We school kids did as was suggested. Take the vaccine. It first started with a note to our parents pinned to our shirts and taken home. Parents were to sign a permission slip for the vaccine and taken back by we kids to our teachers. Then on a designated day we kids all stood in line at the nurse’s office and took our shots. As far as I can remember, no one I knew of got Smallpox. We were told by our teachers that Smallpox was not a good thing. Without the Smallpox vaccine the symptoms start with fever, headache, backache, neck ache, and a full body itchy red rash appears. All lasting for some time. Plus easy to pass on to others.
Later we also got shots for Diphtheria which is a horrible disease that coats the throat with a whitish membrane and causes high fever, a very sore throat, and difficulty breathing. Death can easily occur. Whew! So we got our shots.
Then came vaccine for Polio. Several kids I knew contracted Polio. Some lost ability to walk on their own and some kids had to be placed in an ‘Iron Lung’ because they could not breathe on their own. Many kids, including my wife at age 7, had to stay in the hospital for many weeks of therapy. Time spent alone without their parents. Scary. One gentleman that lives here in our community at age eleven had to stay in the hospital for almost two years due to Polio. So when the vaccine came along we all stood in line. First it was a shot in the arm and later it came in the form of a sugar cube with vaccine in it. So we all took our vaccine. I don’t like getting ill. It’s bothersome. Prevents kids from playing outside. None the less, it often hurts. I don’t like hurt. Here! Put that shot right here in my right arm.
I do not remember back then religious leaders or politicians ranting and railing on resisting the shots. Neither for religious or political reasons. They certainly knew better to profess such a thing. Plus parents did not want to deal with all the horrible symptoms of various diseases. For Pete sakes, GET YOUR VACCINE!!! So for now, you religious and political leaders stick it up your waazoo.