From my research, it appears that smallpox vaccinations became "optional" in 1973, and unavailable after about 1980. If you're 0-28, you're at risk of death in any coming terrorist biological attack. If you have loved ones in that age group, they're in mortal danger. This is such a shame, because we have the knowledge to make these vaccines. In fact, we had the safe and effective smallpox vaccine over 50 years ago.
Perhaps the problem is money. In that case, let's divert the twenty billion we were going to use to bail out the commercial airlines. Not being able to fly is an economic problem and a severe inconvenience. Losing our citizens under the age of 28 will destroy this nation.
The following is a letter very similar to what I wrote the two US Senators from my state, my US Representative, and President Bush. If you're under 28, or have loved ones under 28, you might want to write a similar letter. Mailing address information for your public servants is at the bottom.
Here's the letter similar to what I wrote:
|Dear Senator _______,
I tried to get my eight year old triplets vaccinated for smallpox due to the likelihood of a terrorist biological weapon attack. Our pediatrician said she didn't have the vaccine, couldn't get the vaccine, and referred me to the county health department. The county health department said they didn't have the vaccine, couldn't get the vaccine, and referred me to representative John Mica. Representative Mica's office said they'd look into it and also referred me to state senator Lee Constantine, who will also look into it.
Someone in the office of Senator Bob Graham was the only one who gave me hard facts. The only smallpox vaccine in the country is in the CDC. The CDC has only one million doses, far short of the number of doses necessary to protect those born after 1973, when smallpox vaccination was curtailed in this country. The CDC will not release the vaccine until there is a smallpox outbreak, when of course it will be too late because it's a vaccine, not a treatment.
I am asking you, as a federal legislator, to do what is necessary to immediately begin full production of smallpox vaccine, anthrax vaccine, and any other vaccines for diseases likely to be used against us in a terrorist attack. If you cannot find the money to do this, please divert the twenty billion you were going to give to the commercial airline companies. A nation without commercial airlines is unpleasant and inconvenient, but a country without citizens under 30 is too bleak to contemplate.
If your contemporaries in the legislature decry the economic impact diverting this money, remind them of the economic impact of even one smallpox case showing up in the United States. For fear of contageon, children would stop going to school. Workers would stop going to work. The entire nation would stop. And yes, the airline industry would fail no matter how much federal funding we pump into it.
If your contemporaries suggest that smallpox is not a risk because it has been eradicated, and the last known case was 1978, please explain to them that there are plenty of repositories of this germ throughout the world. The terrorists have shown themselves able to slice through all but the toughest security. It's very possible that they stole this germ years ago, so no forward looking security at biological stations could stop them.
Senator _______, I have three small children who are innocent civilians. Our war efforts go out of their way to spare innocent civilians of the countries with whom we are at war. Can't you please show the same concern for the innocent civilians in our own country? Please do what's necessary to quickly immunize our population.
You can write President Bush here:
President George Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500You can find your US Representative (Congressman) here: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
You find each of your Senators here: http://www.senate.gov/senators/senator_by_state.cfm
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