CDC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CDC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Smallpox vaccine needle. Tip of a bifurcated needle that is used to vaccinate people against the Variola (smallpox) virus. The space between the two points of the needle contains a droplet of vaccine solution. The tip of the needle is repeatedly jabbed into the skin of the upper arm to apply the vaccine. Smallpox vaccine is derived from the lymph fluid of calves that have been infected with cowpox virus (Vaccinia), a virus closely related to smallpox. Smallpox was globally eradicated in 1979 due to the effectiveness of vaccination. Despite this, a risk of re-introduction of smallpox exists due to the threat of bioterrorism.
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