Although naturally occurring smallpox was eradicated in 1977, there is concern that bioterrorists might obtain smallpox from a laboratory and release it into the population. Under such circumstances, the supply of smallpox vaccine may be insufficient for universal administration. In a study published in the December 2008 issue of The American Journal of Medicine, researchers found that lifetime protection is obtained from just one vaccination, even when that vaccination occurred as much as 88 years ago. They conclude that in the event of a smallpox bioterrorist attack, vaccinia smallpox vaccine should be used first on individuals who have not been vaccinated previously...
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