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India Preparation - Vaccinations

Hepatitis? Check. A & B? Check. Tetanus & Diptheria? Check. Typhus? Check. Pneumokokken? Check...wait, pneumo what?

A couple of weeks ago a friendly, smiling German doctor took great pleasure in ramming a giant pneumokokken filled vaccination into my arm, why? Because I told her I hadn't had one before. Why did I say this? Because I didn't know what it was.

Rather than admit ignorance to the plight of those suffering from pneumokokososity, I took another needle. Some time later after the pain disappeared, I thought it best to find out what I was now immune to.

An internet translation of the German word kokken was required. I think it would be fair to say that I'm not the only English speaker who, when faced with a word like kokken, would be curious to find out which part of the anatomy is now vaccinated. Alas, kokken translates in English as coccobacilli.

With this new found fact, I surmised that I might now be vaccinated against some form of Italian pasta, a variety not sold in Lidl. Wikipedia was needed.

This is what I found,

Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, is gram-positive, alpha-hemolytic, bile-soluble aerotolerant anaerobe and a member of the genus Streptococcus. A significant human pathogenic bacterium, S. pneumoniae was recognized as a major cause of pneumonia in the late 19th century and is the subject of many humoral immunity studies....

The last words... Humoral immunity... That's chilling. Did a German doctor immunise me against humor, albeit only American humour with that spelling? Not possible, although Germans are famous for not having a sense of humour so it would make sense... Hmmmm...

In the end, I still couldn't find out exactly what I was vaccinated against. But, at least now I can sleep soundly at night knowing the word Kokken won't be on my gravestone...

Posted by scotsman 12:48 Archived in Germany

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