I don't know if this is a topic of conversation around your dinner table, but I've been talking about it a lot recently.
When smallpox hits a previously uninfected population, the death rate can go as high as 95%. This was what it hit in South America after the Spanish landed there, based on some in-depth archaeological and historical research I did in college 20 years ago. I'm assuming that hasn't changed.
When the smallpox vaccine is given they expect like 1 in 40,000 to die. (I read that somewhere.)
CBS says it's 1 in 15 million.
AMNews says it is more than 1 in 1 million.
VaccinationNews says 1 in 1/2 mill.
Somebody's website that looks historical says that more people die in a smallpox outbreak after vaccination than before.
This site says smallpox outbreaks were wiped out when vaccines were used. –Which is true, because there has been NO smallpox in the world in 25 years.
Journal of Young Investigators has a really good article and overview, although they seem to be leaning against the vaccine.
I don't know about you, but if someone is throwing smallpox around, or is potentially doing it, then I am going to take the risk and get my kids vaccinated, as soon as it becomes available. I'll just have to pray they aren't allergic.
If you were born after 1972 you probably have not been vaccinated. That's when they quit doing it routinely in the US. My little sister did not get the vaccine because she had increased susceptibility to some illnesses, including smallpox, because of something she got in the nursery when she was born. But most people born before 1972 have been innoculated.
Go to this CDC website to read about smallpox: types, history, etc.