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Not Just Your Health, But Everyone’s: The Importance of Vaccination

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When we were 7 or 8 years old, our cousins gave me and my brother a ‘special’ gift. I’ve still got a couple of scars to remember it by actually.  You see, they gave us chickenpox. Itchy, painful, feverish, misery. We were both lucky to go into it young and healthy, so we came out with nothing worse than a few pockmarks each as souvenirs, and our parents had had it as kids, so they weren’t infected again. It could have been much more dangerous.

There was no chickenpox (varicella) vaccine when I was a child, but Boo is luckier.  He received the vaccination as part of his regular schedule, when he was about 15 months old. He did great, and had no ill effects. But he did still get a mild case of the chickenpox in kindergarten. According to the Ontario Government, childhood hospitalizations for chickenpox in our province have decreased by 59%, because of this vaccine. When Boo was exposed to the virus at school, he did develop a cluster of 6-8 pox on his right shoulder, but they didn’t itch, and he had no fever. He actually felt fine, and got some time off school in quarantine so he wouldn’t spread it around. He didn’t have to suffer as I did. I was so grateful!

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