New Jersey to Track Smallpox Vaccinations

TRENTON, N.J. - Sharps safety manufacturer Beckton, Dickinson and Company has teamed with New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey to create the first state-wide system for tracking smallpox vaccinations.

"Our partnership with BD enhances New Jersey's preparedness by allowing effective and efficient registration and follow-up of smallpox vaccines," says McGreevey. "This tracking system will position our state as a national leader.

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and BD will work with a pilot-test of the BD Bio-Terror Preparedness Network under simulated conditions at regional clinics within the next several weeks. The clinic will have a mobile station with a small personal computer and digital camera. Healthcare workers will record the medical history of those being vaccinated and patients will sign consent forms directly into the notebook-style PC. Photographs will be sued for personal identification and documentation of successful smallpox vaccinations.

McGreevey has allocated $12.5 million to meet the Medical Emergency and Disaster Preparedness and Response Expert Panel recommendations, which include developing a coordinated bioterrorism preparedness and response plan by state.

The state has also received $27.2 million in federal funding to strengthen the public healthcare system.

States cannot, however, begin vaccinating against smallpox until the federal government, which owns the vaccine, grants permission to do so.

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