My nephew was born in the 1960s to my sister and brother-in-law before a vaccine against rubella existed. My sister-in-law, a teacher, contracted rubella in her first trimester.
Her son was born with many of the problems commonly found among children born to a parent with rubella. In spite of the care he received, he died at age 5.
My children were born healthy in this same era. I was somewhat sure that I had had a mild case of rubella as a child and might be immune. Even so, I told my doctor about my nephew and asked for the then newly available rubella immunization. He was reluctant to grant my request since I was of child-bearing age and only complied on the condition that I take birth control pills for six months after the vaccination. I agreed.
I wouldn’t wish our family’s tragedy on anyone.
Karen Scott Browdy, Fillmore