Study shows few serious problems among smallpox vaccinees

first_imgDec 14, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Exactly 100 of about 38,000 civilians who received smallpox shots in a federal program in 2003 suffered serious adverse events afterward, signaling that the program successfully screened out most people at risk for complications, according to a recent report.The safety monitoring system “achieved its goal of safe administration of smallpox vaccine among a limited number of DHHS [Department of Health and Human Services] volunteers through successful exclusion of at-risk individuals and rapid detection of unexpected adverse events,” says the report, published in the Dec 7 Journal of the American Medical Association.The authors, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), analyzed adverse events reported as a result of the smallpox vaccination program from January through October of 2003. HHS launched the program for healthcare and emergency response workers out of concern about the possibility of a terrorist release of smallpox virus. The report’s first author is Christine G. Casey, MD, of the CDC’s National Immunization Program.Authorities originally hoped to vaccinate as many as 500,000 health workers, but only 37,901 received shots by the end of October 2003. Hospital and public health workers constituted 95% of those, with law enforcement and firefighters making up most of the rest, the report says. Most of the vaccinees (64%) were women, and more than 75% of them were between 40 and 64 years old and had received a smallpox shot before.The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) received 822 adverse-event reports related to the vaccinations, the report says. Of these, 100 were classified as serious events, for a rate of 26.4 per 10,000 vaccinees.Of the 100 serious events, 85 involved hospitalization or prolongation of hospitalization. Two people suffered permanent disability, and 10 experienced a life-threatening illness. The serious events included 21 classified as myopericarditis and 10 classified as ischemic events that were not expected on the basis of patient histories. Those 10 included six myocardial infarctions, two of which were fatal, and four cases of new or increased angina. Two cases of dilated cardiomyopathy occurring 2 to 3 months after vaccination were also reported.As a result of cardiac adverse events in both civilian and military smallpox vaccinees, the CDC issued a Health Alert Notice on Mar 26, 2003, that described the events and recommended deferring vaccination for at-risk people. None of the 10 ischemic cardiac events in vaccinees occurred after the alert notice triggered cardiac screening of potential vacccinees, the report says.The authors note that US military personnel recently vaccinated against smallpox have had a significantly increased rate of myocarditis, compared with unvaccinated military members. However, the report says the rate of ischemic cardiac events in civilian vaccinees does not appear to exceed the rate in a comparable unvaccinated population.”Whether smallpox vaccination is causally associated with ischemic events remains uncertain,” the authors write.Two cases of generalized vaccinia and one case of postvaccinial encephalitis were reported in the program. But there were no cases of transmission of vaccinia (the vaccine virus) to others and no severe reactions requiring treatment with vaccinia immune globulin.Among the 722 “nonserious” adverse events reported, the most common signs and symptoms were fever, 18.9%; rash, 18.4%; pain, 16.0%; headache, 15.2%; fatigue, 13.5%; and pruritus, 13.4%. Compared with those reporting nonserious events, people reporting serious events were more likely to be older than 40 (81% versus 64%).People who had been vaccinated previously were slightly overrepresented among the vaccinees with serious adverse events, the authors found. They say this is not surprising, since the revaccinees were older than the primary vaccinees and may have had a higher risk of adverse events because of age-related underlying chronic disease.The rates of expected, preventable, and noncardiac adverse events in the civilian vaccinees were about the same as rates in the much larger military vaccination program, the authors found.Casey CG, Iskander JK, Roper MH, et al. Adverse events associated with smallpox vaccination in the United States, January-October 2003. JAMA 2005 Dec 7;294(21):2734-43 [Abstract]See also:Safety summary for Department of Defense smallpox vaccination program read more

