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Vaccine description
Target disease Smallpox
Type ?
Clinical data
AHFS/Drugs.com Multum Consumer Information
  • US: C (Risk not ruled out)
ATC code
  • none
Legal status
Legal status
  • none

Dryvax is a freeze-dried calf lymph smallpox vaccine. It is the world's oldest smallpox vaccine, created in the late 19th century by American Home Products, a predecessor of Wyeth. By the 1940s, Wyeth was the leading US manufacturer of the vaccine and the only manufacturer by the 1960s. After world health authorities declared smallpox had been eradicated from nature in 1980, Wyeth stopped making the vaccine.[1]

The smallpox vaccine diluent in a syringe alongside a vial of Dryvax dried smallpox vaccine

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) kept a stockpile of the drug to use in case of emergency. In 2003 this supply helped contain an outbreak of monkeypox in the United States. In February 2008 the CDC disposed of the last of its 12 million doses of Dryvax. Its supply is being replaced by ACAM2000, a more modern product manufactured in laboratories by Acambis, now a division of Sanofi Pasteur.[1][2]

Dryvax is a live-virus preparation of vaccinia prepared from calf lymph. Trace amounts of the following antibiotics (added during processing) may be present: neomycin sulfate, chlortetracycline hydrochloride, polymyxin B sulfate, and dihydrostreptomycin sulfate.[3]

The vaccine is effective, providing successful immunogenicity in about 95% of vaccinated persons. Dryvax has serious adverse side-effects in about 1% to 2% of cases.[4]


  1. ^ a b "CDC to Destroy Oldest Smallpox Vaccine". Retrieved 2008-03-02. [dead link]
  2. ^ Safety Surveillance Study of ACAM2000 Vaccinia Vaccine - Full Text View - ClinicalTrials.gov
  3. ^ Wyeth package insert / U.S. Food and Drug administration
  4. ^ Metzger W, Mordmueller BG (2007). "Vaccines for preventing smallpox". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (3): CD004913. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004913.pub2. PMID 17636779.