From the Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases (Dr. Sejvar), Division of HIV, STD, and TB Laboratory Research (Dr. Boneva); National Center for Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology and Surveillance Division, National Immunization Program (Drs. Lane and Iskander); and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
Severe Headaches Following Smallpox Vaccination
Article first published online: 3 SEP 2009
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Volume 45, Issue 1, pages 87–88, January 2005
How to Cite
Sejvar, J., Boneva, R., Lane, J. M. and Iskander, J. (2005), Severe Headaches Following Smallpox Vaccination. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 45: 87–88. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2005.t01-5-05013.x
- Issue published online: 3 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 3 SEP 2009
- Accepted for publication July 30, 2004.
- smallpox vaccination;
- adverse events
Headaches are common following smallpox vaccination; the re-introduction of civilian vaccination necessitates better understanding of the clinical features and outcome of postvaccination headache. We identified patients reporting headache following vaccination from among those reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System to characterize demographic and clinical features. One-hundred and eight reports were obtained from among 627 smallpox vaccine-related reports, including 15 hospitalized persons. None had neurologic dysfunction or acute laboratory abnormalities; headache resolved in all except 2 hospitalized patients within 3 months. Severe headache following smallpox vaccination is generally transient, but debilitating headache may occur and further characterization is needed.