RealNews

Smallpox Vaccine's Protection May Last Decades

Many of the 120 million Americans who were vaccinated against smallpox more than 30 years ago may still have enough immunity against the disease to protect them from fatal infection, should the virus ever be used as a biological weapon. That is the conclusion of a study, published yesterday, that examined the immune systems of more than 100 people immunized against smallpox before 1972, when that vaccination ceased being routine for U.S. children. The findings suggest the United States may be less vulnerable than previously believed to the worst-case bioterrorism scenario — intentional release of the smallpox virus. However, they are not likely to change the federal government’s current effort to vaccinate about 400,000 people who would be most likely to have initial contact with victims of a smallpox attack. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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