Just like many others all across the country, I’ve been frustrated over the lack of flu vaccines in my area.Â My daughters and I usually get seasonal flu vaccines each year free from my husband’s employer.Â This year their seasonal flu shot clinic was postponed and then canceled for family members.Â They were finally able to obtain enough vaccine for half of the employees and drew names to see who’d get them.Â Even our local doctors and pharmacies have said to check back in December to see if they have seasonal and H1N1 vaccines by then.
I complained to a friend that it’s frustrating not to have the choice to get my children vaccinated.Â She stopped me in my tracks when she thought out loud, “I wonder how the Moms in Africa feel when they can’t get vaccines or even basic necessities for their kids?”
I did a little research and found that:
- Polio, almost unheard of in my corner of the world, infected approximately 1,500 people in Africa in 2004.
My friend was right.Â We have healthy children and are downright spoiled with our access to immediate medical care.Â While conditions and medical care are improving in Africa, there is still such a long way to go.Â My frustration over vaccines and the flu are just the tiniest taste of the fear and helplessness felt by Moms in other parts of the world.Â I hope we can learn to use the frustrations to urge us on to action to make things better, everywhere.