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December 21, 1994

Vaccinia-Based Immunization May Be On the Way

JAMA. 1994;272(23):1810. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520230022009

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A MAJOR barrier to using vaccinia virus recombinants for immunization has been—theoretically—overcome. This achievement, although still in its experimental stages, could ultimately revolutionize vaccines, predicts Parker A. Small, MD, professor of immunology and professor of pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville. Small is principal investigator of the group that reported their first results in last month's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (1994;91:11187-11191).

"Our research suggests that recombinant vaccinia virus can be used to fulfill all of the requirements laid down by the Children's Vaccine Initiative. If our work pans out, the vaccine will be orally administered, inexpensive, multivalent, temperature stable, effective, and safe. I predict that in 15 years children around the world will be immunized with this agent," Small says.

The Gainesville group, which includes Catherine Meitin, MD, and Bradley Bender, MD, hopes to use enterically coated vaccinia virus that contains the gene

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