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#1 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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does anyone know what vaxes were in that shot? Most people I know who are in their 50's have a round scar on their upper left arm. My mom said it was from when she got her "shots". What did the dosc do to leave such a scar?
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#2 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 05:59 PM
 
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Smallpox.

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#3 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK..but what happened that it left a scar like that? This should probably be in vaccinations.
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#4 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 07:07 PM
 
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they scraped the skin to apply the vaccine, and it left a minipox, which scarred. google can provide pictures and info.
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#5 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 07:15 PM
 
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they scraped the skin to apply the vaccine, and it left a minipox, which scarred. google can provide pictures and info.
We were trying to watch John Adams (HBO Mini Series) and there was a scene in it where Abigail was having herself and the children inoculated with it. It made me want to :Puke

Seriously, why would anyone ever think it was a good idea to scrape a deadly disease off someone else and put it right into your own blood stream? Blech.

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#6 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OH GOSH! Gross! How horrible!!!
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#7 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 07:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post
We were trying to watch John Adams (HBO Mini Series) and there was a scene in it where Abigail was having herself and the children inoculated with it. It made me want to :Puke

Seriously, why would anyone ever think it was a good idea to scrape a deadly disease off someone else and put it right into your own blood stream? Blech.
I'm guessing back then with no plumbing, little bathing and not good hygiene for preventing germs from spreading and killing families, and having small pox being a deadly disease with no cure or treatment - having someone else's disease put into your bloodstream to possibly prevent that probably seemed like a good idea.
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#8 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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Wow, I'm feeling so old. Those scars are on people younger than their 50's too. What I remember from the Stone Ages was getting a vax in school which caused my scar. I felt like it was several short needles which was activated by a trigger, kinda like a gun. I remember it hurt, and I remember the sound of the trigger.
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#9 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 07:37 PM
 
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BCG vaccination also leaves a pretty large scar, not as big as smallpox.

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#10 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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Wow, I'm feeling so old. Those scars are on people younger than their 50's too. What I remember from the Stone Ages was getting a vax in school which caused my scar. I felt like it was several short needles which was activated by a trigger, kinda like a gun. I remember it hurt, and I remember the sound of the trigger.
I was just going to say that, I didn't get it but only missed it by a few years.

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#11 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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Wow, I'm feeling so old. Those scars are on people younger than their 50's too. What I remember from the Stone Ages was getting a vax in school which caused my scar. I felt like it was several short needles which was activated by a trigger, kinda like a gun. I remember it hurt, and I remember the sound of the trigger.
You are bringing back a nasty memory for me - this is *exactly* how it was for me. It hurt like a big dog. In my early 40's here... and I think I got it just before they stopped (my bad timing as usual). My scar is about 1/2" diameter - it's pretty obvious. Wish my mom knew better back then, but I guess I can't blame her for not knowing.

Funny thing - before I opened this thread, I knew exactly what the title was referring to ("that scar"). It was from the smallpox vaccine.

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#12 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 10:14 PM
 
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My husband has a very obvious scar. He's 40, but his was given when he joined the Navy at 18.

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#13 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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It's kinda how we treat chicken pox now, though...exposing it to our kids on purpose to increase their immunity so it won't kill them later. I was in elementary school when the vaccine came out, but I'm so glad I never got it. I just had chicken pox and got over it. I know the smallpox one isn't that simple, though.

It was the people who had cowpox that didn't get smallpox...maybe we should just let people get the non-deadly cowpox? I don't now. I don't know too much about the issue, only that lots of problems have recently presented themselves.

Does anyone have any good articles that I could read? My dad insists all of you are nutjobs - lol - but I've got an open mind (and heart!).
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#14 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
I'm guessing back then with no plumbing, little bathing and not good hygiene for preventing germs from spreading and killing families, and having small pox being a deadly disease with no cure or treatment - having someone else's disease put into your bloodstream to possibly prevent that probably seemed like a good idea.
IIRC, the original smallpox innoculations weren't smallpox, but cowpox (a less dangerous disease that conferred immunity to smallpox).

