Chickenpox vaccination humor

a misunderstanding with a bit of a humoric twist

All stories in this section are based on true events; names of people in these stories have been changed to protect their identity.

In the fall I work as a nurse managing flu clinics in the Syracuse, NY area. This year we are offering many other vaccinations than just the flu and pneumonia shot we offer TDAP, MMR, MCV4, Hepatitis A and B, HPV, Zoster (shingles), and chicken pox. I had a mother inquire about the chicken pox vaccination for her youngest son, Johnny. As we were talking about the chicken pox vaccine her older son, Ben who is one year older than Johnny began to cry. Both their mother’s attention and mine turns to the boy. The mother comforts the Ben and asks why he is upset. Ben looks at me and says “she is going to give Johnny a shot to turn him into a chicken and I love john as my brother.”

Oh my god! How do you not bust a gut laughing? I don’t know how I did it but I managed not to laugh for I did not want to hurt the kid’s feelings. At his age this confusion can be totally normal as neither the mother nor I explained what the shot was or what it did prior to the lengthy conversation. We calmed Ben down and assured him that the shot would not turn his little brother into a chicken and that he had it almost a year ago. After much explanation and reassurance Ben accepted this and we continued to move forth with the vaccine.

I will always remember the fear and hurt in Ben’s eyes and will use this as a learning moment (and comical) in my life that I thought I would share with you.

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