Since its creation in the early twentieth century, live plague vaccine EV has been successfully applied to millions of people without severe complications. This vaccine has been proven to elicit protection against both bubonic and pneumonic plague, and it is still in use in populations at risk mainly in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Despite extensive efforts in developing subunit vaccines, there is a reviving interest in creation of a precisely attenuated strain of Yersinia pestis superior to the EV that can serve as a live plague vaccine with improved characteristics. Here we summarize decades of experience of the Russian anti-plague research in developing a standard protocol for early-stage evaluation of safety and immunogenicity of live plague vaccines. This protocol allows step-by-step comparison of the novel test candidates with the EV vaccine by using subcutaneous immunization and bubonic plague infection models in two animal species, e.g., guinea pigs and mice.