Will ACAM2000 Be America’s New Vaccine Disaster?

In pre-COVID-19 America, it was widely accepted that being unvaccinated increased others’ risks of infectious disease. Americans were propagandized into holding this notion and it caused widespread animus toward the unvaccinated. Disparaging “anti-vaxxers” was a national past-time.

Vaccine freedom advocates worked tirelessly to prove that the unvaccinated posed no risk to society, providing evidence of this via articles, internet shows, informational materials, and other means. In a sense, they were playing defense, arguing that the unvaccinated weren’t guilty of being dangerous. In discussing the harm from vaccines, they generally focused on harm to the direct recipients of them, in the form of adverse reactions.

All along, the vaccine freedom advocates could have easily flipped the prevailing narrative on its head and gone on the offensive, arguing that the use of vaccines, and thereby action on the part of the vaccinated, was the true culprit in increasing societal risks from infectious agents. This is because, unbeknownst to most Americans, even prior to COVID-19 vaccines, evidence existed that certain vaccines used in the U.S. have negative effects that extend to beyond the vaccinees, having societal impact. These include, among others, strain resistance (e.g., vaccination for whooping cough, vaccination for measles); strain replacement with more dangerous strains (e.g., vaccination for HPV); increases in the incidence of one disease by vaccinating for another one (e.g., vaccination for chickenpox negatively affecting shingles); shedding (e.g., vaccination for chickenpox); shifts in the pattern of infection to a more dangerous one (e.g., vaccination for measles); and interference with natural herd immunity (e.g., vaccination for measles).

The vaccine freedom movement likely steered away from going on the offensive in the manner described above due to concerns that doing so would be mischaracterized as advocating for the prohibition of vaccines and would play into the “anti-vaxxer” rhetoric.

Well, we’re no longer in pre-COVID-19 America. Life takes unexpected turns and so do battles for vaccine freedom. The facts and circumstances surrounding COVID-19 vaccines in the last couple of years have not flown under the public’s radar like those surrounding the childhood vaccines that came before them, and this is turning the prevailing narrative on its head. At this point, there’s broad awareness that the mass use of COVID-19 vaccines has interfered with the development of natural herd immunity and set COVID-19 on a problematic course for all of society. (The role that vaccines have played in COVID-19’s problematic course has been well documented as it’s played out by The HighWire, Children’s Health Defense and

Furthermore, as discussed below, there is potentially another mass vaccine blunder on the horizon in the U.S., with ill effects that will go beyond the health of the vaccinees and spillover into larger society—this time with respect to monkeypox and the use of another problematic vaccine, ACAM2000. If so, this should solidify the turning of perspective regarding vaccines in America.

1. ACAM2000 has been made available for use in the U.S. for monkeypox despite significant risks it poses, including cardiac risks and the risk of spreading vaccinia infections.

Smallpox is caused by infection with the variola virus. Vaccinia infection is caused by infection with the vaccinia virus. Monkeypox is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Each of these viruses is from the poxvirus family, genus Orthopoxvirus. Infection with orthopoxviruses can lead to localized or generalized skin lesions, progressing from papules, to vesicles and scabs and, depending on the species and strains of orthopoxvirus involved, other signs and symptoms can include fever, swollen lymph nodes, malaise, and body aches.

Currently in the U.S., two vaccines may be used for monkeypox: JYNNEOS and ACAM2000. JYNNEOS is FDA approved for use against monkeypox. ACAM2000 is FDA approved for use against smallpox but is being made available for use against monkeypox under an expanded access application. Prior to the recent monkeypox outbreak, ACAM2000 was primarily used in the U.S. in the military and was administered to only select, designated groups within it, not military-wide.

JYNNEOS is administered as a live vaccinia virus that is non-replicating in humans, so inoculation with it does not give rise to an active infection. However, ACAM 2000 is administered as a live vaccinia virus that is replicating in humans, so it does give rise to an infection, which occurs at the inoculation site. Without proper care, the infection can be spread to other parts of the vaccinee’s body, and can spread to others, infecting them.

According to information updated as of August 5, 2022 on the CDC’s website, “The preferred vaccine to protect against monkeypox is JYNNEOS…The ACAM2000 vaccine may be an alternative to JYNNEOS…However, it has the potential for more side effects and adverse events than JYNNEOS. It is not recommended for people with severely weakened immune systems and several other conditions.”

Reportedly, in the U.S., the available supply of JYNNEOS currently does not meet the demand for it. This has resulted in public cries for additional vaccines to be distributed for monkeypox. This author is concerned that the distribution of ACAM2000 will be ramped up, from whatever its current level is, to meet this demand, despite the risks the vaccine poses, some of which are discussed below.

The package insert for ACAM2000 is linked to here. It can also be found on the FDA’s website.

