We’re so grateful to Courtney for partnering with us to share her family’s story! View Courtney’s full blog post here.
When my daughter Willa was born, she inhaled meconium during labor. She had to be in the NICU for 6 days before we could bring her home. In all of our first pictures of her, she was hooked up to breathing tubes, feeding tubes, oxygen, and an IV. She went through more than any baby should have to in her first week. I promised myself that I would do everything I could to prevent her from ever having to be in the hospital again, hooked up to machines and looking so helpless.
That is why I choose to vaccinate.
My husband and I have had zero hesitation with getting Willa all the recommended vaccines at her scheduled appointments. She recently turned 18 months and I masked up and brought her to her well-check appointment ready to comfort her after her shots. I know these vaccines are the safest and most effective way to prevent infectious disease and another hospital stay.
We’re also currently expecting our second daughter in June and will be vaccinating her as well. I hope that this keeps her from experiencing any health issues that are preventable.
We are very lucky to have had all of the vaccines given to generations before us. We can’t stop this cycle. We need to be responsible for future generations by doing our part in vaccinating ourselves and our children against preventable infectious diseases.
I Vaccinate Partnership
I’ve partnered with I Vaccinate to share my story and this content is sponsored by I Vaccinate. I Vaccinate provides information and tools based on medical science and research to help parents protect their kids.
While I don’t live in Michigan anymore, I have a lot of friends who do and many of them are or are becoming mamas. When I Vaccinate reached out to me about this campaign, I was excited to join them. No matter where I live, vaccinations will always be important to me and my family and I will always choose to support getting them.
Why I Choose to Vaccinate
I choose to vaccinate my children for three reasons.
Vaccines are safe. I trust that the scientists and health care providers have studied, tested, and continue to monitor the safety of the vaccines recommended to our children. The scientific data behind these vaccines show that there are very few side effects and the number of antigens (which tell the immune system to create antibodies) in vaccines are small compared to the number of antigens healthy children experience every day.
Vaccines are effective. Children who receive their recommended vaccines have lower chances of illness, hospitalization, and death. When comparing infectious disease cases to pre-vaccine times, Rubella caused birth defects and disabilities in 20,000 newborns each year. Measles infected 4 million children every year. The MMR vaccine, given at 12 months and 4 years, protects children against both of these diseases. That vaccine decreased infection rates for these diseases by 99.9%.
Vaccines help protect everyone. Just like wearing a mask in our current environment, I know vaccinating my child helps keep others safe. I would never want my own child to be put at risk by another parent or child, so I will continue to do my part by vaccinating my kids for those that cannot be vaccinated. I am so grateful to parents who vaccinate for those who cannot.
Addressing Vaccine Concerns
Just because I had no hesitation in getting Willa her recommended vaccinations doesn’t mean you won’t have questions or concerns about vaccinating your own children. I respect that. I believe that questioning every single thing that happens to our babies is great parenting.
Please address any vaccine concerns you have with your child’s pediatrician. That is what they’re there for. They want to answer your questions and to help you feel more informed and confident in your decisions regarding your child’s health.
If you do have concerns or are hesitant, be sure you are getting your answers and information from credible sources and not from deceptive websites or social media.
Some Great Vaccine Resources
As mentioned above, your pediatrician is a wonderful resource regarding vaccinations. Not only can they give you all of the facts about vaccines they can also make recommendations based on your and your child’s health history so you know you’re making the best decision for your child.
Other credible resources include:
- Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – They offer an app for vaccine information on the go
- Parents of Kids with Infections Diseases (PKID)
For more information on vaccine safety and efficacy, I recommend that you check out I Vaccinate.