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Highlights

On December 13, 2002, in response to growing concern that a terrorist or hostile regime might have access to the smallpox virus and attempt to use it against the American people, the President announced the formation of the National Smallpox Vaccination Program. The program has two components--one responsible for vaccinating civilians and another responsible for vaccinating military personnel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responsible for implementing the civilian component of the National Smallpox Vaccination Program. The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for implementing the military component of the program. Because the National Smallpox Vaccination Program is the nation's first large-scale bioterrorism defense program, Congress asked us to assess the implementation of the program in order to aid the development of future programs. In April 2003, we reported on the implementation of the civilian component of the National Smallpox Vaccination Program. In this report, we describe (1) how DOD implemented its smallpox vaccination program and (2) the steps DOD took to facilitate the implementation of the program.

Full Report