  • The portion of the insert under warnings and precautions discusses the risks the vaccine poses related to myocarditis, pericarditis, ischemic heart disease and non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy and refers to sections 5.1 and 5.2 of the insert. Section 5.1 is entitled “Serious Complications and Death” and Section 5.2 is entitled “Cardiac Disease.” I recommend a careful review of those sections. The cardiac risks posed by ACAM2000 are also discussed further in this article, below.
  • Section 2.4 of the insert states in part, “In an individual vaccinated for the first time (primary vaccination), the expected response to vaccination is the development of a major cutaneous reaction (characterized by a pustule) at the site of inoculation.”
  • Section 17.3 of the insert is entitled “Self-inoculation and Spread to Close Contacts” and states:

Patients must be advised that virus is shed from the cutaneous lesion at the site of inoculation from approximately Day 3 until scabbing occurs, typically between Days 14-21 after primary vaccination. Vaccinia virus may be transmitted by direct physical contact. Accidental infection of skin at sites other than the site of intentional vaccination (self-inoculation) may occur by trauma or scratching. Contact spread may also result in accidental inoculation of household members or other close contacts. The result of accidental infection is a pock lesion(s) at an unwanted site(s) in the vaccinee or contact, and resembles the vaccination site. Self-inoculation occurs most often on the face, eyelid, nose, and mouth, but lesions at any site of traumatic inoculation can occur. Self-inoculation of the eye may result in ocular vaccinia, a potentially serious complication. [Italics added]

Igor Chudov discusses how cardiac risks posed by ACAM2000 compare with those posed by COVID-19 vaccines in his August 2, 2022 Substack article which states in part, with links to supporting information: “We all know how Covid vaccines cause myocarditis among young men at the rate of about 1 in 2,000, right? That’s totally terrible! But the ACAM2000 vaccine causes myopericarditis at the rate of 1 per 175 people, or at a 10-12 times greater rate!” I encourage everyone to read Chudov’s article.

Although U.S. officials have stated that ACAM2000 is being made available for use against monkeypox, this author was unable to locate on-line information of the number of doses of ACAM2000 already distributed in the U.S. and of the jurisdictions that received them. However, the feds have been forthcoming with this information with respect to JYNNEOS. For example, a July 1, 2022 HHS press release provides this specific information as to JYNNEOUS through that date, but vaguely refers to the distribution of “more than [italics added] 800 doses of ACAM2000 to combat the current monkeypox outbreak” and does not identify the receiving jurisdictions. The term “more than 800 doses” provides little information, as 801 is more than 800 and so is 8 million. Further, on an ongoing basis HHS has been publicly posting data on JYNNEOS orders and deliveries by jurisdiction.

If information of the number of ACAM2000 doses distributed, and of the receiving jurisdictions, is in fact not being publicly posted in a readily available manner, the American people should demand it, especially in light of the vaccinia virus transmission risks posed by the vaccine.

2. At least three things should be considered when mulling over the use ACAM2000 in the general population for monkeypox.

First, ACAM2000, poses the risk of risk of myocarditis and pericarditis, and other cardiac issues. Therefore, its use in the general public will be a piling on of cardiac risks for those who have already had those risks elevated as a result of receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

Second, it’s reasonable to conclude that ACAM2000 is being, or will be, used in the monkeypox hotspots we’ve been reading about in recent weeks, where many are reportedly in the habit of engaging in frequent, casual sex with many partners. If these reports are even close to accurate, then it is very unlikely that the hotspot vaccinees who routinely engage in such high-risk sexual behavior will adhere to instructions to avoid intimate physical contact with others for weeks following inoculation in order to avoid spreading vaccinia virus.

Third, it’s plausible that skin pustules that develop on vaccinees, or on others through contact transmission, as a result of vaccinia infection stemming from inoculation with ACAM2000 may be misdiagnosed as monkeypox due to unreliable PCR testing or otherwise. If this occurs, it will feed the government’s count of monkeypox infections. Such a scenario, whereby other illnesses are misdiagnosed as one the government is catastrophizing about, should ring bells for anyone who has been paying attention during COVID-19. It would be naïve to believe that we are not about to live through another round of mass misdiagnoses, this time of other diseases causing lesions or pustules of the skin as monkeypox.


A sea change is occurring in how Americans view vaccines and the unvaccinated, largely set in motion by the disastrous results of the widespread use of COVID-19 vaccines. Americans are realizing that the unvaccinated pose no risk to them, and that their energy and focus should shift from condemning the unvaccinated to looking into the societal risks posed by the use of vaccines.

Furthermore, Americans should demand that the feds disclose to the public in a readily available manner information of the number of doses of ACAM2000 already distributed for use in the population and of the receiving jurisdictions, and that such information be continually updated. They should also demand a halt to any planned mass rollout of ACAM2000, due to the risks outlined in this article and others described in the ACAM2000 package insert.

Hopefully, state governors that have demonstrated the backbone to stand up to the feds, such as Ron DeSantis, are already thinking ahead on ACAM2000 and will step up to protect their citizens from this potential new national vaccine disaster.