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Small Pox Vaccination and HIV
Nov 6, 2001

Should HIV/AIDS patients be vaccinated against Small Pox? If not, what should we do to protect ourselves in the event of a breakout? What would our chances of survival be?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

If and when the smallpox vaccine becomes available again, it would be unwise for anyone with an impaired imune system to be vaccinated. This is because this is a live virus vaccine, which can itself cause disease in an immunodeficient person. The general odds of surviving an attack of smallpox is 2 out of 3-- that is, 1 in every 3 persons with smallpox will die. Let's hope that the need for smallpox vaccination is idle speculation!


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