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December 27, 2000

Omitted Acknowledgment

JAMA. 2000;284(24):3129. doi:10.1001/jama.284.24.3129

In the Original Contribution entitled "Postlicensure Safety Surveillance for Varicella Vaccine" published in the September 13, 2000, issue of THE JOURNAL (2000;284:1271-1279), several contributors to the data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) were omitted from the Acknowledgment. During the primary analysis period (March 1995 through July 25, 1998) the Columbia University laboratory of Drs Phillip LaRussa, Sharon Steinberg, and Anne Gershon conducted the polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses to identify varicella-zoster virus and to distinguish the vaccine strain from wild-type strains. They worked under contract to the Varicella Zoster Virus Identification Program at Merck & Co Inc. VAERS received the results of these analyses from Merck as individual case reports. Although the article mentioned that the National Varicella Reference Laboratory at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention performs these analyses, during the time covered by the study only the Columbia University laboratory had this capability. In cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Merck also operates the varicella vaccine pregnancy registry, where Kristine Shields provided detailed information about multiple cases.