I hope I never have to know what chicken pox feels like. At any rate, I’m doing my best to save Petit-Homme from having to experience this unnecessary malady. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never had chicken pox despite my mother’s numerous attempts to expose me to the virus by hauling me to diseased relatives’ houses (she was a pioneer of the “pox party” before it became trendy.)
Today Petit-Homme watched the nurse stab him with the chicken pox vaccine with much curiosity but did not emit a single sound! He was rewarded with a Donald Duck plaster. Just FYI, the vaccination is not compulsory in the Netherlands (costs €55 if you insist on it). As the prescribing doctor explained it, the government conducted their cost-benefit analysis and figured that the “cost of vaccination would outweigh that of hospitalization”. Here, even measles vaccination is not mandatory and I have heard of some pitifully sick babies who went on to spread the love far and wide.
For myself, I had two options: (1) Undergo blood tests to see if I had already developed immunity to it – then return for a jab if the result was negative ; (2) Just get the vaccination. Since (1) would involve quite a few treks back and forth the clinic, only to possibly end up in the same boat, I opted for (2).
Unfortunately, the provarivax gods were not cooperating and I was somehow unsurprised to learn that there was only one vaccine left in the entire international health clinic. (Sidebar – someone needs to do something about just-in-time delivery in NL: shops, grocery stores and pharmacies are always “out” of what you need! I’m not even kidding. Three days before our trip to Canada, Albert Heijn’s bakery was out of stroopwafel! That’s like Chinatown being out of soy sauce). I digress. I decided that Petit-Homme would get his today and I’d return later.
So, up to the second floor for the doctor’s prescription. Back down to the ground floor and a 20 minute wait for the vaccine to be dispensed. (see here for pharmacy grumbles). Then back up to the first floor for a nurse to stick it in.
Hopefully it will all go well. I’ll need to get mine ASAP as if PH does develop a mild case in 7-10 days (happens in 1-10% of people, how’s that for a vague statistic), he will be contagious and it would be unhumorously ironic if his immunization were to cause his mother to break out in spots. At any rate, I would thereafter be able to more graciously allow infested humans into my house – after having to deal with one awkward incident where a guest announced that she would be attending a party chez moi with her highly contagious baby ….