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Tuolumne Supes Approve Smallpox Vaccination

Tuolumne County Supervisors have approved a plan to vaccinate emergency responders for the Smallpox Virus.

Dr. Todd Stolp with the county health department presented the plan and says if there was a biological terrorist attack involving the Smallpox Virus, just about every person would be vaccinated. Stolp says he canĀ“t imagine a time when people would be forced to get vaccinations. But, if there were an outbreak of smallpox, he says people would likely be voluntarily lining up to get it. Stolp says the vaccine is effective in stopping the onset of the disease for up to four days after a person has been exposed to the virus.

Under the plan adopted by the Supes today, only about 60 health care and emergency workers will probably receive the vaccine, because of an intense screening process. People with past histories of skin disorders and pregnant women are among those who cannot receive the vaccine. The screening is meant to prevent complications from the vaccine, which could be costly.

Some workers at Tuolumne General Hospital will receive the vaccine. Sonora Community Hospital declined to be part of the program.

The Board of Supervisors approved the plan unanimously.