Lassa virus (LASV) is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in West Africa annually. Genetic diversity among LASV strains is the highest among the Arenaviridae and represents a great challenge for vaccine development. Guinea pigs vaccinated with a ML29 reassortant vaccine experienced sterilizing immunity and complete protection when challenged on day 30 either with homologous virus or with the distantly related Nigerian isolate. Simultaneous vaccination-challenge or challenge on day 2 after vaccination also protected 60-100% of the animals against both strains, but without sterilizing immunity. These results indicate that simultaneous replication of ML29 and LASV attenuates the virulence of LASV infection.