Although there is no reason to believe that smallpox presents an imminent threat, the attacks of September and October 2001, have heightened concern that terrorists may have access to the virus and attempt to use it against the American public. Immediately after these attacks, the United States Department of Health and Human Services began working, in cooperation with state and local governments, to strengthen our preparedness for bioterror attacks by expanding the national stockpile of smallpox vaccine. The United States currently has sufficient quantities of the vaccine to vaccinate every single person in the country in an emergency.
The federal government is not recommending that members of the general public be vaccinated at this point. However, in order to be more fully prepared should a smallpox event take place, plans have been developed to vaccinate every person in the country within a ten day period. That's quite an undertaking, but through careful planning with state and local governments a plan in now in place. Emergency Vaccination Clinics (EVC) have been established all across the country, and in Tennessee they are placed such that no resident is more than one hour away from one of them. Hickman County has been paired with our neighbors to the south and west, Lewis and Perry Counties, and the three counties working together have selected Hickman County High School as the site for the area's EVC. This site will serve all residents of Hickman, Lewis and Perry Counties.
The EVC will be open 16 hours per day for ten straight days when and if a smallpox event is detected. The EVC will only be accessible by specially arranged bus transportation, and pick up points have been established throughout the three-county area. You will not be able to drive your personal vehicle to the EVC. Should an event occur, you should begin monitoring radio station WNKS, 96.7 on the FM dial, for information and updates as they are available.
As you can imagine, a plan of this scope and nature will require hundreds of volunteer workers. Volunteers with the following skills and/or credentials will be needed:
- EMT / Paramedic
- Clerical / Secretarial
- Data Entry /Medical Records Personnel
- Pharmacists / Pharmacy Technicians
- Clinical professionals and/or students will to be trained & assist with immunizations
- General volunteers to assist with directing patients, registration, filling out forms, answering phones, etc.
If you would like to register as a volunteer for the smallpox vaccination program you can do one of the following:
Contact the Hickman County Health Department at 931-729-3516Download this form and fax or mail it to:
Download this form and fax or mail it to:
Hickman County Health Department
115 Huddleston Street
Centerville, TN 37033
For more information about smallpox, vaccinations and more, download these files.