We have some very exciting news to share with you! Today is National Giving Day and to celebrate the Giving Library (www.GivingLibrary.org), an online video archive that connects donors to nonprofits, is kicking off a $100,000 “Share to Give” campaign today, #GivingTuesday.
Please take a moment today to log on and SHARE our video! All you have to do is share our Giving Library video on Facebook or Twitter and the Giving Library will donate $5 to us. That’s it! Participants can share up to five organizations per month, and the Giving Library wll donate up to $100,000 during the campaign. There are NO gimmicks and no matching contributions.
How to you share TIP’s video?
- Click here to view our video.
- Click the “Share Now” button.
- Create an account if you don’t already have one.
- Click “Share on Facebook” or “Share on Twitter.”
- Share either the default message or the message of your choice.
- The Immunization Partnership will receive $5 per share.
- You may share up to five organizations per month.
Thank You—we really can’t say it enough! We are truly grateful for all of our supporters, and it’s because of you that TIP has had continued success!
Last night as I was scrolling through Facebook and saw that The Immunization Partnership’s very own President and C.E.O. had updated her status with the following message:
Yes, it’s true that the flu shot isn’t 100% effective. Thomas Dragsbæk has the flu (and you KNOW he got the shot). BUT…no one else in the family has it so community immunity worked again. Poor Thomas…but I’m very happy the rest of us are healthy, particularly since one member of our family is at high risk for severe complications from the flu. Yeah, vaccines!
Why on earth would she (or I) post that someone who had received their flu shot ended up with the flu? Why not sweep it under the rug and just pretend that it never happened? Because our goal is to promote the TRUTH! So here you go; the TRUTH about the flu and the vaccine that prevents it.
- The flu shot is safe and effective
- The flu shot is not 100% effective but it is still the BEST way to prevent the flu
- The flu is not just a bad cold
- The flu can be life-threatening, particularly in young children, the elderly and those suffering from a number of medical conditions
- A flu vaccine CANNOT give you the flu (we can argue this all day but it just doesn’t work that way)
- Getting a flu shot is the BEST way to protect not only yourself but EVERYONE around you
So yes, the flu shot did not protect Anna’s son from the flu, but it did protect Anna and the rest of her family. As Anna said “community immunity worked again.” Instead of an entire family being sick only one person is dealing with the symptoms associated with the seasonal flu. Again, the flu shot is not perfect, but it did do its job. It protected a family.
It is also worth noting that Anna’s family has a very important reason to make sure they are vaccinated against the flu. Anna’s father is currently living in a rehab facility here in Houston while recovering from a serious illness. (And on a side note I have Anna’s permission to share this information!) The very last thing he needs is to be surrounded by people who are not taking every measure to protect themselves, and ultimately him, from the flu this season. The consequences of the flu could be devastating for him. Anna even took the extra steps to help protect her father by making sure that the facility he is at requires that patients and staff stay up-to-date on their vaccinations. Now that’s what I call leading by example!
In summary…there are no cover-ups or conspiracies here. Pharmaceutical companies and doctors are not just trying to make money off of you. They are trying to keep you healthy and potentially save your life. This flu season let’s spread the TRUTH not the flu!
And Thomas…get well soon!!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you probably have heard that flu season is here. Everywhere you look there are helpful reminders to go out and get your flu shot to protect yourself. As important as that is, let’s not forget about all the other vaccines we need to stay-up-to date on as well!
Head over to Texas Children’s Hospital’s pediatric health blog to read a great post by Dr. Joyee Vachani and learn why vaccination against Pertussis is important to her not only as a doctor but also has a mother.
Why I Chose To Vaccinate: A Pediatrician With A Mother’s Hat
As a parent I try to pass along life lessons to my children. I know that at some point my children will choose their own paths and make their own decisions, but obviously I teach them in hopes that they will accept and one day practice what I preach. As a first time Mom to a four-year-old, I am constantly surprised at just how perceptive and intuitive a Pre-K student can be. Things that I thought would go straight over his head have often turned into long and even meaningful discussions. I have quickly come to realize that children learn many important and lasting lessons far sooner in life than I would have ever imagined.
