During National Infant Immunization Week, we want you to know that we, as nurses, fully support and encourage vaccination to people of all ages, especially infants. We firmly stand behind the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and we think that vaccinating may be the most important health-promoting intervention we perform. As parents, this is an opportunity to give your children the best chance at a healthy life.
Immunizations have had an enormous impact on improving the health of many in the United States, including children, families and communities. Most of us today never have seen firsthand the devastating consequences that vaccine-preventable diseases have on a family or community. Because of vaccines, many people never have seen a child with polio or tetanus or known a friend or family member whose child died of one of these diseases. Such success can make us complacent about vaccinating.
By following the recommended immunization schedule, you are protecting your baby by providing immunity early in life when they are most vulnerable to infections. By the time your baby is 2, he or she should get vaccines that will protect him or her from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.
As you make decisions regarding your child’s vaccination schedule, it is important to explore as much information as possible from credible sources. With so much information online about vaccines, it can be hard to know who to trust. Your family physician is a great resource, knowing both the science and your child. Work together with your health care provider to make the best vaccination decisions for your baby.
We don’t vaccinate just to protect our children. We also vaccinate to protect our grandchildren and their grandchildren. Our children don’t have to get smallpox shots any more because the disease no longer exists. If we continue vaccinating now and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today no longer will be around to harm their children in the future.
Frannie Johnson, RN
Jacque Malley, RN
Janice Poirot, RN
Toni Rietveld, RN
Beth Watson, RN
Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association public health nurses