This paper received 2nd place in the 2021 Hare and Bell competition.


Have you ever had a vaccine? I have. Some haven’t. I remember when I was a kid,

maybe around six, sitting on the paper-covered exam table in my doctor’s office. The room was sterile and cold, and a nurse was approaching me with the needle. Like most children, I was absolutely petrified. The fear of the unknown, of the pain, of a foreign metal penetrating my body...completely out of control and unaware of what it was supposed to protect me from...only aware of the fear. I cried. I tried to get away. They had to hold my arm down to keep me from pulling away. My mom couldn’t watch and had to leave the room because she felt so guilty watching me sob in fear, with no way to comfort me. It stung when the needle pierced my skin. And then again and again. Five times. At least they didn’t do a finger prick that day too. Those scared me the most.