A step against smallpox

Travels abroad led James L. Hadler, M.D., M.P.H. ’82, to seek inoculations against smallpox at least four times before 2003. His fifth vaccination in January landed him in full color on the pages of newspapers around the country. As head of smallpox preparedness planning for Connecticut and state epidemiologist at the Department of Public Health, Hadler became one of the first civilians to receive the vaccine under the Homeland Security Act.

Hadler’s vaccination was part of stage 1 of the program, in which up to 400,000 front-line health care providers may volunteer for inoculations. These vaccinations, Hadler said, would help set the stage for handling an emergency. “We will have a core of responders who are ready to roll. We will have experience with the vaccine. We will have people trained and experienced in administering the vaccine. We can initiate a response much more quickly than if we didn’t have this core of people,” Hadler said.

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