Questions & Answers
Smallpox - Vaccine Description
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Vaccine Ingredients

  1. What are the ingredients of smallpox vaccine?

    The vaccine contains live vaccinia virus derived from plaque purification cloning from Dryvax (Wyeth Laboratories, Marietta, PA, calf lymph vaccine, New York City Board of Health Strain) and grown in African Green Monkey kidney (Vero) cells.

    Inactive ingredients: 6-8 mM HEPES (pH 6.5-7.5), 2% human serum albumin USP, 0.5 - 0.7% sodium chloride USP, 5% mannitol USP, and trace amounts of the antibiotics neomycin and polymyxin B.

    Diluent for ACAM2000: 50% (v/v) Glycerin USP, 0.25% (v/v) Phenol USP in Water for Injection USP, 0.3 mLs.

  2. How do I obtain a PCR (polymerase chain reaction assay) for Vaccinia?
    1. PCR (polymerase chain reaction assay for vaccinia) is available through military or state regional laboratories participating in Emergency Response Lab Network. If unable to obtain prompt local support for PCR and culture, contact the Vaccine Healthcare Centers Network by email or telephone. After hours, Call DOD Vaccine Call Center: 1-866-210-6469.
    2. Information on obtaining viral PCR and culture specimens is available on the CDC website: