Smallpox Vaccine Update

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The state's largest hospital system will not vaccinate its employees against smallpox.

Centura Health has told state officials it will not participate in the government vaccination program set to begin next month. Centura operates ten hospitals in Colorado, including Penrose in Colorado Springs.

Centura Health president and chief executive Joseph Swedish says the company needs more answers about the vaccine and its risks. Workers are worried that they could have a reaction to the vaccine or could infect family members or patients.

The company is the first hospital system in Colorado to say it won't offer vaccines to employees. Many hospitals are still debating the issue.

Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs announced Wednesday it
will participate.