Polio ravaged many Canadians

Polio ravaged many Canadians I wasn't planning on wading into the vaccination issue but I just heard on CBC Radio that polio has again become a world problem. I had polio when I was three years old. At the time, I lived in southern Ontario and was part

I wasn’t planning on wading into the vaccination issue but I just heard on CBC Radio that polio has again become a world problem.

I had polio when I was three years old. At the time, I lived in southern Ontario and was part of one of the last groups of kids who were unfortunate enough to get this dreadful disease. I had learned to walk at nine months then had to relearn all over again.

Before you start thinking that maybe southern Ontario was an area where polio cases were more prevalent, my family moved to northern Ontario after I got better. There was a boy in my class all through primary school who also had polio.

His was much worse than mine. He had a shrivelled, shorter leg which made him limp quite noticeably and painfully. He was often absent from school, needing medical attention on a regular basis.

Despite this very nasty disease, we both completed primary and secondary schools and successfully went on to university. We both married and had kids.

We were the lucky ones. Many kids didn’t make it. They died and many suffered a lot before dying.

Parents have to make up their own minds about vaccination. Most parents love their kids and want only what is best for them. Mine did. Had there been vaccination available where I lived in 1949 my parents would probably have had me vaccinated.

We aren’t in 1949 anymore and vaccinations are available everywhere. I had my kids vaccinated.

Many young parents today believe that vaccinating their kids is a private decision. Will parents suffer in privacy if their kids get polio? Will they suffer in privacy when these kids spend their lives getting special medical care?

Will they suffer in privacy if their kids die? Will they suffer in privacy if they expose their class-mates to the polio virus?

Many Whitehorse residents are world travellers. This is a great and wonderful thing. While they are getting amazing experiences they are also exposing themselves and their kids to many nasty diseases, including polio.

Most parents have been vaccinated. Have their kids also been vaccinated?

Vaccination is a subject worthy of serious thought and decision-making.

Carol Ann Gingras

Whitehorse

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