Wednesday’s round of innoculations marks the second step of the first phase of President Bush's Smallpox Preparedness Plan. A state public health worker, vaccinated a few weeks ago herself in Frankfort, innoculated some employees at the Barren River District Health Department in Bowling Green. About three weeks from now, the workers vaccinated Wednesday will then vaccinate around 700 hospital workers from around South Central Kentucky. All vaccinations are voluntary.
If the United States would happen to experience a smallpox attack, those workers would then be able to administer the vaccine to the general public. There are some risks involved with the vaccine, but Doctor Betty Olinger from the State Department for Public Health says around 117 have been vaccinated to date in Kentucky, and they have had no reports of any adverse effects. She says all volunteers go through an extensive screening process before being vaccinated.