The US smallpox vaccination program: a review of a large modern era smallpox vaccination implementation program

Vaccine. 2005 Mar 18;23(17-18):2078-81. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2005.01.012.


We describe the US experience with a large-scale smallpox vaccination program in the modern era and quantify the anticipated and unanticipated local and systemic side-effects of smallpox vaccination. In addition, we review unexpected issues, such as the development of myopericarditis discovered during the implementation of this program. These results constitute the largest dataset of a vaccinia vaccination program utilizing calf-lymph derived New York City Board of Health strain vaccine (Dryvax, Wyeth) since the 1970s. These results should inform current and future vaccinia vaccination programs and provide a historical rate of complications against which candidate vaccine side-effects can be compared in future clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cattle
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Vaccination* / adverse effects
  • Mass Vaccination* / methods
  • Military Personnel
  • Myocarditis / etiology
  • National Health Programs*
  • Pericarditis / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Safety
  • Smallpox Vaccine* / adverse effects
  • Smallpox Vaccine* / isolation & purification
  • United States


  • Smallpox Vaccine