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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Old Fashion Vaccine

Old Fashion Vaccine

I don’t remember when modern vaccines became common.  I don’t think any of my children suffered the diseases of my generation.  I’m pretty sure they were inoculated for measles, mumps, rubella and polio.

I had them all except, thanks goodness, polio.  I knew several kids who had polio in a mild form, they survived alright, but not without some issues.  I didn’t know any children who were stricken more seriously because they were not able to play, go to school and live any kind of a normal life if they survived at all.

Vaccines against all these potent illnesses have been a tremendous gift to society.

I vaguely remember mumps, I think I only had it on one side.  I believe my brothers both also had it at the same time.  I remember chicken-pock marks which I don’t think I have anymore (is that possible?) and measles.  I got the polio vaccine and thought I was done until I woke up at 12 years-old covered with spots.  That’s when I learned about German Measles or Rubella.

I don’t remember if my children had chicken pox or not, but I do remember a neighborhood child had them and all the mom’s wanted to visit so their kids would get it as well and get it over with…1970’s vaccination I guess.  I think there was a shot for chicken pox, but it was not effective for more than a few years, not sure and too lazy to research.

I don’t question the need for vaccinations.  I do have concerns for getting them all at once as infants, an uneducated concern for sure, but born of a distrust for experts and questioning the need for such early comprehensive protection after growing up with the concept and mentality of “get it now and get it over with.”

Recently a tourist who had measles visited all over New York City.  This brought out the importance of vaccinations.  Apparently, these “childhood diseases” are way more serious if contracted at an older age, probably one more reason why mothers of old took their young ones to visit the sick and get it over with.  If people skip vaccinations because they think the disease has been eradicated, they risk getting it at an age when it is more serious, from people in areas where the disease is still common.

Back in the day, along with childhood diseases we also suffered burns, bumps, cuts, bruises and bullying.  There were no vaccines for these things,  moms just let them happen and we learned about bad stuff at an early less vulnerable age. 

I think today, many children are not allowed to experience bumps, bruises, cuts, burns and bullying to the extent of previous generations.  They are often banned from taking chances and are hovered over protectively. 

For the most part this is a good thing, but I do wonder; are the children of today growing up without toughening up?  Are some discomforts of youth really just a vaccination against more problematic issues as they get older?  Are we keeping our children safe as children, but leaving them physically and mentally weak when those attributes become more important for survival as adults?

Is the sensitivity of today’s young adults who seem to be “terrified” by everything and offended by anything, the result of overprotection from cradle through adolescence?

Is there a vaccine for a cranky old man’s wandering mind?


  1. You're right in questioning how early infants get vaccines. The doctor I worked for would not give any baby under 6 months any vaccines. She said their livers and kidneys are not fully developed yet and can easily be overwhelmed.

    When we were kids, especially in summer, we left the house right after breakfast and didn't come home until dinner. We climbed trees, played King of the Mountain in the gully, raced our bikes up and down the hills. Our bodies were so bruised and scraped that in today's world our parents would be accused of child abuse. It was a wonderful childhood! Falling out of a tree was actually kind of fun, like temporary flight!

  2. As a kid I got most of the vaccines going and didn't get ANY of the childhood diseases until my daughter was in grade one and gave me chicken pox. Anything you can do to avoid getting the childhood diseases is worth doing.

  3. I had chicken pox in 8th grade and only recently learned that hardly anyone gets chicken pox these days. Of course, I also had shingles as an adult, the week before I took the bar exam, and that was no fun. I have scars on my chest from the shingles.

    We were also out all of the time, wandering through vacant lots and down by creeks and all sorts of out-of-the-way places that I'd be scared to death to hear about my nephew going to.

  4. I've been informed that my pre-vaccine children did all have chicken pox, thanks to a visit to that neighbor child.

  5. That chicken pox vaccine came out right about the time Genius entered pre-school. So I'm guessing around 1999. My kids' doctor said it was not a proven vaccine yet, and that it cost $100, and that it didn't matter either way if I got my boys the shot, or let them catch chicken pox. He also said that the county health center would give them the shot for free if I took them there. I decided to let them catch it from their daycare cronies. There was almost a celebration when a kid came down with it.

    I was a freshman in high school when I was sent home with a case of German Measles. Kind of embarrassing! I thought I just had a cold, but the nurse found that rash starting on the back of my neck. I don't know how many people I infected, but I'm guessing most of them had already had it by age 14.

  6. You are spot on with kids being overprotected. Now the experts don’t want you to let your children play out in the snow because they might get hurt. Also i agree that kids should be given vaccines one at a time, not in batches.

  7. "Is the sensitivity of today’s young adults who seem to be “terrified” by everything and offended by anything, the result of overprotection from cradle through adolescence?"
    Possibly. When we were children we weren't sheltered from schoolyard teasing or a mild case of bullying, we weren't given padded playgrounds to play in, it was all rough and tumble, you learned to take a few falls and to cope with a bit of teasing and eventually grew up able to handle life. Of course real bullying was not allowed and I remember a couple of children having to spend lunch and recess staying close to the yard teacher as punishment for picking on other kids.
    With vaccinations, I'm in favour of early intervention there too. I believe the measles vaccination here is still given at 12 months and not before, so when my youngest, (37 years old today) was only five months old, he caught measles from the baby across the hall in the hotel we were staying at and the poor kid was miserable, had to keep him in a dark room for a while because the light hurt his eyes.
    I only remember one child affected by polio, she didn't turn up for school one day and we heard she was ill, years later, she came back to school with leg braces and a brace on one arm. She'd spent a few years inside an iron lung machine because of the polio.

  8. I had chicken pox and both kinds of measles when I was a kid, but I never had the mumps. Then, when I was 15 or so, I came down with the swollen sore throat, and there was much concern that I had the mumps, since one of the side effects of mumps in adults (ie, post-puberty) is sterility. Eight kids later, I suppose I can safely say that, if what I had was the mumps, at least I didn't have the nasty side effect. . .

    Jenn had a group of moms who would call each other when one of their kids came down with chicken pox, so they could take their kids over there, and get the immunity thing done with. . .

  9. I think I had most things as a child... including being flaunted around so others would get what I'd got. I do think today's children are completely different to what they were in my younger days.

  10. I remember the polio vaccine was given on a cube of sugar. I also had small pox and diphtheria shots that I remember. When I was drafted they administered vaccines with air guns. One whumph in each arm and it they were sore for a week.

  11. I believe that my siblings and I went through all of the childhood diseases together, I specifically remember chicken pox , mumps, and measles, I never wanted to share anything else with them again.

  12. Thank God we been given proper vaccine though measles left no one .

    i have cousin who cannot walk but use wheelchair ,he is victim of polio,in spite of that he is married has a child and runs home by shop that he owns .
    there are controversies about new polio vaccination in our country now days as stuff is not giving good result as it is not being stored properly so some people from management have been arrested lately

  13. My older boys had the chicken pox. When my youngest son was little, the vaccine had just come out. My pediatrician asked me, "Would you willingly subject your child to the pain and itching of chicken pox?" So he got the vaccine.


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