Category Archives: Polio

  • Before They Were Preventable

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    When I was eleven years old I learned why my maternal grandmother and my mother have always been vehemently pro-vaccine. It was the day I was to get the vaccine to prevent HPV.  As we were on our way to our family doctor’s office, my grandmother asked me if I was scared. I wondered why […]

  • Talking about Rotary’s End Polio Mission

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    Rotary International has worked for decades to deliver polio vaccines to the most remote corners of the world in order to eradicate polio permanently from the globe. But what does this work entail? How do those vaccines actually get to the children who need them? And when will their work be done. To get answers to […]

  • Mikey and His Grandma: A Vaccine Story

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    “Mandy, can he try Jello?” my mother asks me conspiratorially, as she cuddles her last grandchild in her arms at the Chinese buffet. Mikey Wale is my third child, so the answer is almost always yes. “Why not?” I say, and she tenderly feeds him a tiny red morsel.  He drools it right back onto […]

  • How Effective Are Childhood Vaccines?

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    Modern vaccines are very effective. But nothing is 100% effective. As people know, children can – sadly – be harmed in a car accident even if they are in a car seat. But a car seat is a worthwhile protection because it dramatically reduces the chances a child will be harmed or die. The same […]

  • Vaccines and Autism: One Doctor’s Personal Story

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    There has been a lot of talk since 1998 as to whether vaccines cause autism.  Though I have been loath to enter this conversation, it has become apparent that perhaps I should speak in order to provide a helpful, even fresh perspective.  Here is our family’s story. In 1987, my youngest sister was born, the […]

  • The Dreadful Swiftness of Disease

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    It was September of 1951, the year I was born. I was only five months old — too young to remember the details — but as I grew older I watched the aftermath. My mother often told me the story of the worst day of her life. My brother, Mike, was in kindergarten. It was […]

  • Making the hard choice to protect

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    My son, H, had his 12 month well visit one Friday where he received the pneumonia, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and Hepatitis A vaccinations. His fever started on Thursday. He woke up with it. He was less energetic than usual, less playful. Even the cone-sorting toy could not lure him to the floor for […]

  • Learning from the Past: Gae’s Story

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    I am a sixty-nine year old Australian, which means that I benefited from a totally free childhood immunization program.  I started school in 1949 and was convinced that it was somehow normal for every school to have at least one, and sometimes more than one, child wearing calipers as a result of polio. And those were […]