This concept is actually reason for concern when I consider the number of parents who have become part of the anti-vaccine movement. As the number of vaccine hesitant/resistant parents increases so does the number of children being raised to fear, question, and to one day potentially reject the life-saving power of vaccines. While I do believe that these parents believe they are doing what is best for their children, the truth is the science simply does not back their misguided views. Study after study has dispelled myths ranging from an association between vaccines and autism, the flu shot causing the flu, to a list of other debunked misconceptions.
So what could potentially come from this up-and-coming generation of children should they choose to believe the misinformation they are being taught? According to Dr. Paul Offit, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the consequences are already being seen. According to his experience we are already seeing preventable childhood deaths and community outbreaks of outdated diseases. Dr. Offit goes on to speak a frightening truth about anti-vaccine parents saying
“They have a belief that is nonfalsifiable. It’s a belief system. There is no data that could ever convince them that they are incorrect.”
Basically, their minds cannot be changed. So what can we do? We must educate, educate, educate. As the children of the anti-vaccine movement grow I believe it is important that we put our time and resources to good use. I’m not an expert. I don’t know if there is one right answer, but what I do know is that we all need to do our part to spread the message that vaccines save lives. We need to better educate people of all ages. We need to open people’s eyes to the devastation and loss that was once part of the world before the use of vaccines. People need to know and understand the scientifically proven truth instead of believing the gossip and rumors that are just a click away.
It’s never too early, or too late, to teach a life lesson. Help educate those around you about the importance of vaccination. Your words may help to ensure the health and safety of the next generation.
“Ahhh.” That is the sound of me breathing a huge sigh of relief! Why? Because on Tuesday my daughter received not only her 6 month vaccinations, but also her flu vaccine as well! Up to this point she has been susceptible to a long list of vaccine-preventable diseases, but now I have the comfort of knowing that she has been given the vaccines needed to exist in a world of potentially life-threatening illnesses. Let’s remember that full protection from vaccine-preventable diseases is a LIFELONG process. Teens and adults need to stay up-to-date on vaccinations, but the 6 month mark is very important to me. Why? Because she has now received a complete series of vaccines to protect her from Rotavirus. Having seen first- hand the potential consequences of being unprotected from this preventable disease I did not want history to repeat itself. Get those vaccinations as soon as you can! I know a lot of parents dread doctor’s appointments that involve vaccinations, but the day she turned 6 months we were sitting in the office ready to be protected.
While every vaccine is just as important as the next, I was also excited for her to receive her flu shot. I have enough going on in my life with three young children. The last thing I need is for one of them to contract an illness that could have easily been prevented. My husband even stopped by our local pharmacy that evening to get his vaccine which is particularly important because he is considered to be at a higher risk of flu-related complications after suffering from a heart attack 2 years ago.
You may be wondering if we were up all night dealing with a fussy baby after getting 4 shots in one day. Nope. A little Tylenol after the injections and a nice soft toy to chew on and she was happy as ever! No soreness, swelling or redness. No fever or crying (except for a few tears while she received the injections). She was her normal happy self. If anything my husband was a bigger baby with his sore arm than my actual baby! Sorry Eric, but it’s true!
It’s important to take the steps necessary to protect your family. We all buckle our children in their car seats to protect them in case of an accident. Vaccines are simply a safety net if/when your children come in contact with a vaccine-preventable disease. You don’t expect it to happen, but if it does the results can be catastrophic if the proper safety measures are not put into place. Protect yourself and your children and stay up-to-date on your vaccinations!
