Do you have a story about how vaccines helped protect your family? Or maybe a family member that is immune-compromised and relies on community immunity? Let your pro-vaccine voice be heard.
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10.27.2022 12:22 pm
Years 2000-2005, as a CNA and then as a nurse, I worked for a local hospital on the pediatric floor as well as the after-hours clinic. We would see countless infants and toddlers with rotavirus every year. These infants and toddlers would come in dehydrated from vomiting or diarrhea. Sometimes the dehydration was so much that they had to be admitted for IV fluids and close monitoring of labs and vital signs. The severe cases would need to be transferred to the children’s hospital for more intensive care. But really, there was not anything we could do, except let the virus run its course. Diarrhea could last up to 14 days. Imagine, as a caregiver; the patient could not return to daycare until symptoms were much better. The families would have to miss work, not to mention many hours of missed sleep, to care for their child.
This story has a happy ending, though! Since about 2006, we have had the rotavirus vaccine. And now we see very few cases of rotavirus. To be able to see the vaccines in action means a lot to this pediatric nurse.
6.14.2022 9:20 am
I had chickenpox in the 8th grade (in the '80s before the chickenpox vaccine was available). My case was horrible, and I had them all over - I even had one in my eye. I was so thankful when the shingles vaccine was approved for people 50+ because I have always been afraid that if I got shingles I would get it on my face and possibly in my eyes. I got both shingles doses as soon as I was eligible and had no issues with them.
3.21.2022 11:15 am
Early one Saturday morning me and my kids went to a Dunbar community event. We were going to sell my son T-shirts. And my son saw a Baptist health mobile van and found out they were giving out vaccine shots. He knew that I was scared. He went to the van and told them he wanted to get his vaccine they told him he was too young. He said I want Mom to get one, but she is scared. So, he brought Dr. Michelle Smith to me to answer any question I had so I wouldn't be scared anymore. She answered all my questions my son kept on until I changed my mind. He held my hand as we went to the van and stood there as I received my shot, still holding my hand. It gave me a change of heart, and I'm glad I made the right decision, and now both of my kids are vaccinated. And I'm also encouraging others to get vaccinated.
3.16.2022 4:33 pm
I have cared for children for over 35 years; my contemporaries are beginning to retire, and I'm a bit anxious; being a pediatrician is the best job I can imagine. I love my job; the gift that patients give me is immeasurable. Holding a new baby, reading to a toddler, and exploring the anxiety of adolescence is truly a joy that their parents allow me.
I have seen many changes over my life caring for families. Many of them have been due to vaccines. I almost never see meningitis, while years ago, it seemed I always had someone in the hospital with meningitis (Haemophilus influenza, pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines). It used to be that spring was the time to admit many children with diarrhea and dehydration; this is now rare (rotavirus vaccine). Even though ear infections are different, severe illnesses and high fevers once common, are now rare (Haemophilus influenza and pneumococcal vaccines). We almost unbelievably have a vaccine against cancer (HPV vaccine)! It has been an amazing amount of change over my career, and I see this difference daily.
I am not old enough to have seen smallpox or even polio. I do remember measles and was part of the response to this US epidemic from 1989 through 1991. This was a wake-up call for what can happen when we neglect immunization; there were over 56,000 people with measles, and 123 of these died. This was both appalling and made me realize that the only way to avoid a similar catastrophe was to immunize.
My patients are a gift to me. Their parents' trust is something that I honor, and must return with the best care I can muster. Part, and a big part, of that good care, is assuring that my patients are immunized. There are many travails that I cannot protect them from, but I can protect them from what used to be common diseases and now even against some cancers. I owe them this care and that their lives will be spared those diseases and deaths so common in the past.
For parents, the decision to not immunize while arrived at with the best of intentions is fool's gold; it is only exposing children to risks that can be avoided.