Israel starts to produce smallpox vaccine

The Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) reports that Israel has begun producing the smallpox vaccine in preparation for a possible biological attack by Iraq.

Enough vaccines have been produced for Israel's entire population of about 6.6 million people but the government has yet to make a decision to begin immunizations, Health Ministry spokesman Ido Hadari said.

He would not say when production of the vaccines had begun but said the decision to start had come in light of fears of a possible biological attack by Iraq or a terrorist group. It would take Israel a few days to vaccinate the population.

"The trigger could be a few things; the U.S. strike on Iraq, whenever that is, or a terrorist attack, some sort of mega-event with a lot of casualties," Hadari said.

Iraq attacked Israel with Scud missiles in the 1991 Gulf War but they were not fitted with biological or chemical weapons.

I lived in Israel in the 90's and had to wear a gas mask dozens of times during the Gulf war, when Saddam Hussein fired Scud missiles against the Israeli civilian population. Palestinians fully supported Iraq during the Gulf War and cheered from their roofs as the missiles landed in Tel-Aviv.

I copy the full article below.





Israel begins producing smallpox vaccine for fear of Iraqi attack
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Aug. 6, 2002
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?
pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/
ShowFull&cid=1027506458570

Israel has begun producing the smallpox vaccine in preparation for a possible biological attack by Iraq if Baghdad were to retaliate for an American strike, a health official said Monday.

Enough vaccines have been produced for Israel's entire population of about 6.6 million people but the government has yet to make a decision to begin immunizations, Health Ministry spokesman Ido Hadari said.

He would not say when production of the vaccines had begun but said the decision to start had come in light of fears of a possible biological attack by Iraq or a terrorist group. It would take Israel a few days to vaccinate the population.

"The trigger could be a few things; the U.S. strike on Iraq, whenever that is, or a terrorist attack, some sort of mega-event with a lot of casualties," Hadari said.

Iraq attacked Israel with Scud missiles in the 1991 Gulf War but they were not fitted with biological or chemical weapons.

Israel is producing a surplus of smallpox vaccines that could be used to inoculate tourists and about 300,000 foreign workers in the country, Hadari said. When asked if the vaccines would be supplied to the more than three million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and West Bank as well, Hadari said: "When the time will come we will decide how to use the vaccines."

About 100 Israelis have already been given the smallpox vaccine to begin preparing antidotes for any side effects, Hadari said.

Hadari said countries around the world should be preparing the smallpox vaccine since, in the event of a biological attack on any city in the world, the disease could spread to several countries within days.

Israel stopped vaccinating children against smallpox in 1978. A year later the World Health Organization ruled that the virus had been eradicated from the world.

Posted by David Melle
 Link to this page |   Email this entry |   digg this

Comments
Post a comment




Remember Me?


Enter the code shown:   
This helps us prevent automated spam comments

Comments are open and unmoderated, although obscene or abusive remarks may be deleted. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of FactsOfIsrael.com. See the Terms of Use for more details.

Email this entry
Email this entry to
(Please enter email address):


Your email address:


Message (optional):


Referrers to this Page

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains some copyrighted materials the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.