Women of Troy fall to Colorado, beat Utah

first_imgOn paper, the Women of Troy (8-2-2, 2-1-0 Pac-12) dominated the first game, outshooting Colorado (8-4-0, 2-1-0) by wide a wide margin, including a 14-0 advantage in corner kicks. Yet when the final horn sounded Friday, the final score stood in stark contrast to the statistics: Colorado 1, USC 0.Two days later, however, the Women of Troy outlasted the Utes (7-2-3, 0-2-1) by a score 2-0.The lone goal of the Friday’s game came off a surprising counterattack in the fifth minute initiated by a goal kick from Colorado’s Kate Scheele directly to forward Madison Krauser, who beat the defense and angled a shot perfectly past leaping USC senior goalkeeper Caroline Stanley. The early goal proved to be the difference, as the Women of Troy were unable to equalize during the next 85 minutes, despite four shots on goal and multiple attempts that just barely missed the crossbar.As the first conference loss of the season for the Women of Troy, the defeat was disappointing, especially considering that the chances to win were certainly there.“Friday was a bummer, not only because we lost and conceded a goal, but also because we gave up the goal early,” Stanley said. “After that game, we wanted to wash out the game and refocus our mentality.”Though the loss stung, USC head coach Keidane McAlpine wasn’t overly concerned with the outcome.“All in all I actually thought we played pretty well,” McAlpine said. “We were just a half step off and didn’t quite find that extra gear when we needed it. Give credit to Colorado, they learned their lesson from their first conference loss and gritted their way through this game.”With another matchup looming, there wasn’t much time to dwell on the loss. Clad in pink headbands and wristbands to raise breast cancer awareness, the Women of Troy put together 90 minutes of solid soccer and got past Utah on Sunday.“We came out today and had an awesome game, especially defensively,” Stanley said. “We switched some things up and we played really solid. Today was a good win and a good shutout for the defense. Our forwards finished their chances as well. Overall, we took care of business … you can’t ask for much more than that.”McAlpine was also pleased with his team’s performance.“There was a definite difference between Friday’s game and [Sunday]’s game,” the first-year coach said. “In both games we were aggressive early, which I like to see, but today we were able to stick them in neck. We played with a ton of energy today and that is something this team is built to do. Utah wanted to play slow today but we wanted to speed the game up, and ultimately, we were able to do that.”The defense was stout the entire game, as evidenced by the shutout, but even more comforting for USC fans were the team’s two goals. Senior midfielder Alex Quincey, who now has a team-leading nine on the season, scored both. She was close to putting a third away in the second half on a one-on-one with Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke, but her shot sailed just wide to the right.“Obviously you need someone on the team to score in order to win, and today it just happened to be me,” Quincey said. “We were kinda bummed from losing against Colorado on Friday so it was great to come out today and get a win.”Junior midfielder Reilly Parker, who soundly struck a first-half corner kick into the box that found Quincey’s head for the score, set one of Quincey’s goals up beautifully.“Reilly [Parker] was great, she kicked the corner kick right to me, almost like she was serving it to me on a silver platter,” Quincey said. “All I had to do was just get a head on it, and luckily I did and finished the goal.”McAlpine was also pleased to see the offense find its way once again, especially after the team made a point to spend time working on some offensive situations in between the two games.“We didn’t capitalize Friday, so we spent a little time Saturday making sure we were in the right places and being a little more hungry in terms of our scoring attitude,” he said. “And even though there was a lot of offensive pressure, there are still a few places in which we need to improve.”Even with improvements yet to be made, the team is confident that they are headed in the right direction. The win Sunday helps to numb the sting of defeat inflicted after the Colorado game and has the Women of Troy back on the right foot heading into a critical week of their season.This Friday, they will square off against No. 12 Cal, followed by a matchup against No. 3-ranked Stanford on Sunday. Both games will be played at McAlister Field, and each will provide the Women of Troy with a huge opportunity to prove themselves against top-end competition. The team will look to build off of their bounce-back performance Sunday in order to prepare.“Everybody is doing great right now, and the defense is making my life easy,” Stanley said. “The offense needed to focus on putting away some chances after Friday, and they did that. Both collectively and individually we focused on starting fast and applying pressure, because we knew that would be a key to winning the game. All 11 players did that today, and as you can see, we got it done.” After defeating Arizona 3-0 on the road in their Pac-12 Conference opener on Sept. 26, the USC women’s soccer team returned home this weekend looking to keep the ball rolling against Colorado and Utah.Setting the table · Junior midfielder Reilly Parker set up one of the Women of Troy’s two goals against Utah with a beautiful corner kick. – Brian Ji | Daily Trojanlast_img read more