H1N1 Vaccine


It was important to me that Sophie got the H1N1 vaccine. I’d heard too many terrible tales from good friends whose families were struck with H1N1. I had intended on taking Sophie to the Butler County Vaccine Clinic (the closest I could find) last Friday but didn’t after learning they stopped letting people in due to overcrowding. So I called my pediatrician’s office. I explained we lived far away and that if we wanted a chance at this clinic we’d have to wake up really early Saturday morning and stand in the cold, with a lot of people. The nurse said they were no longer sure they were going to get the vaccine and that we should do whatever we can to try. So we did.

Andy and I got up at 5:30am, got ready, then woke up Sophie. We arrived at the fairgrounds at 7:15am, 45 minutes before the clinic opened. The line snaked around several buildings, the grandstands, several more buildings … a police officer told us people had been lined up since 3am. Above is Sophie early, early in the morning, not at all knowing that all this cold and waiting in line was only for a shot at the end …



I was so thankful to have Andy there. One of us would walk around the fairgrounds with her while the other would wait in line.



I was expecting to be there for hours. But once 8am hit, the line moved very quickly. And everyone was so cordial, accommodating and kind. We were back in our car around 9:15 am.


After we stopped by my parents’ house and went out for breakfast. Some may think us crazy for getting up so early and waiting in such a long, cold line. But knowing she has had the vaccine calms me. I feel better about taking her to the YMCA’s child watch. I know I’ll feel a little less worried anytime I see a runny nose. And as my cousin Lisa said, as parents, we just have to make a decision and go with it. And so we did. And honestly, I think Sophie got a kick out of getting up so early and waiting in line with lots of kids and walking up and down the grandstand steps. And sure, she cried when she got the shot. But the tears were short-lived. (I haven’t told her yet about the booster …)

“As a child, I was more afraid of tetanus shots than, for example, Dracula.” —Dave Barry