Telltale Second and Third World Skin Scars
The terms Second World and Third World are out of date, but the idea stills hits home. Catch me on a politically correct day, and you'll find me using "developing country."
Regardless of the label, there are some skin scars that reveal telling information about where someone was born, their lifestyle, and even what immunizations they've had. Some immunization scars can be very visible, and very unattractive.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a problem in Peru, like in many developing countries around the world, and immunization at birth is now commonplace. But what I didn't realize was that the scar that's so easily identifiable (and obvious) on the upper left arm or shoulder blade of the populous of Second and Third World countries came from this vaccination.
I found this out after Tatiana and I had authorized Aidric's TB shot, and I'm not pleased about it. I don't want my son to have the brand of the Second World on his skin.
I only want what's best for Aidric, and feel he probably needs to have this shot, but am also certain that the injection wasn't given to him in a percutaneous manner, a method (using a device with several small needles) which would have avoided leaving him with a scar that looks like he was burned with an in-dash automobile cigarette lighter.
In the USA, a different approach is taken. People at higher risk of TB have regular skin tests to see if they are infected. If the skin test becomes positive they receive treatment.
However, only about 1 in 10 people infected with TB go on to develop the disease. So, 9 out of 10 people given a course of drugs to prevent it developing will have been given the drugs unnecessarily in the USA.
There is no FDA approved TB vaccine in the U.S.
There is a greater than 75% chance that Aidric will have a scar from his intradermally administered TB vaccination. Who knows, maybe he'll grow up to be humbled by its presence when he looks in the mirror—a gentle reminder of where he came from, regardless of his station in life.