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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Having pins stuck in me might be less painful 

So I dropped my immunization form into my doctor's on Monday, thinking it would be nice and straight forward. No such luck. There was an aswerphone message waiting for me when I got home, which I returned this morning. Although the docotr was going out of his way to be helpful, I pretty much got the impression that he'd taken one quick look at the form and decided it was all too hard. He suggested that he get all my relevant records photocopied, I then pick up the copies and form, fill it out and then return with the form and the photocopies and get the necessary signature. The only way in which this makes it any easier for the doctor, as far as I can see, is that he doesn't have to fill in all the little circles for the dates of the jabs, which, as he seemed to think this would be a terribly time consuming job, was sensible from his point of view. As filling in the little circles took me less than five minutes, I'm not convinced.

The photocopies gave me most of the relevant information three times over, and quite a bit of irrlevant information twice, and do suggest that, as suspected, I need a measels jab. Now I was pretty sure this would be easy. I might not be able to get a single measels jab, as they're not generally available on the NHS, but I could have an MMR one instead. So I phoned the surgery to make an appointment. Turns out there is absolutely no MMR vaccine available in the area at all. No singles measels either (or mumps for that matter). Apparently this is down to the fact that the Government launched a big drive to get young adults immunized for mumps (because thye're a bit too old to have had the injection as infants, but didn't tend to get the infection in childhood because of herd immunity after the vaccine was introduced) without extra vaccine being available. So parents of young children are being urged to protect them with MMR, young adults are being told they need to be protected against mumps, I need to fulfil UPenn's medical requirements, and non of us can get a blessed injection.

I was told to phone back in a month and see if any vaccine had arrived. Failing that, I guess I'm going to have to get one done once I get to Philly.

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