DD is participating in a medical study involving immune responses to revaccination against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. She was part of the original study ten years ago to determine whether such a vaccine combination actually worked, and when it did, that vaccine was licensed for wide use all across Canada in 1999. This follow-up study is to investigate repeat administration of the vaccine and its long-term immunity.
I went along to her first appointment today just out of interest and also I was the chauffeur (DD is not permitted to drive The Mighty Hyundai under my rental contract – not that she even wants to.). We were there about an hour, and near the end, the nurse came out to the waiting room to enquire if perhaps I might be interested in being part of a similar research study.
“We need people of all ages,” she told me. “Do you know when your last diphtheria shot was?”
“Actually,no, I have no idea,” I answered. “I don’t think I’ve ever had an MMR shot either. I don’t think those existed when I was little. Everybody just had chicken pox, measles and mumps as part of childhood. Except I’m not too sure whether or not I’ve had mumps. I know I’ve had chicken pox and measles.”
The nurse looked at me and asked, “Well, how old ARE you?” I couldn’t quite read the expression on her face.
I told her I was fifty, and she smiled sheepishly. “I don’t think we have any openings right now for people that old – I mean, that age. But if you were between thirty and forty…”
First a slight compliment because I don’t look my age, then a bit of a stab because I actually am that age. Ow.