News of the WeekSMALLPOX VACCINES

New Cache Eases Shortage Worries

Science  05 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5565, pp. 25-27
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5565.25

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Summary

A new study has found that the 15.4 million doses of aging smallpox vaccine currently in the U.S. stockpile--an amount considered woefully inadequate--can be safely diluted by a factor of 5 or 10 without losing their potency. And, in another unexpected windfall, Aventis Pasteur has just announced that it plans to donate to the government about 85 million additional doses of a similar vaccine that have been stored in its freezers for about 40 years.