School Vaccines - It's like a flashback to my past
We pulled off our shirts and stood in a shaky line, one long row of shivering children hugging frail arms to our scrawny chests to retain a bit of warmth. From afar we must have looked sweet, all of us in our little undershirts – Petit Bateau tank tops for the girls, t-shirts for the boys. Inside we were quaking, nothing cute about the fear that clenched our stomachs.
It was vaccine day at the preschool.
The director's office, a small room attached to two of the school's three classrooms, was to serve as the nurse's headquarters. And there we stood, in our sorry line, waiting to be introduced one by one into the chamber of horrors.
Each child reluctantly walked up the three wooden steps into the small office and the nurse would close the door behind him. The rest of us would strain to hear what was happening and we wold shrink back in unison as our classmate's cry reached our ears. Then, having released the patient into the other room, the nurse would open the door to our room again and beckon her next victim.
I was little, probably no more than 4 or 5 when this took place and yet I remember it as though it were just last week. If I try I can feel the cold air pulling at the hairs on my skin and the dread mounting as I got closer and closer to the door.
It seems so archaic now – school vaccination sessions. We take our children into a doctor's office and sit them on our laps to whisper comforting words as the needle is plunged into their tender arms. We don't send them off to be brave with their classmates. We give them hugs and stickers to reward them for their pain. And if they've had a lot of shots we might even take them out for a sweet treat after the fact.Continued on the next page