my adventures in vaccination, part one

At about six years old, I joined a few dozen of my peers in a long line that snaked its way around our classroom, heading to the front of the room where some adults were hulking over some little kid, doing something to the kid’s arm.

What are they doing?

Giving shots… we are all getting a shot.

I don’t recall the whys and wherefores of the procedure, but suspect it had something to do with Smallpox. I still have the scar on my left arm, if anyone is curious. That particular “shot” has protected me for 70+ years against untold disease.

I stood in a long line when getting my inoculations against diseases I might have been exposed to during my approaching voyage across the ocean to Germany. I still have the yellow card listing those shots, for malaria and all sorts of other horrors remaining in Europe in the 1950s, just a decade after the World War II.

We had a two-year-old that shared the line for the polio vaccines—both the Sabin and Salk, one was an actual inoculation the other serum on a sugar cube. I had knowledge of the ravages of Polio; my sister had it at 4 years old; my stepfather had had it at 7 years old., before the vaccinations existed.

When I worked for the newspaper for nearly 20 years, both as a full-time reporter and later as part-time writer, the Flu Shots were mandatory. No discussion…just be there. Everybody who worked there was given the shot, administered by the County Board of Health.

There are always people who object to vaccinations, for various reasons. Anti-vaxxers are heard from regularly whenever “new” vaccines are required.

Which begs the question—why in blazes is their allowed to be such controversy about vaccinating children against diseases that were all but eliminated decades ago? Smallpox? Diptheria? Polio?” In the 21st Century? There are always people who object to vaccinations, for various reasons. Anti-vaxxers are heard from regularly whenever “new” vaccines are required. My opinion on the subject is that everyone has the right to object, but their rights end when their rights conflict with my rights NOT to become infected with a preventable disease.

14 thoughts on “my adventures in vaccination, part one

  1. My father was not keen on vaccination….nor was my mother, both having had compulsory jabs when in the wartime army which did not turn out well.
    I don’t remember what was on offer when I was a child…but I – and most of my friends – went through the gamut of diseases from chicken pox, through measles,mumps, whooping cough and scarlet fever. As for polio, father’s view was ‘just keep out of the water’…so I did.
    I am not against vaccines…just think what has been all but eradicated…but the ‘flu jabs struck me as hit and miss as to whether the vaccine suited whatever was going round and after the Tamiflu scandal in France I am far from happy about the close connections between pharmacy giants, research establishments and governments.
    In respect of the vaccines on offer for Covid 19, as far as I understand they alleviate symptoms if you catch it. They do not prevent you from catching it, nor from passing it on so theoretically you could vaccinate a whole population and still have the bug circulating.


    1. Ive been more concerned about routine childhood vaccines that prevent the spread of diseases among school kids. The Covid vaccine I think is more critical for old people (I can say that, I’m 86) to protect us from serious infection or death. Re regular flu shots, I always get mine at my doctors office, I don’t understand what is holding up the vaccinations now. I just happened to find out about the Health Dept clinic, I was set for the first one a month ago, but I missed it at our fire station. My friend in Arizona drove 2 hours to get to a place to get hers. A daughter is a nurse, so she is vaccinated. At the huge clinic I mentioned in my post there were only 12 nurses giving the actual shots. I know people who have had the National Guard give them their shots. Its all a mystery to me.
      It doesnt help being winter here, either, so its harder to find a place to set up.
      I know what you mean, I’m not comfortable with the big pharmacies being involved…but also ambivalent about various governments—

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Costa Rica is pretty efficient…over 80s and front line health staff, including care home staff, have been done and they are now on the over 58s.
        Friends in France say it is a mess – little or no information and shortage of supplies – while those in the U.K. say it is pretty efficient.
        I worry about the idea of vaccine passports…as I say, if all it does is to protect the person vaccinated from severe effects then, to me, its use in preventing spread is pretty near to zero.


      2. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales sort of do their own thing, but as the National Health Service is basically running it with the help of the army it all seems to work out without too many differences.


      3. I am a great fan of “national health services” and wish we had a workable system here. Many of our leaders are bent on preventing any “socialist medicine” rather than developing. Re the vaccine, the problem is the availability of vaccine, not the logistics of administering it.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Helen, I followed your blog and read the entire reblogged post about the canal-boat people. I loved the post…and hate the idiots on the commission…those types are always so self-absorbed. thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had the full gamut of vaccinations as a child too, as did the Offspring. Like Helen though, I only had my first flu vaccination a couple of years ago. I had it done because I was teaching in a retirement village at the time and many of my students were in their late 80s.
    With Covid, I believe everyone should be vaccinated so the death rate drops to zero. Unfortunately, I’m in a quandary for myself. The Offspring has a medical condition that makes vaccination of any sort ‘unadvisable’. If I get the vaccine, become complacent and pass the virus on… 😦
    As they say in the classics, ‘we’ll see’. 🙂


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