February 13, 2003
Posted at: 7:17 p.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Arkansas Health Department will begin the first phase of smallpox vaccinations next Wednesday.
In a briefing Thursday, department spokesman Bob Alvey said statewide health units are expected to say Friday whether they will participate in the first phase of the nationwide vaccination plan. They also will report ahow many people will volunteer to be vaccinated.
Alvey emphasized that the vaccine, which will be given to first response health-care workers during Phase One, is not required and that people must volunteer in each phase of the three-phase nationwide plan.
The second phase calls for offering the vaccine to additional health-care workers. The third phase would involve inoculating the general public.
Neither of the latter two phases has been enacted by federal authorities.