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SLU Researchers Test New Smallpox Drug

(KWMU staff)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Saint Louis University researchers are looking for volunteers to help them study two new smallpox vaccines.

The study is comparing new lab-made medicines with Dryvax, a long-used treatment that comes from calves.

Researcher Dr. Sharon Frey says bioterrorism concerns led to the drugs' development.

"The vaccine would be made available to the general public should they need to be vaccinated in the event of a release of smallpox," Frey said. "However it will also be provided to people who normally get vaccinated."

At only 15 million doses, the current national smallpox vaccine stock is inadequate for the entire population.

Frey says 90 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are needed for the study.