Return to Index
What Is Smallpox?
- High fever
- Body aches
What Is the Smallpox Vaccine?
Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?
What Are the Risks Associated With the Smallpox Vaccine?
- Rash and itching
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Body aches
- Soreness in the arm
- Inflammation of the heart muscle or sac around the heart
- Swelling of the brain or spinal cord
- Infection at the site of the vaccine
- Severe allergic reaction
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?
- People who have had a previous allergic reaction to the vaccine or any of its components
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- Children less than 12 months old
- People with eczema or who have had a history of eczema or other skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis
- People with skin conditions, such as burns, chickenpox, shingles, impetigo, severe acne, or psoriasis—wait until healed before getting the vaccine
- People with heart disease, heart conditions, multiple risk factors for heart disease, or stroke-like symptoms
- People with weakened immune systems (such as those who have received a transplant, have HIV, are receiving cancer treatment, or are taking medicines that suppress the immune system, including steroids)
What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Department of Health & Human Services http://www.hhs.gov
Emergency preparedness and response. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/smallpox/vaccination/vaccine.asp. Accessed November 30, 2012.
Medication guide: Smallpox (vaccinia) vaccine, live. Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM142576.pdf. Updated October 2009. Accessed November 30, 2012.
People who should not get the smallpox vaccine. US Department of Health & Human Services website. Available at: http://www.hhs.gov/smallpox/whonotvaccinated.html. Accessed June 13, 2007.
Smallpox. World Health Organization website. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/smallpox/en. Accessed February 6, 2007.
Smallpox disease overview. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/smallpox/overview/disease-facts.asp. Updated December 30, 2004. Accessed November 30, 2012.
- Reviewer: David L Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 12/2013
- Update Date: 01/13/2014