Diary: 10/03/2012 Wed.


ISP-Smallpox vaccination program case study

Although most of the coure courses this semester are lecture classes, we have one discussion class within a small group on wednesday. ISP, Integration of Science & Practice is the one. Every week, we take one topic with one real case, and discuss that based on each stakeholders’ perspectives. This time, we dealt with the smallpox prevention program during the Bush Administration in 2011 and 2012. Smallpox is an infectious disease which was already declared to be eradicated by UN, though past public health efforts. But after the 9.11 terrorist attack, Bush Administration implemented smallpox prevention program, insisting that there is a thread of bio-weapon attack using smallpox virus by terrorists and hostile nations. States had to implement this program involving so many actors such as physicians, nurses, public health officers as the first responders. The operation cost (money, time and human resource) of the program was too high and the requirements of the federal government had to be completed within a tight schedule. Also there were risks of side effects of smallpox vaccination, but the issue of compensation was kept unclear without enough answers and plans by the federal governments to the concerns and questions from states.

From many points of view, the smallpox prevention program by Bush Administration seemed really unrealistic and ineffective, I felt. But imagining the mood of that time after 9.11, there was a political situation which enable to implement such program, under the name of national security.

A public health issue and practice is not possessed by public health professionals only. Always it can be political, economic, social matters at the same time and there must be complex interaction of various stakeholders.

今学期の授業は大半が大教室での講義形式の授業なのだけど、週に一度、ディスカッションのクラスがある。ISP- Integration of Science & Practiceという名前のコースで、実際のケースを扱っての議論やロールプレイを行う。この日はブッシュ政権時代に取られたSmallpox=天然痘に対するワクチン接種のプログラムについて。天然痘って、昔は猛威を振るった恐ろしい感染症なのだけど、すでに根絶された病気で、今は予防接種は行われていない。WHOの合意にもとづいて、世界各地の研究所で保有されていた天然痘株も順次廃棄されていったのだけど、アメリカは今現在もそれを備蓄している。




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