Smallpox shot poses modest danger, uncertain benefit
Consider two troubling scenarios. First, imagine that the government's current smallpox vaccination campaign peters out before even a million people are vaccinated. Then, a month or perhaps a decade from now, terrorists cause simultaneous smallpox outbreaks in several cities. Within days, cases of the once-eradicated disease pop up across the country and around the world. The epidemic burns for months and leaves many thousands dead before it's extinguished.