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Smallpox Vaccine Can Be Fatal to ME/CFIDS Patients

     In the October issue of the Journal of the America Medical Association
(JAMA), a former CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) researcher,
Dr. John Neff and his research team found that getting a smallpox vaccination or
even being around a person who recently had the vaccine could be harmful with
those with weakened immune systems or a history of eczema.  The vaccine
contains a less virulent relative of smallpox called vaccinia and people with skin
disorders can spread the virus across their own skin which can infect others who
are not vaccinated.  After a dose of live virus, a small, inflamed lump forms in 2 to
5 days.  This fills with pus and reaches the maximum size in 8 to 10 days.  Live
virus is shed from this time until the scab drops off 2-3 weeks following the

    The research was based upon mass vaccinations in the United States, Britain,
and Sweden from the 1940's to the 1960's.  Youngsters under the age of 5 are very
vulnerable.  While the risk of contact vaccinia is not large, those with ME/CFIDS
are at risk.  Widespread vaccinations ceased in 1972 for smallpox making nearly
everyone born after that date more vulnerable.  Those receiving the vaccination
could remain able to spread the vaccinia for a full 19 days! The JAMA article calls
for a surveillance effort that should be implemented to reduce the spread of the
disease.  Vaccinia is characterized by a rash.  When one's immune system is
impaired, this virus can lead to encephalitis and death.  

    At this writing, there has not been a case of smallpox in the United States in
decades.  It is clear that smallpox poses a risk, but it is even more clear that
vaccination poses a greater risk for those with compromised immune systems from
ME/CFIDS, AIDS, organ transplants, and chemotherapy.  It is a hypothetical
threat and, with genetic engineering so absurdly easy now, a more virulent form
may already have been made by what the government perceives to be a threatening
nation and inoculations could only give a very temporary gain.  We feel the
question of vaccinations, as the Washington Post reported that Senator Judd Gregg
said, "should be made by individuals and their doctors --- not the federal

    Heath and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has declined to have
the innoculation.  He said, "I do not believe it is necessary or should be taking
place."  Please avoid all emergency rooms and hospitals if possible and stay far
away from those who have had the innoculation.  We really don't enjoy adding
names to our Memorial List.

The National CFIDS Foundation * 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492 * (781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606