We are so grateful to Courtney for partnering with us to share her family’s story! View Courtney’s blog post here.
We just got back from a family vacation in Michigan. We travel back every summer to visit Ben’s parents and my grandparents at their cabins up north. It is both the most stressful and most memorable week each year and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Along with all the stress of packing, traveling, and managing tantrums (both for kids and adults!), comes the stress of keeping everyone healthy before, during, and after the trip. When we visit family, we’re visiting the most important people in our lives and we never want to risk anyone’s health.
Parents of young kids understand how often you have to think about the health of your kids and the health of others. We think about it constantly. Should we go to that birthday party if Willa has a cough? Should we sit this one out because of Ellie’s runny nose? We’ve canceled trips before due to simple colds to prevent spreading it to our more susceptible family members.
This is why vaccines are so important. They help stop the spread of preventable diseases, so you have one less thing to worry about.
The main reason I get both of my girls vaccinated per their pediatrician’s recommendations is the protection it provides to them and our family members.
I feel so lucky that the girls still have great grandparents to have fun and play with our girls. I would never want to jeopardize my grandparents’ health by spreading something that could have been prevented by a vaccine.
We strive to do our part in reaching “community immunity,” where 90–95 percent of the community is vaccinated and diseases are nearly impossible to spread. Vaccines don’t just protect our own kids. They protect others with weakened immune systems, chronic diseases, or high-risk health issues.
VACCINES ARE SAFE
We follow the CDC’s guidelines for our kids’ immunization schedules. Sometimes that means several shots in the same visit. Other than a few minutes of crying after the shots, which are a few of the hardest moments for moms, our kids have been completely healthy and happy afterward.
By the time a vaccine is given to our kids, it has been studied for 15 to 20 years and has undergone testing by thousands of scientists, statisticians, and health care professionals. The scientific data behind these vaccines show that there are very few side effects, none of which are long-lasting due to the short time the vaccine is in the body. The number of antigens (which tell the immune system to create antibodies) in vaccines is small compared to the number of antigens healthy children experience every day.
Since we’ve been diligent about getting our girls vaccinated per their pediatrician’s recommendations, we’ve never had a disease-related health scare. We get the flu shot every year and have thankfully also never gotten the flu as a family.
Vaccinations have prevented millions of illnesses from being spread, millions of hospitalizations and hundreds of thousands of deaths.
SOME GREAT VACCINE RESOURCES
If you’re still hesitant or have questions about your child’s vaccinations, talk to your pediatrician and visit some of these reputable sources for information.