Re: Is there still a chance for us?

Date: Tue Sep 25 2001 - 20:27:15 MDT

In a message dated 9/25/01 4:23:32 PM, writes:

>One question I had was how long the immunity lasts. If you were vaccinated
>as an
>infant and then re-vaccinated as a young adult and the second did not take
>(no second scar) does that mean you had adequate protection from smallpox
>the time of the second vaccination? And does that provide any indication
>of protection as an adult?

Immunity will decay, but it won't go away barring some serious problem
with your immune system. The nature of smallpox - a slow infection which
kills by destroying so much skin you die of septic complications - means even
light immunity is highly beneficial. There's time to ramp up immunity and
reducing the severity of infection greatly reduces mortality. The old form
of "vaccination" against pox was to insert an infected pox under the skin.
Although the recipient got pox, it was very mild as it's a slower spread
than via the inhaled route. Even that slowing reduced mortality to a
tiny fraction and even largely nixed scarring. So if you've had immunization,
don't worry about yourself.

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