"On December 13, 2002, President George W. Bush announced the administration's long-awaited policy for vaccinating U.S. citizens against smallpox. That same day, the government began vaccinating an estimated 500,000 troops and other personnel who serve in high risk parts of the world. Voluntary vaccination of up to 500,000 civilian healthcare and public health workers probably would not begin until after January 24, 2003, a date set by Section 4 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296). The Bush Administration plan for civilian healthcare workers follows the October 17, 2002, recommendations made by an advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on several smallpox vaccination implementation issues. The panel advised immunizing two groups of civilians: (1) public health response teams who would investigate initial smallpox cases and implement control measures; and (2) healthcare teams composed of 50-100 individuals at each of the 5,100 acute care hospitals in the United States who would care for smallpox patients."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31694