Today, I thought I’d treat you to a little research on vaccines. Given that I had Dengue Fever over the Christmas Holidays (a virus), and that I’ve just recovered from a bout of the Flu (a virus) and that there seems to be a minor epidemic of the Measles (a virus) in some areas of North America I thought it seemed quite relevant.
There have been indications that the Chinese used smallpox inoculations as early as 1000 AD, as well as in Africa and Turkey as well, before it spread to Europe and the Americas. In the mid-20th century vaccine research and development was very active. New methods for developing viruses in the laboratory brought swift discoveries and improvements, including the creation of vaccines for polio. Researchers then began to target other common childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella.
When I was a child I don’t think that there was ever a question that I would be immunized with any of the vaccines that were available then. I remember have some of the inoculations given to me in the nurses office at school, back in the days when every school had a nurse. The one I remember the most was the Polio vaccine that was given by putting a few liquid drops on a sugar cube. I also remember one of my friends who could not receive some of the inoculations because of an allergy to eggs. When my own children were born I didn’t question getting them vaccinated. It was not a pleasant experience with Daughter #1 and I wish that the vaccination for Chickenpox had been available for them. Luckily there were no complications but having one after the other come down with Chickenpox wasn’t fun, and then SU got it. Luckily they were all good little patients.
Herd immunity (protection of everyone in a community by high vaccination rates) works as long as the community is insulated from outsiders or can insure that outsiders coming into the community are not carrying any diseases. In today’s world I fear that is near impossible. We try to eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. Still SU came down with the Flu and then passed it to me. Where he got it from, who knows? Normally, we would have received the Flu vaccine, living in Panama we haven’t really thought about it. I don’t know that it would have helped with the dose of Flu we just had, a relatively minor one by all accounts. I hope that one day there will be a Dengue vaccine developed, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, even a minor case. I know there are many differing opinions on innoculations but keep in mind that this is mine…in the campo.