In the United States, vaccinations are given in sanitary doctor's offices. The kids may cry a little but after a lollipop and a band-aid, they are usually over it. Then they go on to ballet or soccer or nap time or the other hundreds of things American children get to do everyday.
In other countries, especially developing countries, getting vaccinated is a difficult and sometimes impossible task. It is dangerous for those who are seeking the vaccinations as well as the vaccinators giving the shots.
In October 2013, in Peshawar, Pakistan, a vaccination worker and a policeman were killed when a bomb went off near the spot where they were giving polio vaccinations to children and handing out coordinating brochures. Thirteen people were also hurt in the bombing.
In 2012, a vaccinator in India was shot and killed during their National Immunization Days. These attacks are symptoms of the suspicion that many in developing countries have toward vaccinations and vaccination workers.
In Pakistan for example, the CIA used a fake immunization program to collect DNA from suspected members of Osama Bin Laden's family to verify his whereabouts in 2011. Though their motives were good, the result was that many Pakistanis became suspicious of vaccinations and those giving them out.
A Taliban leader in Pakistan has forbidden any more polio vaccinations for children based on U.S. policies in the area. Polio, a paralyzing viral disease which is highly infectious, strikes children under the age of five. It has been eradicated in 99 percent of the world, but not in remote places like in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
In developing countries, there are no well-child appointments to remember.
Immunizations for the most dangerous diseases to children are given when volunteers and aid workers can get access to remote areas and when there is enough political calm for the medicine to be received. Vaccinations are the lifeblood that can help a child see past their fifthth birthday, which every mother wants, but there can be resistance.
Vaccinators are putting themselves in danger so children can be immunized. Donating money to help a person can be one small part in the big immunization puzzle.
Worldpolioday.typepad.com. Web. Published 8 October 2013. "Polio vaccination worker killed in Pakistan."
Shotatlife.org. Web. 16 October 2013. "Polio still paralyses children."
Reviewed October 18, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith