ACAM2000 is a live vaccinia virus (a “pox”-type virus) to protect against smallpox disease.
ACAM2000 is indicated for active immunization against smallpox disease for persons determined to be at high risk for smallpox infection.
ACAM2000 smallpox vaccine is not a shot like other vaccines. Your healthcare provider will make 15 pokes in the skin of your upper arm with a needle containing ACAM2000. The pokes are not deep, but will cause a drop of blood to form. This is called the vaccination site.
It is important to care for the vaccination site properly so that the virus doesn’t spread to other parts of your body or to other people. You can infect another part of your body or other people until the scab falls off.
What should I expect at the vaccination site and in the weeks following vaccination?
- If vaccination is successful, a red and itchy bump forms at the vaccination site in 2 to 5 days.
- Over the next few days, the bump becomes a blister and fills with pus.
- During the second week, the blister dries up and a scab forms.
- The scab falls off after 2 to 4 weeks, leaving a scar.
- People vaccinated for the first time may have a larger reaction than those being revaccinated.