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Immunologist

Typical Day

Dr. Laura T. Kleenhans rises at 4am every day. She makes lunch for her kids, spends 30 minutes on the elliptical, takes her vitamins, and then gets ready for work.

She moved to Atlanta after taking a job with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. Her primary focus these days is making sure that children in poor neighborhoods receive proper vaccinations. Since it is the beginning of flu season, her attention is focused on getting as many shots to as many kids as she can. You can bet your Lunchables that Laura’s kids already got their flu shot.

Today, Dr. Laura has to take a plane to Detroit. She is not a big fan of flying. Unfortunately, a career of researching diseases has made her a little paranoid. She has hand wipes, sanitizer, and Vitamin C tablets on her at all times. She doesn't wear a mask, though, because it embarrasses her kids.

When she lands in Detroit, Dr. L gets picked up by the mayor's motorcade. Okay, it's not quite a motorcade, but she does ride in a tinted out Chevy Traverse. She chats with the Mayor on the way to the site of the first annual "Flu Shots, Lollypops, and Tater Tots 4 Kids," which invites families from underprivileged areas to come get free flu shots for all children under 18 while enjoying treats and games. This program got Dr. Laura national attention and an interview on Ellen.

The event gets over 1,000 young people vaccinated in less than 5 hours. Also, with each vaccination, families receive information on disease prevention and tips on how to stay healthy. Overall, it’s a great day. Dr. Laura even manages to sneak some tater tots for the ride back to the airport .

As Dr. Laura pulls into her driveway at 9pm that night, she pauses to think about her career up to this point. She reflects back on her research while earning her Ph.D, the time she spent teaching adjunct courses on microbiology, and her time researching the Ebola virus in Africa. Then she thinks about all the kids she has helped by simply making vaccines available to those who can't get them, and then she pukes in the bushes. Mainly because she ate the tots without washing her hands first.

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