by Kerry Cue
We, Baby Boomers, are the last generation that can remember kids who suffered from Diphtheria, Polio and/or Whooping Cough. As kids many of us caught the common childhood diseases including measles, german measles, mumps and, definitely, Chicken Pox. In Melbourne, in the 1950s, my next door neighbour Roy had TB. When I was 8 years old, he taught me a skill he picked up in the Sanatorium, namely how to blanket stitch a felt toy.
It is not surprising then that most of us are pro-vaccination. For those in doubt look here. This is a You Tube clip posted by the Mayo Clinic of a baby with Whooping Cough. Parents of a baby afflicted with such a terrible disease as Whooping Cough say they would do anything to help their little baby, but it is too late.
So what vaccinations might be appropriate for our 50+ age group?
Pneumonia Vaccination especially if you are prone to respiratory diseases.
And, the latest, SHINGLES SHOTS.
Shingles is a very painful condition caused by the Chicken Pox virus that lays dormant in the nerve roots near the spine of anyone who ever had the disease. According to the AMA the ‘risk and severity of the condition increases markedly with age’. The American-made vaccine, Zostavax , has been approved by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) for use by Australians aged 50 years or older. The vaccine has not been added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule yet so a Shingles Shot is expensive (Around $200), but it is a price any shingles sufferer would gladly pay if they could.
Finally, we often get Top Up shots, especially new grandmothers, for the standard vaccinations we had in our youth including measles, mumps and so on. You would need to consult your medical practitioner for further information.
Photo: Unknown Source