To vaccinate or to not vaccinate?

Hello! I took a little break from writing this week because my parents were in town visiting with me. Today I want to talk about a big topic in the US today, vaccines. I want to start by saying I created this blog to educate the community, therefore I want to use my nursing knowledge to educate about what I know about vaccinations. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and able to do whatever they would like whether be vaccination or not!

To start off I was able to sign up for my first covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday. This was a big deal for me. Not only did I get COVID, but I got extremely sick from it. I did ask my doctors their opinion on receiving the vaccine, and they advised me against it. With my knowledge and knowing my own body I decided to do it. I DO NOT regret it one bit. I was so excited to be given this opportunity. Not only do I want COVID ever again in my life, but I am honored to be part of those helping reduce the spread of the disease and helping save lives in the end.

I am not going to lie, the day I signed up I was having doubts about getting it. I know it is a “new” vaccine type, but I read every single study and educated myself about the vaccine before making a decision. I did have some thoughts of, “What if it made me sick? What if I had a seizure? What if I was super allergic? What are the long term effects?” Well I will tell you what. I LIVED THROUGH IT. It was honestly way easier than some vaccines I have gotten before (HPV ouchy). It also was a HECK of a lot easier than suffering from 2 months plus of covid symptoms and the last 2 months of POTS symptoms. The AZ health department made getting the vaccine so easy and accessible. Honestly, for the state with the worst COVID cases, I was impressed by how simple getting the vaccine was. I made an appointment, drove to the location site, gave them my name and information, got the shot, and had to wait 30 minutes due to having an allergy to medication. They also scheduled my second shot for me so that took out the stress and hassle of having to worry about getting an appointment time. All I can say is that is one thing that Arizona is doing right! After my shot I experienced a sore arm. I was having my pots symptoms (headache, dizziness), but these were not any worse. Actually, the next day after my shot I felt better than I had previous days! My second shot is scheduled for mid April so I will keep you up to date on how I am feeling after that one!

As I said earlier vaccines are a hot topic in the US. People who are not vaccinating are creating the “anti-vaxxer” movement. First off, vaccines are defined as “a product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting that person from the specific disease”. There are vaccines that currently prevent over 20 infectious diseases. Getting vaccinated helps achieve immunity which can provide longer healthier lives. Immunizations prevent up to 2-3 million deaths per year. Children in the US are started to be immunized at birth. This is important because children have weak immune systems and providing them with vaccinations can help prevent them from coming in contact with a deadly disease that their immune system is not equipped to handle.

Why do some people choose to not vaccinate? Well yes it is there choice, I believe people are mis-informed, especially with the media running our everyday lives. Some people believe vaccines are not safe for children in general. Some believe that vaccines cause autism, even though this has been considered a myth for many years. The part to me that I do not understand is that most vaccinations that are given today, WE as children were given. With the exception of chicken pox and meningitis, I received most vaccinations on the list. Due to less people vaccinating, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) had a huge breakout in the last few years, when in 2000 it was completely eradicated. I have seen this disease in children and it is scary! I personally would not want to expose my child to that. My last story is about polio. I had a patient who had polio when she was 5 years old. She ended up dying on hospice at age 85 from complications from bowel surgery, but due to polio she had no movement for her entire life on her right side. Her story about polio was extremely terrifying and I can never imagine going through that myself or putting my child through that. Therefore, I know I will make the educated decision to vaccinate my future children but I hope that others can make educated decisions based off of facts.

Check out these sites for some great information about vaccines:

https://www.who.int/health-topics/vaccines-and-immunization#tab=tab_2

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf

https://www.pfizer.com/science/find-a-trial/search/COVID-19

https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19/vaccine/arizona

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