It was a major medical breakthrough at the time, and saved a lot of lives.
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#15 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 10:22 PM
 
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IIRC, the original smallpox innoculations weren't smallpox, but cowpox (a less dangerous disease that conferred immunity to smallpox).

It was a major medical breakthrough at the time, and saved a lot of lives.

That's what I was thinking, thank you!
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#16 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 10:27 PM
 
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IIRC, the original smallpox innoculations weren't smallpox, but cowpox (a less dangerous disease that conferred immunity to smallpox).
Okay, well in the movie they were showing the doctor (or whomever) pulling pox off a near-dead looking person in the back of his wagon.

Edited to add... According to wikipedia the cowpox was not used until 1796, so that was 20 years or so after the scene I am talking about which would have taken place around 1776 or so.

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#17 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 10:34 PM
 
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I am going to guess they are taking creative license in the mini-series. Smallpozvaccine was derived from cowpox. Why people didn't just putposely contract cowpox...I son't know. BUt it was a medical breakthrough for a disease that had 50% mortality and left those that survived horribly disfigured (if I am remember correctly and my history lesson was correct)

I also missed the wagon and do not have a smallpox innoculation scar (I am 37). My sister 8 years older does...not sure about my sister who is 4 years older (I think she has one). DH who just turned 40 this year does not.

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#18 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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BCG-yes, my mom's looks like a bunch of small needles in a deep circle shaped scar. What does BCG stand for?
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#19 of 49 Old 04-04-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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I am going to guess they are taking creative license in the mini-series.
Perhaps, but they had actually been using smallpox as an inoculate for close to a thousand years prior to this according to a couple of different sources. Anyway, that is totally OT to the OP's post so I'll leave it for a discussion another day.

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#20 of 49 Old 04-05-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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BCG-yes, my mom's looks like a bunch of small needles in a deep circle shaped scar. What does BCG stand for?
Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG)

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#21 of 49 Old 04-05-2009, 02:59 PM
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As a point of historical interest, here is Lady Mary Wortely Montagu's description of smallpox inoculation (she called it "engrafting") from a letter she wrote to a friend in 1717. Note her description of the procedure and its effects and her prediction of the likely reaction of European doctors to the practice.

From http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/m...smallpox.html:
Quote:
A propos of distempers, I am going to tell you a thing, that will make you wish yourself here. The small-pox, so fatal, and so general amongst us, is here entirely harmless, by the invention of engrafting, which is the term they give it. There is a set of old women, who make it their business to perform the operation, every autumn, in the month of September, when the great heat is abated. People send to one another to know if any of their family has a mind to have the small-pox; they make parties for this purpose, and when they are met (commonly fifteen or sixteen together) the old woman comes with a nut-shell full of the matter of the best sort of small-pox, and asks what vein you please to have opened. She immediately rips open that you offer to her, with a large needle (which gives you no more pain than a common scratch) and puts into the vein as much matter as can lie upon the head of her needle , and after that, binds up the little wound with a hollow bit of shell, and in this manner opens four or five veins. The Grecians have commonly the superstition of opening one in the middle of the forehead, one in each arm, and one on the breast, to mark the sign of the Cross; but this has a very ill effect, all these wounds leaving little scars, and is not done by those that are not superstitious, who chuse to have them in the legs, or that part of the arm that is concealed. The children or young patients play together all the rest of the day, and are in perfect health to the eighth. Then the fever begins to seize them, and they keep their beds two days, very seldom three. They have very rarely above twenty or thirty in their faces, which never mark, and in eight days time they are as well as before their illness. Where they are wounded, there remains running sores during the distemper, which I don't doubt is a great relief to it. Every year, thousands undergo this operation, and the French Ambassador says pleasantly, that they take the small-pox here by way of diversion, as they take the waters in other countries. There is no example of any one that has died in it, and you may believe I am well satisfied of the safety of this experiment, since I intend to try it on my dear little son. I am patriot enough to take the pains to bring this useful invention into fashion in England, and I should not fail to write to some of our doctors very particularly about it, if I knew any one of them that I thought had virtue enough to destroy such a considerable branch of their revenue, for the good of mankind. But that distemper is too beneficial to them, not to expose to all their resentment, the hardy wight that should undertake to put an end to it. Perhaps if I live to return, I may, however, have courage to war with them. Upon this occasion, admire the heroism in the heart of

Your friend, etc. etc.
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#22 of 49 Old 04-05-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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Interesting, both my parents have the scar.


