Who Should Not Get the Smallpox Vaccine?
Who should not get the smallpox vaccine? The smallpox vaccine has been effective in preventing smallpox infection in 95 percent of those vaccinated. However, if there is no smallpox outbreak, people in certain situations should not receive the smallpox vaccine or should wait. This generally includes those with skin problems, immune system problems, and heart problems, as well as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If there is no smallpox outbreak, people in certain situations should not receive the smallpox vaccine or should wait. This includes people with:
- Skin problems
- Immune system problems
- Heart problems.
Also, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not receive the smallpox vaccine.
Other reasons why you should not get the smallpox vaccine include:
- If you are very allergic to polymyxin B, streptomycin, chlortetracycline, neomycin, or latex
- If you had a bad reaction the last time you got the smallpox vaccine
- If you are using steroid drops in your eyes
- If you are moderately or severely ill the day of your vaccination appointment; wait until you are better before getting the smallpox vaccine.
You should not get the smallpox vaccine if you live with or have close physical contact with anyone who:
- Has any of the skin problems listed above
- Has any of the immune system problems listed above
- Is pregnant or may become pregnant within 4 weeks of your vaccination.
The smallpox vaccine may pose a similar risk to them.
Smallpox vaccine is not routinely recommended for anyone under 18 years of age or for older people. People age 65 or older who do not have any of the conditions listed above should talk to their healthcare provider before getting the vaccine.
If there is a smallpox outbreak, these restrictions may not apply. Public health experts will say who should get the vaccine at that time.