Monitoring the safety of a smallpox vaccination program in the United States: Report of the joint Smallpox Vaccine Safety Working Group of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board

John Neff, John Modlin, Guthrie S. Birkhead, Gregory Poland, Rose Marie Robertson, Kent Sepkowitz, Clyde Yancy, Pierce Gardner, Gregory C. Gray, Toby Maurer, Jane Siegel, Fernando A. Guerra, Tim Berger, W. Dana Flanders, Robert Shope

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In December 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Department of Defense Armed Forces Epidemiological Board formed a joint Smallpox Vaccine Safety Working Group (SVS WG) to provide independent safety oversight for smallpox vaccination safety-monitoring systems. From January 2003 through June 2004, the SVS WG reviewed individual and aggregate safety data on postvaccination adverse events. Serious adverse events were rare because of careful education, prevaccination screening, and strict attention to vaccination-site management. Recent vaccinees safely cared for high-risk patients, adhering to recommended site care. Human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals without severe immunosuppression had uncomplicated vaccination reactions. Epidemiological studies supported a causal relationship between myocarditis and/or pericarditis and smallpox vaccination. Data supported neutrality regarding hypothesized causal associations between vaccination and dilated cardiomyopathy or ischemic cardiac disease. The SVS WG concurs with recommendations to defer from vaccination any person with ≥3 ischemic cardiac disease risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Medicine(all)

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