It was also before the last case of wild smallpox was found (1977).
Because smallpox had been declared eliminated in North America long before (1952), following the last natural outbreak of smallpox in the United States (1949).
Should I Be Worried That My Kids Didn’t Get the Smallpox Vaccine?
Although smallpox has been eradicated, some folks still worry about it.
“There are now only two locations where variola virus is officially stored and handled under WHO supervision: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, and the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology (VECTOR Institute) in Koltsovo, Russia.”CDC on History of Smallpox
Of course, the concern now is not naturally occurring smallpox, but instead bioterrorism.
Could the smallpox virus be made into a weapon to be used in a bioterrorist attack?
We hope not, but if it was, none of us would be immune, not even the folks who were vaccinated long ago. The smallpox vaccine doesn’t provide life-long immunity.
So should you be worried?
“Some people have been vaccinated through the military or because they were part of Smallpox Response Teams that were formed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.”CDC on Why is Smallpox a Concern?
Almost certainly not.
Plans are in place if there ever was a smallpox attack and if necessary, there is actually enough smallpox vaccine stockpiled to vaccinate everyone in the United States!
More on Smallpox Worries
- VAXOPEDIA – Recognizing Old Vaccine Scars
- VAXOPEDIA – Vaccinated vs Unvaccinated – Smallpox Edition
- VAXOPEDIA – The Leicester Method and Smallpox Eradication
- VAXOPEDIA – The Plano Smallpox Outbreak of 1895
- VAXOPEDIA – Which Vaccines Do You Get When You Join the Military?
- VAXOPEDIA – Which Vaccine Is the Most Dangerous?
- MMWR – Smallpox Surveillance — Worldwide (1978)
- CDC – History of Smallpox
- CDC – Why is Smallpox a Concern?
- CDC – How Would CDC Respond to a Smallpox Emergency?
- MMWR – Use of Vaccinia Virus Smallpox Vaccine in Laboratory and Health Care Personnel at Risk for Occupational Exposure to Orthopoxviruses — Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2015
- MMWR – Smallpox Vaccination and Adverse Reactions
- CDC – Smallpox Vaccines
- Smallpox Vaccine Supply & Strength
- WHO – Smallpox
- Strategic National Stockpile
- CDC Interim Guidance for Revaccination of Eligible Persons Who Participated in the US Civilian Smallpox Preparedness and Response Program