A facility in Irondequoit, New York, is one of 40 locations in the United States testing a vaccine against smallpox that was made available in Europe a few years ago.
The Irondequoit-based Rochester Clinical Research is one of 40 locations that will test a combined total of 4,000 people. RCR is enrolling 115 adults between the ages of 18 and 40 for the study who were never vaccinated against smallpox, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.
Patricia Larrabee, the founder and chief executive officer of RCR, said that the testing is part of general preparedness against disease. Smallpox was eradicated in the U.S. in 1949. Larrabee said that people should be more concerned about this season’s flu outbreak than smallpox.
Larrabee said that there is no immediate risk of smallpox and that people should volunteer for the study out of altruism.
The study will involve two vaccinations in addition to follow up visits. The study will last approximately 34 weeks. Compensation will be given to participants for time and travel, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.
Smallpox was eradicated worldwide decades ago. The last known naturally occurring case in the world occurred in 1977 in Somalia. The disease was also eliminated from the world vaccination routine because it was no longer needed for prevention, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.