- Russian scientist Lev Sandakhchiyev who heads Russia's
Vektor Institute told that smallpox mass vaccination should be reintroduced
to prevent new terrorist attacks, The Telegraph online news reported. Sandakhchiyev
is in charge of keeping the two last smallpox virus samples in Russia.
- "Smallpox is a very dangerous weapon in the hands
of terrorists and there is a very simple way of delivering it," said
Sandakhchiyev. "All you need is a sick fanatic to arrive in a populated
place. The world health system is completely unprepared for this".
- More than one billion people had died from the disease
before it was declared extinct in 1980. Afterwards mass smallpox vaccination
was abolished. But in the light of the recent terrorist attacks in the
USA, the vaccination should be reintroduced, Sandakhchiyev said.
- The USA has already made some steps in this direction.
The United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia,
began a series of training courses on smallpox for health workers. It vaccinated
140 doctors and nurses against smallpox.
- At the end of October, the American government asked
pharmaceutical companies to produce 300 million doses of smallpox vaccine.
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