A 29-year-old member asked:
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if my parents had the smallpox vaccination, are they still immune 30-40 years later?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Martin Raff
55 years experience Infectious Disease
Yes: The vaccination is with a live cowpox virus and for most individuals provides lifelong lasting immunity.
Answered on Oct 9, 2017
Dr. Heidi Fowler
24 years experience Psychiatry
Agree w Dr. Raff: A study called “Duration of antiviral immunity after smallpox vaccination.” Hammarlund E. etal (Nat Med 2003) showed that >90 % of volunteers vaccinated 25 to 75 years prior still had significant humoral / cellular immunity. ** http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12925846**
Answered on Oct 9, 2017
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1 comment
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff commented
55 years experience Infectious Disease
In addition, the anamnestic response (immune memory) remains intact in almost all persons who developed antibodies to this virus. Of interest is the fact that immunization with the cowpox virus will not protect you from getting cowpox. This was proven by Jenner in his original studies.
Oct 6, 2014

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A 36-year-old member asked:
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Smallpox: The American public has not received routine smallpox vaccinations since 1972. All natural sources of smallpox have been eradicated. The government o ... Read More
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Dr. Larry Lutwick
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For most people, no.: Routine smallpox vaccination was abandoned decades ago because natural smallpox did not exist and side effects occurred from the vaccine.
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A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Heidi Fowler
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