Everyone makes mistakes. Maybe you left popcorn in the microwave too long, or wrote the wrong date on important paperwork. Maybe you asked a friend what kind of cake he wants for his surprise party, or mistook Miracle Whip for marshmallow fluff (I will never live this one down).
In previous Vaccine 101 installments, we covered the history, ingredients, importance, and global impact of vaccination. Now, in our last installment, we take a look at which vaccines we receive in the United States and at what age.
Babies… they go by many descriptions: miracle of life, bundle of joy, little treasure, or the best decision of ‘my’ life. Heartwarming announcements of their arrival grace our Facebook pages and are immediately followed by pictures of smiley, gurgling, adorable blobs of miniature humans. Everywhere, Mothers proclaim loudly and enthusiastically that their newly-minted creations are purely angelic.
In 2013, an outbreak of tuberculosis occurred in Oregon. The first patient discovered to have the disease was a 20-year-old male. His pale, cold, gray skin could have been a symptom of infection with the potentially deadly tuberculosis bacteria, but for Rama the elephant, it signaled that everything was normal. In fact, if it were not for a routine check-up, Rama’s tuberculosis may have never been discovered.
You have learned about the history, ingredients, and benefits of vaccines in the Vaccine 101 series so far. As we continue Vaccine 101 I want to talk about the current initiatives, benefits, and future plans for vaccines as a major player in global health. Global vaccination averts two to three million deaths per year, reduces child mortality rates, and works toward worldwide disease eradication.
If you had the choice to learn whether or not you have the mutation for Huntington’s Disease, would you want to know? Would you live your life differently? Would you see the world with new eyes? The choice to undergo genetic testing is a deeply personal one. Many individuals have no interest in obtaining their genetic information, believing the results they receive may negatively affect their daily lives: bringing depression and anxiety rather than clarity.
After taking a trip back in time to learn the history of vaccines and then inside a vaccine to learn the ingredients, we continue Vaccine 101 with our next lesson: why vaccinate?
It’s a boy! It’s a girl! It’s twins!!!
Overly excitable pregnancy posts are an unavoidable Facebook theme. Cliché pregnancy announcements are easily identified by a close-up of powder blue onesies or the tiniest pink booties, and each is accompanied by the same tale of overwhelming beauty! Can there be anything more magnificent and innocent than a new baby?
This is the fairytale American culture would have you believe.
As we continue Vaccine 101 we move from history to the recipe for a vaccine. Throughout our lives we eat food, drink beverages, and use products on our bodies and around our homes. We do not always know what these things are made of, but we ingest them and use them anyways. Of these foods and products, many people have expressed concerns about what is being injected into their bodies when they get a vaccination. Much like a recipe for brownies, the ingredients that go into a vaccine all serve a specific purpose. But what exactly are these ingredients? What is their purpose?
Today vaccination is considered a normal part of childhood and life for many. But do you know the origins of this life saving scientific discovery? Who were the big players and when? Hop in your TARDIS, DeLorean, or time machine of choice to take a trip back in time with me to visit some of the major milestones in the history of vaccinations.