I have the BCG scar

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#23 of 49 Old 04-05-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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I'm 40 and have the scar. However, my mom had read that a LOT of the scarring comes about because it itches like the dickens and when small children received the vax they would scratch it, which would make it worse and leave a nasty scar. She had them put it on my right shoulder where as a small child, I was unable to reach it. The scar is so little DH didn't even realize I had one. My grandmother on the other hand, had it on her arm and it left a large crater-like scar.
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#24 of 49 Old 04-05-2009, 07:11 PM
 
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It seems there are two separate scars/vaccines being talked about here...the one on the upper left arm for smallpox. They stopped giving this one around the early 70s.

Then there's the BCG vaccine, which looks to be for tuberculosis. Perhaps this one was done other places than the upper left arm...? They don't seem to give this one too often, unless there are driving reasons to...like for a small child that can't be separated from a person who has TB.

ETA: In the US they don't give the BCG vaccine too often. Elsewhere apparently it's still common to give BCG. I've also discovered that the BCG vaccine is supposed to cause a person to react positively to a TB test. This was a point mentioned in one paper I read, that it would be impossible to determine actual TB infection rates in a population if everyone or almost everyone had the BCG vaccine.

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#25 of 49 Old 04-05-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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It seems there are two separate scars/vaccines being talked about here...the one on the upper left arm for smallpox. They stopped giving this one around the early 70s.

Then there's the BCG vaccine, which looks to be for tuberculosis. Perhaps this one was done other places than the upper left arm...? They don't seem to give this one too often, unless there are driving reasons to...like for a small child that can't be separated from a person who has TB.
I have both. And both, including my smallpox scar, are barely detectable. The interesting thing (at least for me) is I needed to have the smallpox done twice because it didn't take the first time and barely took the second time. I don't know if this is related, but I could never get a clinical dose of chicken pox either despite countless exposures both as a child and adult.

I was born and raised in the UK, and I got the BCG at around 12 years old, administered at my boarding school on my upper right arm (smallpox is on my left arm). This was a routine vaccination at the time. My eldest dd was born in Hong Kong and got the BCG vaccination as a newborn administered in the hospital, and she also had a scar from it. And yes, it is for TB, but it completely and utterly useless. I actually think it is worse than useless because it caused me to have chronic sore throats and glandular issues from when I got it to my early twenties.

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#26 of 49 Old 04-06-2009, 07:48 PM
 
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I had the smallpox vaccine, but not the BCG. Was receiving BCG perhaps a local thing? I don't think any of my friends/family had BCG, but we all had a smallpox vax. Most of my contemporaries have a visible scar, but you can't even see mine.

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#27 of 49 Old 04-07-2009, 12:50 AM
 
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They still give Smallpox vaccines to military going to Iraq (possibly Afghanistan too). DH managed to dodge that one twice.

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#28 of 49 Old 04-07-2009, 12:54 AM
 
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BCG-yes, my mom's looks like a bunch of small needles in a deep circle shaped scar. What does BCG stand for?
My mother has one of these also

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#29 of 49 Old 04-07-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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Dh has a small pox scar - older generation lol. That made me laugh, I will have to share that with him . No, its not from military service. He got his in grade school.

Engrafting sounds disgusting. They were really lucky they didn't spread all sorts of other diseases doing that.

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#30 of 49 Old 04-07-2009, 09:04 PM
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Given that the letter was written in the early 18th century, I'm not sure that Europeans would have noticed that they were spreading diseases other than smallpox with the practice. Modern standards of hygiene didn't yet exist for people or medical instruments. A lot of the diseases you can get from small wounds are less deadly than smallpox.
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