Florida Smallpox Vaccine Funding

The head of the Florida Senate's new Home Defense, Public Security and Ports Committee said Tuesday she would seek to have the federal government pay as much of the cost of vaccinating Floridians against smallpox as possible.

Senator Paula Dockery, a Lakeland Republican, was responding to concerns expressed a day earlier by Democrats, who urged Republicans in charge of the Legislature to try and get Washington to pick up the cost of the inoculations because the state can not afford it.

Dockery said the first phase of the vaccinations required by the Federal government is already paid for. That phase will covering about 30,000 disease investigators and front line hospital employees starting next month and will cost $3.7 million and will be covered by a $40 million dollar grant from the Centers for Disease Control.