Army releases new smallpox vaccination brochure

The U.S. Army recently released an updated trifold brochure with information regarding smallpox vaccinations.

The new brochure includes a variety of updates for service members, including on mandatory smallpox vaccination for any personnel visiting the Korean peninsula 15 or more consecutive days. Smallpox vaccinations are also required for some emergency-essential personnel and contractors, certain personnel in special units and civilians employed by the federal government.

An exception to the mandatory smallpox vaccination rule was granted to the U.S. Central Command in May of this year. The Army said that any previous trifold brochures on smallpox that do not include information on the exemption should be discarded.

Smallpox is largely eradicated around the world. The remaining stockpiles of the disease are held at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention facility in Atlanta, Ga., and the Russian State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology in Koltsovo.

The World Health Organization decided in May of this year to establish a third advisory committee to determine whether or not to destroy the remaining stockpiles. Advocates for keeping the stockpiles have said that the samples are necessary for further research, while those pushing to destroy them said there is no research justification for keeping the specimens.