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I’ve had a long and relatively healthy life despite the fact that over the years I have had Smallpox, Polio, Diphtheria, Whooping Cough, Mumps and Measles (English and German!) None of these diseases killed me or even made me unwell because it wasn’t the diseases themselves I finished up with but the vaccines that protected me against them. There are more. As a teenager, I was given the BCG vaccination against Tuberculosis. Later when I worked overseas I had vaccinations against Tetanus, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Cholera and Hepatitis A and B. There may have been others but I’ve forgotten them.. Where they to protect me against Human African Trypanosomiasis (Sleeping Sickness), Dengue Fever, Yaws, Elephantiasis or Chagas disease? I’ve never had those diseases so perhaps they were. I have endured instead such exotics as Montezuma’s Revenge, Delhi Belly, the Aztec Two-Step, the Turkey Trots and Wilderness Diarrhoea. Fortunately, these all disappeared after a week or two in the toilet. Not to miss out, these days I have Flu jabs on an annual basis, each one specially adapted to handle the latest mutation doing the rounds.

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All this means ghosts of the research work done by scientists, microbiologists and doctors like Edward Jenner, Jonas Salk, Stanley A Plotkin and Maurice Hilleman are still drifting around my system and still seem to be working. Now there are new vaccines coming up the road, each with the potential to protect us from COVID-19… and if one comes my way I will take it.

There are some people however who are hesitant about taking the vaccines or will refuse them completely, some for medical reasons, others believing they need more testing. The more hardcore anti-vaxxers think that the vaccines are an infringement of their personal liberty or part of a promotional scam by “Big Pharma” to make vast profits. Others see a massive conspiracy sponsored by the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates to inject us all with trackable microchips that will allow “Big Pharma” to tell who has, or has not, been tested. Other believe that vaccines cause autism despite the enormous amount of research that proves otherwise. (The original “vaccines cause autism” idea was concocted by a British doctor, Andrew Wakefield, in 1998. He has since been struck off the medical register.)

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The point that I am moving towards in none of the vaccines I have taken over the years have done me any harm. Instead, they have all helped to keep me disease free and may have even saved my life… so when my doctor rings me up and tell me to come in and get my coronavirus shot I will be there… er, like a shot. My sleeve is already rolled up!

A short American video about the importance of getting your shot

– from Martyn Day