The Eradication of Smallpox

Gardner W. Smith, John L. Sandford, James R. Hillard, Joel G. Breman

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To the Editor: In the November 27 issue Drs. Breman and Arita documented a truly epic accomplishment in the history of medicine: the deliberate and successful worldwide eradication of smallpox as a human disease. In the light of this signal success, they conclude that “smallpox vaccination is justified only for investigators who are at special risk.” Otherwise, the cessation of smallpox vaccination is recommended by the Global Commission, by WHO, and, tacitly, by the authors. It is a tragic commentary on our state of affairs that this recommendation is in fact inappropriate. On medical and epidemiologic grounds such a policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-736
Number of pages2
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 19 1981


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