SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
threats of the Israeli smallpox
Huerta M, Balicer RD and Leventhal A.
During September 2002, Israel began its current revaccination program against
smallpox, targeting previously-vaccinated “first responders” among medical and
To identify the potential strengths and weaknesses of this program, and the conditions under which critical decisions were reached.Methods: We conducted a SWOT
analysis of the current Israeli revaccination program, designed to identify its intrinsic strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities for its success and threats against it. Results: We demonstrate clear and substantial strengths and weaknesses of the current
smallpox revaccination program, intrinsic to the vaccine itself. We also identify a
number of threats which may jeopardize the success of the current program, chief
among them the appearance of severe complications of vaccination. It is clear that a
generation of knowledge on smallpox vaccination is lacking, and that there is a need
for improved physician education and dissipation of misconceptions that are prevalent
in the public today. Conclusions: SWOT analysis is a practical tool for the study of
public health policy decisions and the social and political contexts in which they are reached.