The first phase of President Bush's three phase smallpox vaccination plan is underway. Soldiers from the Third Brigade and half a million military personnel are expected to receive the vaccine in phase one. Police, firefighters, and emergency room technicians will receive the shots in phase two. Phase three will take effect in 2004, when the vaccine will be available to the public.
To get the vaccinations, soldiers must fill out paper work and disclose if they've had the vaccine before. If not, they get pricked three times in the arm, with a live virus laden prong. And those previously vaccinated actually need more of the vaccine. They have to get pricked fifteen times to wake up antibodies that may have built up a tolerance. Fort Carson plans to vaccinate 800 soldiers a day. Although that could take awhile since 4,500 troops are being deployed.
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