Tag: ACAM2000

Smallpox Vaccine

Smallpox was officially declared to have been eradicated in 1980.

Not eliminated. Not eradicated in the United States. It was eradicated.

Smallpox was officially declared to have been eradicated worldwide in 1980.
Smallpox was officially declared to have been eradicated worldwide in 1980.

When was the last case of smallpox?

The last wild case occurred in 1977, in Somalia. Another case occurred in 1978, but that followed a lab accident in Birmingham, England.

We still have stocks of the smallpox virus in at least two secure laboratories and with the risk that smallpox can be used as a biological weapon, we still have a smallpox vaccine.

Smallpox Vaccine

It isn’t for just anyone though.

The live, attenuated smallpox vaccine made vaccinia virus, ACAM2000, is given as a single dose to those who are at high risk for getting smallpox.

The latest version of the smallpox vaccine was licensed in 2007 and replaced Dryvax, the previous vaccine.

The routine civilian production and distribution of a smallpox vaccine ended in 1983. We had already stopped routinely vaccinating people long before that though. Routine smallpox vaccination, which was typically given when children were about 12 months old, ended in 1972 in the United States.

More on the Smallpox Vaccine