Usually when we talk about celebrities and vaccines it’s not in the most positive light. The recent past has been filled with a list of celebrities and media personalities who have stood behind the bad science and misinformation spread by the Andrew Wakefield’s of the world and have caused many people to doubt the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Then there is a glimmer of hope as people like Amanda Peet have thrown their hat in the ring in support of vaccinations by partnering with the United Nation’s Shot@Life campaign to help educate the world about the importance of protecting ourselves, our families, and our communities through immunizations. And as of this past Sunday evening there is another celebrity who has made a stand for vaccines. She may not have meant to make her voice heard, but Kim Kardashian, thanks for the support!
So first of all, yes, I watch “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” It’s my guilty pleasure. Second, on Sunday night’s episode, the whole Kardashian clan received their Tdap vaccine to protect the newest member of the family from Pertussis (or Whooping Cough). While some were hesitant, the doctor administering the vaccine explained the importance of vaccination. This highly contagious illness can have devastating consequences, especially for infants who are too young to be fully vaccinated. Whooping cough is typically spread by coughing or sneezing and many babies who are infected contract the illness from a parent, older sibling, or other caregiver. Some people may not even know that they are spreading this potentially life threatening illness. That is why it is so crucial that families and caregivers make sure they are protected and essentially “cocoon” (or protect the unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated child) against this vaccine-preventable disease. My favorite part of this whole scene was when one of the Kardashian sisters said she wasn’t sure if she wanted to get the shot and the doctor alluded to the fact that Kim would not let people who were unvaccinated around her new baby. My husband and I took this same stance last year as we were preparing to welcome our third baby. No shot…no baby.
Love them or hate them, the Kardashian’s are known for drawing attention and setting trends. They play a huge role in social media, fashion, gossip columns, and television. I have said it before and let me say it again: no one should base their medical decisions on the thoughts or beliefs of anyone other than a trained medical professional. But the truth is, many people do listen to what celebrities have to say. The power of persuasion that celebrities hold, right or wrong, is nothing to take lightly and I for one am happy to see vaccines portrayed in a positive light in the media for a change! Let’s hope that vaccinating to protect those you love becomes the new norm in Hollywood and across the globe!
And so it begins…the beginning of flu season is upon us. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just released the national flu map and guess who has one of the highest rates of flu in the country…the great state of Texas! So what does that mean? It means it’s is time to go and get your flu shot today! Sure, the peak of flu season is typically seen between January and February, but flu season begins in October and can stretch all the way through late May. Why take a risk on contracting this preventable illness when when there is a simple, easy, and safe alternative?
So let’s start this season off right with a little thing I like to call the “Flu Review!”
- WHO NEEDS A FLU SHOT? It is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older receive a yearly flu vaccine. This is the first and most important step in protecting against this serious and potentially life-threatening disease.
- WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE FOR THE FLU SEASON? Other than vaccination (the most important step) you can take everyday preventative steps. Stay away from people who are sick, wash your hands to reduce the spread of germs, and if you are sick stay away from others!
- WHERE CAN I GET A FLU SHOT? You can stop by your local pharmacy, your doctors office, your local health department, clinics, and even many employers and some schools have begun offering the vaccine. Or you can check out the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to locate a provider near you!
- IS THE FLU SHOT EFFECTIVE? The effectiveness of the flu vaccine varies from season to season depending on at least two factors. The first being the “characteristics of the person being vaccinated.” For example, their age and health. The second factor is related to the “match between the flu viruses and the flu vaccine designed to protect against the flu viruses from spreading in the community.” Regardless, vaccination is still the most effective way to combat the seasonal flu.
So in review,…Step 1: Go get your flu shot! Step 2: be protected against the flu this season. It’s that simple! Now go roll up your sleeve and protect yourself and those you love!
I am trying something a little different today. I’m giving you all a homework assignment for the weekend! Stick with me here…you may have noticed a link on our Facebook and Twitter pages yesterday to an article discussing potential liability for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children if their child subsequently contracts and spreads a vaccine-preventable disease. I personally find this to be a very thought provoking concept and would love to hear your thoughts and ideas as well.
