CDC adds cardiac restrictions to smallpox vaccination contraindication list

Issue 6 and Volume 156.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an updated “Interim Smallpox Fact Sheet” for recently vaccinated individuals, which addresses the adverse cardiac effects reported by some individuals who had received the smallpox vaccination. The Fact Sheet states: “There is evidence suggesting that smallpox vaccination may cause cases of heart inflammation (myo-carditis), inflammation of the membrane covering the heart (pericarditis), and a combination of these two problems (myopericarditis). A few cases of heart pain (angina) and heart attack also have been reported following smallpox vaccination. It is not known at this time if smallpox vaccination causes angina or heart attacks.” In view of the adverse cardiac events reported to the CDC, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an advisory committee of the CDC, on March 28, issued recommendations that, at least until further research can be completed, persons with known underlying heart disease and those with three…

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