Published in Vaccine Weekly, October 22nd, 2003
We live in fear of a potentially devastating release of the virus by terrorists because our current smallpox vaccine, though very effective in providing immunity, relies on using the live vaccinia (once called "cowpox") virus that is itself deadly dangerous to a small percentage of the people that would be vaccinated. Though mass vaccination would make us safe from this greatest of all bioterrors, the risks and the real cost in human lives has kept us from taking this step.
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