1 table omitted
During the civilian smallpox vaccination program, CDC and state health
departments are conducting surveillance for vaccine-associated adverse events.
In the first stage of the program, active surveillance is being conducted
for potentially life-threatening, moderate-to-severe, and other serious adverse
events and for vaccinia transmission to contacts of vaccinees.1 Nonserious
events are reported via passive surveillance and are expected to be underreported.
This report summarizes smallpox vaccine adverse events reported among civilians
vaccinated as of February 14, 2003, and received by CDC from the Vaccine Adverse
Event Reporting System (VAERS) as of February 18.
Potentially life-threatening and moderate-to-serious events are classified
on the basis of evidence in support of the reported diagnoses. For probable
cases, other causes are excluded, and supportive information is available.
Events are classified as suspected if they have clinical features compatible
with the diagnosis but either further investigation is required or additional
investigation of the case did not provide supporting evidence for the diagnosis
and did not identify an alternative diagnosis. CDC and state health departments
also receive reports of other events that are associated temporally with smallpox
vaccination. Reported adverse events are not necessarily associated with vaccination,
and some or all of these events might be coincidental.
During January 24–February 14, 2003, smallpox vaccine was administered
to 4,213 civilian health-care workers in 27 jurisdictions. No potentially
life threatening or moderate-to-severe adverse events have been reported.
Among seven vaccinees with reported nonserious adverse events, the most common
signs and symptoms were fever (n = two), rash (n = two), malaise (n = two),
pruritus (n = two), hypertension (n = two), and pharyngitis (n = two). Surveillance
for adverse events during the civilian smallpox vaccination program is ongoing.
Regular surveillance reports will be published in MMWR.
Smallpox Vaccine Adverse Events Among Civilians—United States, January 24–February 18, 2003. JAMA. 2003;289(12):1497-1498. doi:10.1001/jama.289.12.1497