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Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2003 Jul;14(3):189-95.

Adverse events occurring after smallpox vaccination.

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Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, 869 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA.


We reviewed the literature on adverse events reported to occur after smallpox vaccination. Nearly one-half of the United States population is vaccinia-naïve and may be at risk for development of serious adverse events. We describe the clinical features of postvaccinial central nervous system disease, progressive vaccinia, eczema vaccinatum, accidental implantations, "generalized vaccinia," and the common erythematous and/or urticarial rashes. In the 1960s, death occurred approximately once in every million primary vaccinations, with fatalities resulting from progressive vaccinia, postvaccinial encephalitis, and eczema vaccinatum. Death in revaccinees occurred less commonly and almost entirely from progressive vaccinia. In today's population, death rates might be higher because of the increased prevalence of immune deficiency and atopic dermatitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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