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Tetanus vaccine

  • Posted on Oct 4, 2018

It was the first day of class and my college professor was late. We waited, antsy and then frustrated for 10 minutes…15 minutes…20 minutes. Most of us started to pack up our back packs and head to the door. Finally, a man walked in the room and made an announcement.

My college professor was dead.  He died after getting a fishing hook stuck in his finger. It wasn’t a staph infection like you’d suspect. It was tetanus. He’d neglected to get his vaccine and paid for it with his life. It was a lesson I figured I’d never forget.

Fast forward to the present. My life is busy with work and family. The minor necessities of cars that need to go to the shop, laundry that needs to be washed and assorted errands that demand my attention. I’m pretty sure, that you have a long list too…

At Kids First, our medical assistants take immunizations pretty seriously. They’ll remind us, cajole us…and finally corner us with syringes in hand when it’s time for flu vaccines. This year, I came out of my office and I was surrounded. Two medical assistants, each holding a syringe and wearing a smile. (They do seem to enjoy this part of the job!)  When I asked what the second shot was, Iris told me it was my tetanus booster.  I’d forgotten.  How was that possible?  I’m writing this because if it can happen to me… it can happen to you. Ask your doctor when your last booster was. Get it updated. Stay alive. Your kids need you.

Susan Badaracco, pediatrician and author of “The Oath” series.