We are collecting stories about people's positive vaccine experiences. If you are interested in sharing how vaccines have had a positive impact on your life/your family, please share your story.
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10.27.2022 12:22 pm
Years 2000-2005, as a CNA 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. The diarrhea could last up to 14 days. Imagine as a caregiver, the patient could not return to daycare until symptoms were a lot 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 seen a Baptist health mobile van and found out they we're giving out vaccine shots. He knew that I was scared he went on 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 on 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 more than 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, exploring the anxiety of adolescence is truly a joy that their parents allow me.
I have seen many changes over my live 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 time to admit many children with diarrhea and dehydration, this is now rare (rotavirus vaccine). Even ear infections are different, the severe illness and high fevers once common now rare (Haemophilus influenza and pneumococcal vaccines). Almost unbelievably, we now have a vaccine against cancer (HPV vaccine)! It has been an amazing amount of change over my career and I see this difference every day.
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 through1991. This was a wakeup 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 be 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.