I had a blog post all ready to go this morning but have decided to wait until Monday to post my opinion on the matter in order to give each of you the time to read this for yourself. I have no doubt that this may be a controversial topic even among those of us who fully support vaccination but it’s an issue I find quite intriguing and would love to hear your thoughts!
Be sure to take a few minutes to read this article and check back on Monday to hear my view on the issue.
ClIck here to view the article.
Many of my friends are beginning to take their children in for flu shots and leaving confused as to why they need to go back for a second shot in a month. I have even had a few people express concern over giving their children a “double dose” of the vaccine. I assume if this is a common question among my group of friends there are others out there wondering the same thing.
To start, let’s make sure we all know the recommendations for our children’s flu vaccines.
- Has the child ever received an influenza vaccine? If the answer is no (or I don’t know) then vaccine with two doses given at least 4 weeks apart.
- Has the child received 2 or more doses since July 1, 2010? If the answer is no (or I don’t know) then vaccinate with two doses given at least 4 weeks apart.
- Is the child 9 years or older or is he/she younger than 9 but has documentation showing at least 2 prior vaccinations, at least one of which contained H1N1? If yes then vaccinate with one dose.
Since 2006 the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that all children under the age of nine get two doses of the flu vaccine the first year they are vaccinated against the flu. Why is this second dose needed? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) many children younger than 9 years of age may not have truly suffered from influenza and a booster dose is necessary for their bodies to produce a protective immune response. A second shot is basically a safety net to help adequately protect the child. While the first dose provides some protection, fully vaccinating with the second dose really is crucial.
If you are thinking about only giving your child the initial dose of the flu vaccine (assuming they fall into the recommended category for receiving the booster) it is important to remember that young children are at a higher risk of developing flu related complications. These complications range in severity but can include pneumonia and bronchitis and have the potential to be life-threatening and can even result in death in some cases. Taking your child in for a second flu shot (and probably a second round of tears) may not be on the top of your “Fun Things To Do” list, but it really is the best way to protect them from the flu this season. Lets help our children be as strong as possible…get them their “Super Booster” today!
Awareness is defined as “having knowledge or cognizance: aware of the difference between the two versions; watchful.” With that in mind it only seems fitting that on Texas Influenza Awareness Day I do my best to make sure we are fully aware of the importance of vaccinating against the flu. There are many people who continue to claim that the flu is nothing more than a “bad cold” that will pass on its own and that vaccination is just a waste of time. Others claim that the flu vaccine is inefficient and even go so far as to claim the vaccine is the reason they developed the flu in the past despite scientific evidence that validates the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. So let’s all take a moment to be knowledgeable about the flu and the importance of protecting ourselves and our communities.
Let’s start off by being AWARE of what you can do to prevent the flu. First and foremost, get your flu shot! The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. This is the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. There are many different flu viruses and each year the vaccine is developed and designed to protect against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause illness during flu season. Taking this important preventative step along with diligent hand washing and avoiding contact with people who are infected is the best way to prevent the spread of this virus.
What else should we be aware of? We need to be AWARE that the flu vaccine is effective! How well the flu vaccine works can range from one season the next but the biggest indicators of the vaccines effectiveness are the characteristics of the person being vaccinated (such as age and health) and the similarity between the flu viruses and the flu vaccine. Receiving a flu shot decreases the risk of getting the flu plain and simple. In fact, recent studies show risk of flu illness is decreased by about 60% among the overall population of vaccinated individuals.
And finally let’s be AWARE that the flu is serious and can cause life-threatening complications. High-risk children and adults may develop complications such as, pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and ear infections. Pneumonia is the most common and most serious. For older adults and people with a chronic illness, pneumonia can be deadly. The best protection is vaccination.
So now that we are AWARE do your part. Get vaccinated and encourage those around you to do the same!