Shepherds, Santa and Vaccination: A Christmas Story

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” […] that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” [Luke 2:8-20]

Shepherds were the first to be informed about the birth of Jesus by the angels. Why shepherds? Probably because, at that time, many people think that sheep farmers were generally seen as having low or little value by other people. There’s a theory that Jesus might have been born a couple of miles outside of Bethlehem – and was actually born in the company of the shepherds! A couple of miles outside Bethlehem there was a special watch tower called the Migdal Eder, which means ‘The Tower of the Flock’. It would have been amazing to both the shepherds, and the people that they told, that this very special baby, Jesus, had been born in a ‘normal’ house (or in the Migdal Eder) not in a rich house or royal palace. This is probably to send the message that every human born in this earth is equal.

Times A.D., all the children of ‘Changpas’, the nomadic shepherds of Changtan plateau or “roof of the world” of Ladakh, became protected from vaccine preventable diseases. Taking a step forward to make #vaccines #equitable. Despite their nomadic life, the high-altitude terrain (15,000 ft) and harsh climate (between -20 to -40 degree Celsius). As we jingle, “Now the ground is white, go it while you’re young.”

Merry Christmas! To all those “Santa Claus” who’s relentless efforts are protecting every child in this world from vaccine preventable diseases.

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