Saturday, February 7, 2015

Vaccine Nation


Vaccines are in the news right now, especially the Measles Vaccine.  There is an outbreak in California, and we are all being urged to check our vaccination status, especially if we work with children (I do).

Of course I have been vaccinated for measles.  My mom was very modern, and made sure that all 5 of us kids had the necessary vaccinations.  Also, when I was young, there were no exclusions except for medical reasons.  I'm pretty sure there weren't even religious exclusions.  You had to be fully vaccinated to attend public school.

So, there was this guy from Brazil visiting the Seattle area.  He travelled back to Brazil through SeaTac airport possibly spreading measles (which is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS) on January 25.  I was in SeaTac on January 24th AND on January 26th.  I missed him and his measles germs by 1 day, twice.

What do I care?  I was immunized as a kid against all possible diseases.

Or was I?

I started hearing stories about how us almost middle-age people needed to check our status.  I heard that you didn't need to be vaccinated for measles if you were born before 1957 (I was not) because you probably HAD measles (everyone had it) and are now immune.  Hmmm. Well, I was born after 1957.

The first measles vaccine was introduced in 1963.  Hmmm, I was born before 1963.

I know that the MMR vaccine is for Measles, Mumps and Rubella (German Measles).  I vaguely remember having Mumps as a child.  So, did I have the vaccines for Rubella or Measles?  I called my Mom and Dad to ask.  I have to admit that I was getting a bit worried that I had never actually been vaccinated.  My Mom assured me that I had been vaccinated.  Of course she had gotten me all of the important shots at the right time.  She was an excellent mother. 

About an hour after we got off the phone, my phone rang again, but I was in class.  I listened to the urgent message from my Dad, "Call home as soon as you can.  Your Mom checked her records and you were NOT immunized for measles."


Yep, I was a vaccination scofflaw.  I had Mumps and Rubella as a child,  but never Measles, and somehow, I had never had the shot for Measles.  I immediately texted my sisters, Sue, and Kathy, that they had not been vaccinated either, but Amie, who was born after 1967, had. 

Needless to say, on the way home from work, I stopped at Bartell Drugs at Crossroads, and was vaccinated (for MMR).  It was covered by my Health Insurance and the shot was free.


shaping the planet, measles-free.

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