by Shannon Duffy Peterson

IT'S-PERSONAL-AS-WE-SEE-IT-SHANNON-DUFFY-PETERSONAs a mother of four children whose ages span from 18 years to age 4, I can say that raising the first two in the late ‘90s, when there were fewer vaccinations offered for protection of our children’s health, was a whole different story, compared to today.

The major difference, of course, is the health of the older kids versus the younger kids.

All four children are (and were) raised in a center-based childcare setting prior to elementary school, so all were exposed to similar germs and diseases.

All four children have some form of allergies and asthma (which is managed with Dr.’s care and medication), as we live on a grain-producing farm.
The younger children are just healthier overall—fewer Dr. visits, fewer days missed from daycare and school, which means fewer days off of work for both mom and dad.

Do I credit this to vaccinations? You bet I do. This is where the value of vaccinations becomes apparent to me. Although, I don’t only measure it by the time missed from work and school for us and the kids, but rather the health and well-being of our family.

Overall, our family just seems to be healthier. To me, that is the value of vaccinations.

My children’s health, my husband’s health, and my own health are why, each year, we as a family gather together to get our flu shots.
Every year, with our doctors, I review what immunizations we may need or what preventative steps we may need to take to insure our best health throughout the following 12 months.

It takes a cooperative effort, it takes a plan, and some years may be different, but we try to be best prepared by starting out with making sure our vaccinations are in place before the school season.

I am especially reminded each year of the value of vaccinations during the cold and flu season, when our family makes it through healthier than those who choose not to take advantage of the protection vaccines provide.