About Smallpox

Smallpox is an ancient disease caused by the variola virus. For centuries, smallpox killed millions of people around the world.  The disease would start with fever and fatigue prior to an unsightly rash appearing on the face, arms, and legs of a victim. The virus would cripple the immune system by attacking molecules made by our bodies to block viral replication. Commonly 30 percent of those infected would die from the disease.

In 1980, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared successful global eradication of smallpox due to a worldwide vaccination program. However, the threat of small pox still exists today through bioterrorism and the risk of natural re-emergence. Around the world, countries are prepared to combat outbreak scenarios with smallpox vaccine stockpiles.

The smallpox vaccine protects people from smallpox by helping their bodies develop immunity to the disease. Vaccinations for smallpox in civilians stopped about 40 years ago, and it is estimated that the majority of the world population has no existing immunity to it. Only military personnel are routinely vaccinated against smallpox.

About the Study

Smallpox vaccine stockpiles are considered necessary as an effective countermeasure in case of an outbreak scenario. The CDC is collaborating with vaccine manufacturers to make a new, safer vaccine to keep in the stockpile.

Rochester Clinical Research is participating in a study evaluating the safety and effectiveness of a new vaccine to protect against smallpox. This study will last approximately 39 weeks with six visits to our office and one telephone call. The study vaccine is freeze dried (not live) which is believed to offer many advantages in terms of prolonging shelf life and storage for stockpiling pre-outbreak, and for potential use in a post-outbreak scenario.

Compensation is available up to $475 for time and travel for those who qualify.


  • Be 18-45 years old
  • Not have a history of pox-virus based vaccine (This would exclude US military service prior to 1991 or after January 2003)
  • Not taking any immune modifying drugs
  • Not allergic to eggs
  • *Please note, other conditions may apply.