At the first chance possible we took Luke (10) and Zeke (7) to get vaccinated against COVID-19. There are four reasons we made this choice that I hope might encourage other parents to do the same.
First, we trust the science and data that has undeniably shown that vaccinations work. They reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 and even if you have a breakthrough case, the chance of hospitalization or even death are drastically reduced. You can see the overwhelming data from California here: https://covid19.ca.gov/state-dashboard/#postvax-status
Without question, we have trusted our doctors and the regular immunization schedule for school. We get a flu shot every year. We give our kids Tylenol or Ibuprofen when they're sick. They’ve taken antibiotics as prescribed. We aren’t going to stop trusting our doctors now.
Second, we’re doing it to protect their grandparents and other adults with risk factors. While the risk of serious complications for them is quite low, it is high for their grandparents, two of which we see weekly. By vaccinating them, we are protecting those more vulnerable and the ones we love the most. (NOTE: You may be surprised that in the US, nearly 17% of COVID-19 cases (last checked on January 26, 2022) are 0-17 years old. You can see that data here: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#demographics)
Third, we want our boys to proactively serve and love others. I understand the concern of parents wanting to see more data and ensure there are no unintended side effects before vaccinating their kids. However, there is no way to prove any of that unless kids get vaccinated and we have data (shout-out to parents who had their kids be part of the initial trials). I have almost zero concern about the safety of the vaccine, but even if I did, I want our family to do our best to serve and help others, even when it feels risky. If my kids getting vaccinated can help prove the efficacy of the vaccine, I hope our family can serve the world in this way. I have thought about one of my kids having some complication from the vaccine. Even if that happens, I will not regret the decision. Vaccines save lives and if my kid gets a complication, I trust they will take that experience to help ensure other kids don’t experience the same.
Fourth, vaccines are the path back to normalcy. These last two years have been tough on everyone but we needed to make some sacrifices to save lives. Now, with vaccines, we have the chance to get rid of quarantines, masks, and being afraid of having potlucks. If you want school to be normal again, get your kids vaccinated.
I’m not interested in debating online about this. However, if you genuinely are struggling with this decision and would like to talk, I’m happy to do so by phone. Send me an email and we can setup a time to chat.