The mass smallpox vaccination programme in the United States seems to have faltered badly. Administrators of the programme blame the drop-off rate on diminished fears of a terrorist attack.
But it could also be because people are hearing that the vaccine is not exactly a safe option. The Centers for Disease Control in the United States has reported seven cases of 'cardiac adverse events' among civilians since they have had the vaccine, and 10 cases of myopericarditis (inflammation of the heart and lining) among the military who've been vaccinated.
The CDC is not prepared to accept that the vaccine is to blame, but goes on to warn those with an existing heart condition not to have the vaccine!
Interestingly, the 17 reported cases all had heart problems.
Aside from heart patients, other groups have already been exempted from the smallpox programme, including the 28 million eczema sufferers, 184,000 organ recipients, 850,000 HIV and AIDS patients, and 8.5 million cancer sufferers. Those, together with the 61 million heart patients, adds up to around 60 per cent of the entire adult population of the United States for whom the smallpox vaccine is too dangerous.
Undaunted, the US Congress is valiantly pressing on with its mass vaccination campaign. Over $80 billion has been set aside to fund the national programme, including a budget of $35 million to pay as compensation to victims whose lives are wrecked by the vaccine.
Terrorism is clearly more of an internal threat than even the national security forces realized.