Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Getting those Vaccines

This picture reminded me of getting the polio vaccine when I was about the age of the girl in the picture. I think the school had sent letters home informing parents of the need for the vaccine. Everyone knew someone who had been affected by polio, so there was no need to exert pressure. The vaccine came to my poor working class community in the early 1960s, and was given in a baptist church by the catholic nuns who were nurses. The area itched and of course I scratched, still have a faint round scar on my left arm.
The photograph courtesy of Mississippi Department of Archives and History.


  1. I can always tell the age range of people by looking for that scar on their upper arm. I just missed having one by a few years.

  2. I remember those shots. I was a "helper" keeping the kids in line at my elementary school. They gave the shots in the nursery school room. I don't know where the little kids were. I have a photo of my Uncle Louis giving somebody a shot. I didn't have any scar from the polio shot, which was just a stick in the arm with a needle. I did, maybe still do, have one from the small pox vaccine I got before I can remember. I think that is the scar you see on us oldsters arms. They stopped giving them by the time I had kids in the 1970s.

    1. There was so much talk about the polio vaccine, I thought that was the one that caused the scar but it was small pox. You have to look hard for my scar but it is still there.

  3. I also remember getting a polio shot. They gave them to us at school. My memory is that the vaccination clinic was set up out in the hall--and that one class at a time would file out to get the shots.

  4. I got the smallpox shot before I started school. You had to have it to start school. The nurses would check your arms for the scar. That's the one that leaves the dime sized scar on your upper left arm. Years later in school we lined up to get the polio shot. It was the Salk vaccine. And then several years later, we got the polio vaccine again on sugar cubes. They stopped giving the smallpox vaccination around 1972 unless you were military.