St. Louis Public Radio News
9:45 am
Thu March 27, 2003

Illinois Suspends Vaccinations Due to Cardiac Threat

Springfield, IL – Illinois public health officials today
suspended smallpox vaccinations because of fears it causes heart problems.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is trying to determine whether there's a link between the vaccination and cardiac problems in seven people nationwide who have received the
vaccination.

Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Jena Welliever says Illinois is temporarily stopping its program to vaccinate six thousand health care workers who might have to respond to a terrorist event in which smallpox is spread.

She says the CDC should have more information next week.

Welliever says 118 people in Illinois have been vaccinated since Illinois' program got started in earnest last week. She says one person has had an adverse reaction but it was not serious.