Immuinzations could act as fire breaks for epidemic

U.S. Air Force Colonel Randy Larsen has an easy solution to the threat of biological attacks in America - immunize Americans against smallpox and anthrax.

Larsen, executive director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, says that smallpox and anthrax pose two of the biggest biological threats yet are the only such threats that have FDA approved vaccines.

By voluntarily immunizing Americans to these threats, Larsen believes that terrorists would be deterred from using them.

There are enough smallpox vaccines for every American, Larsen says, but less than 10-percent of the population would be able to receive anthrax vaccinations at current stockpile levels.

Larsen noted that while all of America would not be able to be immunized against anthrax, just immunizing a small portion would create a so-called herd immunity that would allow those who remain healthy to impede the progress of an epidemic.

The commission Larsen heads up stated that a weapon of mass destruction or biological attack should be expected somewhere in the world by the end of 2013 and cautioned that more Americans could die from a two kilogram release of anthrax spores from a crop duster plane than died in World War II.