The talk of a possible smallpox outbreak has some Missourians who were born in the 1960’s and earlier wondering whether the smallpox vaccinations we received still offer protection. Doctor Howard Pue of the Missouri Department of Health says it’s safe to assume the protection wore off a long time ago. Smallpox was considered eradicated in 1972, and from then on, smallpox vaccinations were no longer routinely given to children. Doctor Pue says those who were vaccinated prior to that time are probably no longer immune to smallpox. But, he says, there is the possibility of a small amount of residual protection. Just the same, Doctor Pue points out the chance of a smallpox outbreak is extremely low.
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