This post is inspired by Shot@Life, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation. To learn how you can make a difference in the world without even having to get up out of your chair, go to the end of this article.
Yesterday I went to my doctor to begin getting all the vaccinations I’ll need for my upcoming trip in October to Haiti with Midwives for Haiti.
Like all good nurses, I’d already done quite a bit of research on the internet before my appointment. It was easy enough to find out what I needed since a quick Google search for “vaccinations to travel to Haiti” took me to the CDC website that has information on travel requirements for every country in the world.
As I surfed the CDC website, I quickly learned that going to Haiti affords me the rare opportunity to catch exotic diseases I’ve never had the chance to catch before! Diseases like Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Malaria, Cholera, and Rabies (RABIES?!?! YIKES! Who didn’t have a mother who scared the holy crap out of them with tales of 20 shots into the stomach if you got bit by a rabid dog?)
This trip all came down so quickly that I was worried I wouldn’t have time to get all my vaccinations, but it looks like I have plenty of time.
Since I’m a healthcare worker, I’m already up-to-date on Hepatitis B. I had the first in the series of two Hepatitis A shots right before I went to Puerta Vallarta last December, so I only needed one more shot for that. Typhoid is just one shot. There’s no vaccine for Cholera. (Haiti has had an outbreak of cholera since 2010 that has affected more than 600,000 people.) And Rabies is three shots (at least it’s not 20!), but the timing of those means I’ll be able to get them done well before I leave.
My doctor only had Hepatitis A on hand, so I’ll have to go to the county Public Health department to get the rest. I was momentarily put out by the inconvenience (because aren’t I a special snowflake?), but quickly remembered how fortunate I am to live in a country where vaccines against Typhoid are so easily available, and rabies is not even on most people’s radar as something they need to worry about.
Riding the Herd Immunity
I know that vaccinations are controversial in this country. I believe they are only controversial because we have the luxury of making them controversial. If children in this country were still contracting polio you can better believe parents would be lining up to make sure their child got vaccinated. Wait, that already happened in this country once.
Leave a Comment; Save a Life
I don’t think this is all just a big coincidence, me having to get all these vaccinations, and being chosen as a UN Social Good Fellow for this year’s Shot@Life’s August blogging campaign called Blogust. It’s the sort of synchronicity that has the hand of God all over it.
The Halfway Point of Blogust
We’ve halfway through Blogust. On the 22nd, I’ll be sharing my post about the milestones in a 22 year-old’s life. What a journey that’s been seeing my son to 22!
In the meantime, I’m encouraging you to go and comment on each and every post from this year’s campaign. Every comment matters!
I’ve made is extra-easy for you. Just click the easy button and it’ll take you right to Shot at Life’s Blogust campaign.
It’s one easy way you and I can make a difference in the world by saving the life of a child one shot at a time.
During Shot@Life’s Blogust, 31 bloggers, one each day in August, are writing about moments that matter. For every comment on this post and the 30 other posts, Walgreens will donate a vaccine (up to 50,000 vaccines). A child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease. We can change this reality and help save kids’ lives!
Sign up here for a daily email so you can quickly and easily comment and share every day during Blogust! Stay connected with Shot@Life at www.shotatlife.org, join the campaign on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.