Friday, December 3, 2021

I'm not an "Anti-Vaxxer"


I have written here in the past about my choice not to vaccinate my children. I wrote about my mother supporting me through that decision and in that decision. So I really struggled with deciding on the Covid-19 Vaccine. First, how could *I* be vaccinated when I've been against vaccinating my children? How could I trust this vaccine? But some friends helped talk me through the decision and be alright with it, honestly. So... while not the first in line, I did get vaccinated against Covid-19. In fact, I just received my booster this week. My side effects were severe (by MY standards), but I will do another booster as soon as they tell me I am supposed to.

So then my kids... they have missed PEOPLE so very much! Sasha was nearing 12yo after they opened the vaccine up for 12+. We talked about it and she (despite being afraid of needles) knew she wanted to get vaccinated. She knew she wanted to protect herself, protect others and to also just get to be around other people safely! Spencer is about to be 10 years old and is not capable of making his own medical decisions. He got his vaccine soon after it opened up for his age group. His dad sat next to him and got his booster the same day.

There were several reasons I decided not to vaccinate my children. (One being formaldehyde, but the vaccines that do currently have formaldehyde have less than 3 micrograms. And I suppose they need to do something to preserve the dead disease cells.) The reasons I have for vaccinating against Covid-19 have been on my mind... it's not just about protecting ourselves. And it's not about protecting other people that are vaccinated. It's about protecting the people that actually can't get vaccinated. It's about protecting the elderly, infants, and those with compromised immune systems. Choosing not to vaccinate is selfish, period.

So... then I had to figure out how to get my daughter on board with getting vaccinated. She's old enough that I'm not going to force medical decisions on her. So we got educated on the topic. And then, despite her fear of needles, she quickly got on board and is ready to get vaccinated against other dangerous diseases. To protect others. Because she's an amazing young human.

We even learned the history of the first vaccine, which is fascinating! Here is a playlist I put together and watched with her (includes the history of the first vaccine).

I've been very quiet in my personal life about choosing not to vaccinate because I am not an "anti-vaxxer." I never was. And all of the anti-vaxxer memes are hurtful. They don't actually help change anyone's mind, either. But friends being kind with me and getting more educated on the topic helped change my mind. I've put a call in to our new pediatrician to get started.

Please don't feel ashamed or guilty if you've made the choice not to vaccinate in the past and are ready to start vaccinating. When we know better, we do better. We're all just making the best choices for our kids that we can. And I will still continue to stay educated on each vaccine, too. I spent time looking over the package inserts (which are ridiculously easy to find online). There is currently only one vaccine I'm actually worried about and it will likely be the last on the list for my daughter, so I don't have to worry about it just yet. I feel really good about making the right decision now.

I would like to add that I supported Ronni in getting vaccinated when he was 17 years old. It was his choice. And he has not supported my choice not to vaccinate my younger children, but we have not fought about it. I believe in supporting our children's choices. That's why I'm helping Sasha make informed choices herself, rather than making them for her.

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