‘TIS TRUE: PRE-TEENS AND TEENS STILL NEED VACCINES
July 13, 2011
Last summer we received a letter from the state with a daunting directive. Seventh graders were required to have the Varicella (chicken pox) TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular petussis), and the meningococcal vaccines.
I felt reticent to brandish my daughter’s bare shoulder for needles full of chemicals.We braced ourselves for weeks. The dread-filled pall of the doctor’s appointment hung over our heads, as did the amount of money we would be charged for all three vaccines—upwards of 300 dollars. Two words: necessary evil.
We’re in the blind-followers camp when it comes to the government. I’m less inclined to question and more inclined to follow the letter of the law. But this felt like a Big-Brother invasion of privacy—and an expensive one. For the first time in my adult life I researched a loophole.
That was my first mistake. I researched the diseases the vaccinations fend off—but not the CDC website itself. I walked around like a disease-ridden wretch, cursing the school, the state, diseases and vaccines. A little knowledge really is a dangerous thing. But information is power.
Lucky for us, our nurse practitioner was patient. My daughter chattered nervously with her for the duration. Before we knew it, she’d received all the vaccinations.
The nurse practitioner was where we received the best information one-on-one. She also directed us to the CDC website. My daughter asked a lot of questions and was suitably relieved that she’d not suffer unduly for her sincere efforts to follow the law. The nurse reassured us that the shots fend off untold troubles related to these diseases. Fortunately, my daughter did not suffer side effects. A little tenderness here and there was the worst of it. Priceless.
Now all that’s left to dread is high school. Ay, dios mio.
The CDC sponsored this post. Check out their website @ http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/who/teens/index.html