Smallpox Vaccinations

Virginia Postrel says:

Speaking of immigrants, I can’t help wondering whether the estimates of how many (or rather, how few) Americans have been vaccinated against smallpox fully account for the immigrant population. I’ve noticed quite a few vaccination scars on the upper arms of relatively young Vietnamese manicurists.

Jay Manifold says vaccinations are good for 50 years, but I’d rather not bet my life on that estimate. My last vaccination was in 1966, as a requirement for entering first grade, but it “didn’t take” because I still had immunity from my vaccination in infancy. See how common these things used to be?

I imagine most immigrants from the developing world were vaccinated at least in the 1970s. Both my wife and I were vaccinated against smallpox when we were kids and have the scars to show for it.

UPDATE: The last case of smallpox infection in Pakistan was in 1974 while the last case worldwide was in 1977 in Somalia.

Welcome, MSNBC Readers

I hope you like my weblog. Please look at the archives as well and visit again. Thanks, Will Femia of MSNBC Weblog Central for putting me on the Best of Blogs list.

Here are some of my posts that you might be interested in reading:

Political Islam and Pakistan
Wahabis/Salafis (1, 2, and 3).
Muslims, the West and Media
Global Attitudes Survey
Tribalism and Conservatism
Activist Islam in Pakistan (1, 2, 3, 4).
Bin Ladenism
Antisemitism among Muslims

Joke of a Prime Minister
Islamabad: Pakistani or not?
US/Pakistan Forces Clash
Impressions from Pakistan
Conspiracy Theories

Honor Killings
Posts 1, 2, and 3.

Japanese-American Internment and Relevance for Today
Abduction of Japanese-(Latin)Americans
Japanese Americans and Muslim Americans (1 and 2).
Better than Hilter, Stalin and Castro
Rep. Howard Coble

INS: Immigration and Security
Security: Pros and Cons (1, 2).
Special Registration (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).
Deported Pakistanis: Illegal Immigrants
INS Bunglings (1, 2, 3).

Condemnations (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
Terrorism and Repression (1, 2).

Race Relations and Discrimination
Trent Lott’s nostalgia for segregation (1, 2, 3).
Employment discrimination study using racially distinct names (1, 2, 3, 4).
States’ Rights and Slavery
Criminal record, race and employment
Eve Tushnet’s series on race
Racism in Death Penalty cases
Racial Profiling in traffic stops

Israel and Palestine
My views on the conflict
Jewish settlers and Israeli Arabs as a political obstacle to a peace settlement.
Look towards the future
Higher standards for Israel
I support Amram Mitzna

Weekend Stuff

If you are wondering what I did over the weekend, wonder no more! On Friday, Amber and I went to Restaurant Serenade in Chatham, NJ for our Valentine’s day dinner. It’s a nice (and expensive) comtemporary French restaurant. The food was good, though I liked the food in France better.

We also watched two movies on the big screen: Chicago and The Hours. Chicago was definitely more entertaining, may be because both of us are suckers for musicals. The Hours was interesting but depressing movie. Having watched the performance of both Renée Zellweger and Nicole Kidman, it’s the consensus opinion in our home that Kidman will get the nod for the best actress oscar.


I arrived in Atlanta 3 hours late due to the snowstorm in the northeast. This might be the biggest storm I think since we started living in Jersey in 1999. I think the previous record for us was the 15 inches on Dec 30 (I forget the year 2000 or 2001). But I am missing this one (I am a big fan of snow.)

Iraq and WMD

I think the US is looking for some nasty stuff that it gave to Saddam in the 1980s. The Bush administration is worried since inspectors haven’t found the stuff and nobody destroys WMDs unilaterally and voluntarily.

Going Home

I am going home for a Valentine’s day weekend. Blogging will be light.

Valentine Poem

Kieran Healy, posting from the future, has a neat poem from the blogger to his Valentine.