According to CNN, there have been “Two” reactions to the smallpox vaccine recently ordered given to about 500,000 servicemen/women. Although the emphasis is on the ‘two’, the number innoculated is not given, and there is no way all 500K have been immunized, making any stats from this meaningless. And, let’s be honest and state that the immunized group, active duty military personnel, are in better health than the average citizen, are younger and have fewer chronic medical problems.
Also, the report of at least one of the current dispositions is suspect. If someone has encephalitis, he may well recover and be released from the hospital, but someone with a “…rash with several pustules, or pus-filled blisters, about 10 days after he was vaccinated. The soldier is well and continues to work at his usual location,” is either a callous disregard for the health and safety of the uninoculated surrounded this person, or this person works in a biohazard lab in a big suit. Could be they counted on natural instincts for his co-workers to put a lot of distance between themselves and a rash, but that seems unlikely. Hopefully, there was a sentence omitted, ‘and after the rash cleared he’s back at work’, but this isn’t explicitly stated.
I have in my posession a big packet about smallpox vaccine, and I’m being offered the chance to take it. I’m aware of the risks, and I’m probably going to go ahead and get it. But, I’ll bet if I break out in a pustular rash afterward I won’t be allowed back to work for a while; the upside is that I’d probably act the same with encephalitis, so who’d know?