Thursday, 23 July 2009


While we’ve all been monitoring the swine flu news the varicella-zoster virus has crept in by the back door. Today our two year old granddaughter was diagnosed with Chickenpox.

Despite reassurances from the GP we’re still a bit anxious for her 17 week old twin sisters. Not a nice thing to have when you’re so small in the world. Not so good for Dad either, as he’s pretty certain he hasn’t had it himself.

As grandparents we’re used to seeing the effects of childhood ailments. We’ve been through it ourselves, nursed our own children and now we’re seeing all over again. Apparently there are sound reasons why a Chickenpox vaccine isn’t offered as a matter of course in the UK. However, when you see the list of diseases children are offered immunisation against, it’s staggering to hear that some people still choose to opt out and put their children at risk.

A little under thirty years ago we were undecided about the whooping cough vaccine for our daughter. At the last minute the doctor asked us if we had made a decision. We hadn’t. He went on to describe the possible scenario if we decided ‘no’. I remember us both immediately giving him the nod to proceed. The stark facts about the disease were enough to sway us. It’s hard to believe that the choice was such a dilemma for us but it was.

I’ve accompanied our daughter to most of the grandchildren’s vaccination appointments and I support her 100% in her efforts to protect those that are so precious.

© 2009, copyright Martin T. Hodges

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