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Notice to Readers Smallpox Vaccine Available for Protection of At-Risk Laboratory Workers

In May 1983, the distribution of smallpox vaccine to civilians was discontinued by the only active United States-licensed manufacturer (1). However, smallpox vaccination is still recommended to protect civilian laboratory personnel exposed to orthopox viruses (particularly variola (smallpox) and vaccinia viruses) (2) and persons involved in producing or testing smallpox vaccine. CDC will be the only source of smallpox vaccine for civilians. Vaccine will be provided only to laboratories meeting the sole remaining indication (2) for administration to eligible employees under the supervision of a physician. Vaccine will be shipped to physicians responsible for vaccinating at-risk workers. Requests for vaccine should be sent to:

Immunobiologics Activity Center for Infectious Diseases Building 6, Room 159 Centers for Disease Control Atlanta, Georgia 30333 Attn: Julia Wood (404) 329-3356 Reported by International Health Program Office; Div of Host Factors, Div of Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases; Div of Immunization, Center for Prevention Svcs, CDC.


  1. CDC. Smallpox vaccine no longer available for civilians--United States. MMWR 1983;32:387.

  2. Immunization Practices Advisory Committee. Smallpox vaccine. MMWR 1980;29:417-20.

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