No serious reactions in first 4,200 civilians to get smallpox shots

Feb 20, 2003 (CIDRAP News) Ð No serious adversereactions have been reported among the first 4,213 civilian healthcare workersvaccinated against smallpox, according to the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC).

"No potentially life threatening or moderate-to-severeadverse events have been reported," the CDC says in the Feb 21 issue of Morbidityand Mortality Weekly Report, releasedtoday. The agency says 4,213 healthcare workers in 26 states and one county(Los Angeles) were vaccinated between Jan 24, when the civilian programstarted, and Feb 14.

The CDC is conducting active surveillance for seriousvaccination complications, using monitors at hospitals and other sites."Nonserious events are reported via passive surveillance and are expectedto be underreported," the MMWRarticle noted.

The agency said minor adverse events have been reported inseven people so far. The most common signs and symptoms, each occurring in twoof the seven people, included fever, rash, malaise, pruritus, hypertension, andpharyngitis.

Last week the Department of Defense reported several seriousadverse events among the more than 100,000 military personnel who have receivedsmallpox shots recently. These included two cases of encephalitis and one caseof myocarditis that may have been triggered by the shots. In addition, sevensoldiers had possible cases of generalized vaccinia and one had a possible caseof ocular vaccinia. All of the patients were reported to be recovering or fullyrecovered.

CDC. Smallpox vaccine adverse events amongciviliansÑUnited States, January 24ÐFebruary 18, 2003. MMWR 2003Feb 21;52(7):136 [Full text]

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