Boomers are vulnerable to smallpox

Traditional threat-estimates of smallpox operate on the assumption that people like my folks, immunized in the fiftes, are immune. Not so fast -- turns out that most boomers' invulnerability has worn off.
The bad news comes from a study of 621 microbiologists in Maryland who received fresh vaccinations between 1994 and 2001 to protect them in their work. Only about 40, or just 6 per cent, were still immune from their earlier vaccinations.

"The study is, to the best of my knowledge, the only one since eradication which tries to look at the durability of immunity," says lead author Michael Sauri, director of the Occupational Medicine Clinic in Maryland. "It's showing us that after 20 years immunity is not going to be there."

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