There is always talk of new parents wanting to delay immunization schedules for their babies. I cringe when I hear that, when I have a friend tell me her daughter has decided to space out her new baby’s immunizations. This is not the way to protect your infant. The outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases is increasing, and it’s because of delayed vacccinations and those who are afraid to vaccinate, that this is happening. You brought your child into this world with love and hope for a happy, healthy life. Do you part by vaccinating on schedule.
I was lucky to attend the National Adult Immunization Summit today in Atlanta, and learned so much on how to raise awareness about vaccines that are needed for adults. So for Parents for Protect, they need to protect themselves also. Make sure you are up date on flu, shingles, meningitis, pneumonia, etc. vaccines. Check with your healthcare provider. If you are going to be around an infant, make sure you’ve had the pertussis booster — very important for parents, grandparents, friends, exxtended family — anyone who will be around the baby.
Vaccinations are everyone’s responsibility!
There are many organizations like NMA, whose mission is to keep our kids healthy.
Christine Vara wrote an excellent blog for Shot of Prevention, that I’d like to share:
Across the U.S., individual state policies determine which immunizations a child needs in order to be permitted to attend school. And each state also has different ways in which parents can obtain exemptions from these requirements. However, as vaccine exemption rates climb, so do outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases which are threatening the health of our children. Some states are trying to respond by making an effort to legislate their way toward better public health. However, both vaccine supporters and critics maintain different interpretations of “informed consent“.
On the one hand, public health departments are supporting legislation in states such as West Virginia, Oregon, and Vermont that seek to add requirements to an all-too-easy exemption process. Prior to opting out of vaccines for their children, they want parents to be adequately informed of the risks of these decisions. From the public health standpoint, if a parent wants to opt-out of vaccinating their child, the process shouldn’t be any easier than what parents are expected to do to adhere to the vaccine requirement. Therefore, by requiring parents to discuss vaccines with a health care provider, to learn about the risks of not vaccinating, new state legislation is seeking to provide better parental education and information. It would only be expected that this would be welcomed by those who question the safety and efficacy of vaccines. ….
To see the rest of this blog, please open this link. We all need to work together to protect our children.
As the National Meningitis Association is preparing for its annual fundraising gala, I have been reflecting on the many people I have met and the many stories I have heard since my son died. I share tears for those who have lost loved ones, and I share in the joy of those who have survived unscatched, and marvel at the strength of those who have survived but with long lasting side effects. This disease shows no mercy, and its effect can be felt years later. Many of you saw my post earlier this week on Facebook, about a fine young man, who was stricken with meningitis as a freshman in college. Now, over 10 years later, he just underwent a kidney transplant, due to the damage done to his kidneys so many years ago. He is so fortunate to have found a match from his mom. But think of all his family has gone through — from days and weeks of worrying whether their son would survive, through months of recovery and rehab, and thinking the end to this nightmare was in sight, but it wasn’t. Just magnify this by all of the cases over the years. How much can this disease keep taking. How loud do we have to scream to tell people to get vaccinated.
Over the last few weeks, the Tennessee State legislature has had a meningitis vaccination bill working its way through the Senate and House. This bill will help protect all of the children in the state from this potentially vaccine-preventable disease. The bill made it through the Senate with no problems!
This morning I was told an anti-vaccine group was rallying its forces to stop the bill in the House committee. A series of mis-truths were disseminated. I immediately called all of the representatives on the House committee and urged my support for the passage of the bill. Not only were my children born in Tennessee, but I have many family members still living in the state. Even if my sons were born halfway around the world, I would still have called. I want all children protected. I also took the opportunity to point out the mis-information in the anti-vaccine literature.
The reception I received was very positive, and the bill made it out of committee. I am so happy that science and sense has won this round.
As President of the National Meningitis Association, I talk/e-mail with many parents whose children have been affected by vaccine-preventable diseases. All of the stories “get” to me, but some just “tear through my heart.”
This is one of them, about an 8 year old boy who lost both legs last year due to meningococcal disease. Because of healing issues, he has not been able to be fit with prosthetic legs yet.
This is what his mother wrote, because her son was crying, because he couldn’t play outside with the rest of the kids and didn’t understand why this disease had happened to him. Her words brought me to tears, and I just wanted to hug this little boy and take away his hurt.
Bummed…..not sure what to do….As I write this I am fighting back the tears. Deven has been doing so well with school well yesterday he tried outside recess ( I was hesitant about it because unsure how much he can really do) He came home from school asked him how his day was like I do everyday and he said ok… he always says great and goes on to tell me he learned everything and so on. Could tell by the look in his face something was a matter… asked if he went out for recess and he broke down. Which breaks my heart he is such a strong little boy and to this point has never broke down…he told me he can’t play football, or kickball and run like everyone else. And went on to say I wish this never happened to me why did I have to get sick. Why me mom. Which broke my heart I tried to be strong and hold back the tears because I ask the same question day after day to god. I know people tell me for bigger things…but as a mother it hurts, it hurts to look at him and see the things my innocent child went through its hard to accept the fact is for him to bigger things in his life. I told him this stinks, really stinks and I don’t know why this happen but we have to look at the positive side of it that we have him and he is healthy and so he can do big things in his future ( feel like a hypocrite because i don’t accept that reason but i can’t tell him that) He says he doesn’t want to go outside. I am not sure if I should let him make the choice and when he is ready he will let me know or do I push him to go out? I know life isn’t going to be easy and I do not want him to give up when things are hard but as a 9 year old boy is this something I push? I wish I knew which way to go.
This week I had the privilege of attending and speaking at the Hanger Prosthetics Annual Conference and Exhibition. This is the fourth year I’ve attended, and each year, I am amazed at the stories and courage of amputees.
This year, a meningitis survivor from Brazil, spoke with me during my session. I first met Pedro two years ago. He is a quad amputee, and was just learning how to use short prosthetic legs called stubbies. Hearing Pedro speak, having his mom fly in from Brazil to hear her son, just was overwhelming. This young man is now walking, has functional arm prosthetics, and is attending college. He has a beautiful girlfriend and has gotten his life “back.” He has what I call a “new normal” life.
To hear about his mental and physical fight to get where he is now, his ability to share funny anecdotes about his struggles along the way, were just so inspiring. I hate that meningitis has done this to him, but I am so proud and grateful that science and wonderful prosthetics have given him back his life.