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Letters
May 19, 2004

Risk of Contact Vaccinia From Immunization Sites—Reply

Author Affiliations
 

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(19):2313-2314. doi:10.1001/jama.291.19.2314-b

In Reply: Dr Lesser notes that the DoD has been vigilant about minimizing potential transfer risks since implementing the vaccinia immunization program. The 2 pivotal standards for medical exemptions from smallpox vaccination are the US Food and Drug Administration–licensed recommendations from the vaccine manufacturer and the recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.1,2 The DoD followed these recommendations to minimize close physical contact with infants until the scab falls off. However, the DoD did not universally restrict immunization of service members with infants younger than 12 months in the home in April 2003, as suggested by Lesser. The US Navy and Marine Corps adopted the more stringent exclusion, administratively exempting troops with an infant in the household, until these troops were no longer in contact with the infant. The screening form Lesser cites was written to identify people with an infant in the household, to allow either additional education for them or temporary administrative exemption (Col John D. Grabenstein, Military Vaccine Agency, US Army Medical Command, Office of the Surgeon General, written communication, April 1, 2004).

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