine.

Deciding If You Should Get the Smallpox Vaccine

The following resources can assist you with determining if you should not receive the smallpox vaccine due to certain medical conditions.

What People Close to You Need to Know

If you are considering the vaccination, there are things that your close, physical contacts (your spouse, partner or other member of your household) should know. This fact sheet, designed for your close contacts, describes health conditions that put people at high risk and provides information about the steps that close contacts can take to protect themselves.

What Happens After Vaccination

More Vaccination Information

Many other resources are available on the CDC website, including the following:

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers for Prospective Vaccinees

Answers to questions about smallpox disease and smallpox vaccine:

Smallpox Preparation and Planning

More resources for preparing for a smallpox emergency can be found on the Smallpox Preparation and Planning page.