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Release: June 20, 2002

Individuals invited to participate in smallpox vaccine study

Healthy individuals between the ages of 18 and 32 who have never been vaccinated against smallpox are invited to participate in a University of Iowa study aimed at increasing current stocks of the smallpox vaccine. Participants will be inoculated with specific dilutions of smallpox vaccine to see if an immunological response takes place.

People who have skin disorders, such as eczema, or weakened immune systems are not eligible to participate. In addition, due to the rare possibility of accidental inoculation of other people, participants must not have frequent occupational or household contact with infants less than 12 months of age or occupational, household or sexual contact with women who are pregnant and people with skin disorders or immune system problems. Female participants must not be pregnant or planning to get pregnant during the study period, and women of childbearing potential will be required to use acceptable contraception.

Eligible participants will receive an initial vaccination at the UI General Clinical Research Center, then return to the clinic for seven to eight visits over two months. There also will be a follow-up telephone call by six months after the initial vaccination. Compensation will be provided.

Most people between the ages of 18 and 32 who live in the United States have never been vaccinated against smallpox. Common use of the vaccine was stopped in 1971, and the U.S. military stopped routinely vaccinating its troops a few years ago.

The UI is one of four institutions nationwide participating in the study, which is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The UI portion of the investigation is being led by Jack Stapleton, M.D., professor in the infectious diseases division in the UI Department of Internal Medicine and director of the Helen C. Levitt Center for Viral Pathogenesis.

For more information, call (319) 384-9017 during regular business hours or call (319) 384-8727 and leave a message.

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