Posted by: Lisa | July 13, 2010

Grown-ups, Go Get Your Shots!

In one of my graduate courses I had to do an old-fashioned book report on a biography of a scientist.  I chose Jonas Salk, the inventor of the polio vaccine, among other things.  He was one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever researched.

ATTN: I am now ascending to my soap box #1:

Like all kids, I hated shots, yet I still understood their importance.  After reading about what polio victims (primarily children) went through in the 1950s, however, I became an extremely strong advocate & firm supporter of vaccinations & will absolutely have Jacob protected according to his doctor’s recommended schedule.  I understand the risks but I am much more willing to take the tiny chance something bad will happen from the shot than the greater chance my child will suffer or maybe even die from a horrendous disease.  I would never forgive myself if Jacob contracted something deadly that I could have prevented.  I’m sure someday when he’s a parent they’ll have new research, preventions, cures, and information…but for now, the vaccinations medical professionals recommend to us are based on the absolute best knowledge we, the human race, have.  Our medical professionals aren’t perfect, but they sure know more about vaccines & our bodies than I do.  I’m not into playing doctor.  And even if the autism-vaccine link were proven, I’d still rather Jacob be autistic than paralyzed & suffering from polio.   I wish they’d had the chicken pox vaccine when I was a kid.  I might have gotten to participate in my 2nd grade Valentine’s Day class party if they had.  And if they had vaccines for colds & sinus infections I’d get those, too.

Ok, I’m stepping down from Soap Box #1 and climbing up on Soap Box #2:

ADULTS:  GET YOUR PERTUSSIS VACCINATION!!!!  Get off your butt & go to your doctor’s office or CVS Minute Clinic.  Now.  Do it for your baby’s sake, for my baby’s sake, for your friends’ babies’ sakes, & for the sake of that stranger’s baby in the grocery store.  The disease is relatively mild for adults & teenagers but it can be deadly for babies.  UNCOOL.  Whooping cough is extremely contagious – it’s contracted just by breathing infected air – and it’s making a comeback in the U.S.  California has declared a whooping cough epidemic and as of June 9th, five infants had died from it there.

Here’s the thing – even though I am vaccinating my child against the disease, he won’t be fully protected until he’s 4 or 5 years old.  That means you could carry the disease and spread it to him.  And trust me – I wouldn’t be too happy with you if that happened, all because you wouldn’t go get a shot.  I’m nice and all until you go getting my kid sick.  And babies under 2 months of age haven’t even gotten the first of the series of whooping cough shots.  I bet their mamas don’t want you making them sick either.

Adults should get a booster every 10 years.  I got mine last summer.  When did you last get yours?



  1. YES, YES, YES! Lisa, my mother had whooping cough and double pneumonia at the same time as a toddler and it damaged the nerves in her ears- she has been almost totally deaf her entire life. As a teenager, I used to think that if I had a wish it would be for her to be able to hear the birds singing. Thanks for your reminder for people to get off their behinds and take advantage of the opportunity to prevent current day outbreaks of something that is preventable!

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