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Weakened Smallpox Vaccine Being Tested for HIV-Positive Patients

May 11, 2004

Researchers are testing a smallpox vaccine that could be used for those who are HIV-positive, undergoing chemotherapy or otherwise unable to use the existing Dryvax vaccine, Dr. Sharon Frey, of Saint Louis University's Center for Vaccine Development, said Monday. Like Dryvax, MVA-BN, made by Bavarian Nordic, is a live-virus vaccine, but it contains a much-weakened form of smallpox. "The thinking is that the study vaccine is much more attenuated, therefore the side effects should be less," said Frey, adding the hope is that it may be useful for those who are immunosuppressed. The National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored study, the first for MVA-BN in the United States, will enroll 90 adult volunteers into six different groups, with MVA-BN being given in three different dose strengths alone or in combination with Dryvax.

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Excerpted from:
Associated Press
05.10.04




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