Oklahoma City, Ok. – The initial shipment of smallpox vaccine to the Oklahoma State Department of Health includes 500 doses. It also has special vaccinator needles as well as information kits. The agency is scheduled to start vaccinating a core group of its central office employees plus some staffers of the city-county health department offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa in coming weeks. The agency has been holding nurse vaccinator training sessions throught the state to teach nurses how to administer the vaccine and monitor those receiving it. According to health officies, this smallpox vaccine is very effective in preventing the disease but does pose some health risks so vaccination of the general public is not recommended at this time. Locally, area military installations, including Ft. Sill, also have received some vaccine and limited vaccinations have been administered at their health care facilties to key personnel, according to military officials. Next week, the state health department plans to announce more information about the core public health volunteers who have agreed to be vaccinated.