Abstract

A standard challenge with percutaneous smallpox vaccine was administered to 629 children six to 12 months after percutaneous primary inoculation with one of four vaccines (New York City Board of Health strains grown in calf lymph or chorioallantoic membranes, the Lister vaccine, or the CV-I strain). Of those who had had major reactions on primary vaccination, 8%–21% responded to revaccination with a typical primary-type skin response. In contrast, such a primary-type response occurred in 50% of those who on primary vaccination had developed serum antibody in the absence of major reactions and in 83% of those who had had no serologic or clinical evidence of primary "take." Skin lesions on revaccination tended to be largest in those whose primary vaccination was with CV-I, although fever and minor complications were not more frequent. Moreover, even in children who had received CV-I vaccine, skin responses to challenge vaccine were clearly attenuated when compared with responses of children who had not had takes on primary vaccination. Sizes of lesions and acceleration of skin erythema after challenge were related in most children to titers of both hemagglutination-inhibiting and neutralizing antibody at the time of revaccination. One month after revaccination, neutralizing antibody was present in 93%–96% of those with takes on primary vaccination with New York City or Lister vaccines, but only 75% of CV-1 vaccinees.

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