Researchers test side effects of new smallpox vaccine

Researchers at the University of Kentucky are involved in a new study of an experimental smallpox vaccine being developed by Bavarian Nordic. Imvamune contains a non-replicating vaccinia virus which is intended to make the experimental vaccine safer than the existing vaccine.

Researchers are testing the vaccine's affect on patients with eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. This population can experience life-threatening side effects when exposed to the current vaccine and researchers want to gain a better understanding of the new vaccine's impact on the same group of people. The researchers will gauge their immune response and any side effects.

There's been no outbreak of smallpox in the past 31 years. But the U.S. and other countries remain concerned that terrorist groups could develop a devastating weapon if they obtain the smallpox virus. It's only known to exist in two laboratories.

- read the report in the Kentucky Herald-Leader