The School Flu…

GermsOnHandA few days ago I received an update from Shot of Prevention’s blog discussing a new influenza immunization policy for preschool children in the state of New York. A few hours later I got an email from my son’s teacher informing me that out of a class of 13 children, 4 had come down with the flu. Now I don’t know if these children got their flu shot, but I do know that my child, who has been vaccinated, has been in close contact with his classmates and has stayed healthy! Not to mention my husband and I and our other two children have also side stepped the flu thanks to the vaccine. All that to say…the flu vaccine is doing its job in the Bethea house!

Kids need their flu shots! It’s so important. I love my kids, but let’s get real. Children are a breeding ground for germs. I’ve seen it first-hand…it starts with the snotty nose they wipe with their hands, then it’s onto the crayons they then pick up and use before passing it off to their friend. Kids are bound to get sick. No child is safe. You can use all the Lysol and bleach in the world, but kids are CONSTANTLY producing and spreading their germs to everyone around them. That’s why it is so important that children aged six months and older get their flu shot to protect themselves and those around them. Did you know that 169 children died from the flu last year? While some of these children may have had a medical history that put them at a higher risk of complications from the flu, healthy children and teens accounted for almost half of all childhood flu related deaths.

My seven month old was actually the last person in our family to be fully vaccinated against the flu. Since this is her first time receiving the shot she required a second booster dose to be fully vaccinated. The second dose is administered 28 days after the initial dose so for almost a month we had to wait and hope that she could avoid the flu. I literally cringed every time I heard about someone we knew that had the flu. I would go back in my mind and try to think if she had had any contact with them. It is such a comforting feeling to know that now my whole family is protected.

There really is no place in the world where you are 100% protected from the flu. As I said, there are germs all around us so vaccination is the best way to ensure the health and safety of your family. Don’t wait any longer. Go out and get your flu shot. Get your kid’s their flu shot. It’s not worth waiting…

The New Jenny?

DaytimeTVIs Katie Couric the new, more polished Jenny McCarthy?  On Wednesday, Katie Couric’s daytime television show, Katie, aired what she described as the vaccine “controversy” concerning the HPV vaccine. Unfortunately the show was filled with misinformation and scare tactics which left proven scientific data completely out on the doorstep.

Couric’s show was little more than a ratings booster aimed to tug at viewer’s heart strings by featuring stories and interviews with people who claimed they had been harmed by the vaccine.  Little was said in defense of the potentially life-saving vaccine.  In fact, the overall message I gathered from the show was don’t vaccinate. If there is such a “controversy” where is the other side of this story?  Why wasn’t the CDC analysis that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2009 that found absolutely no link between serious side effects and HPV vaccines discussed?

The show even attempted to minimize the need for this vitally important vaccine by having a “medical expert” (a term I use loosely considering her gross misinterpretation of scientific research) dismiss the impact of other forms of cancer (not cervical cancer) caused by HPV stating that they are extremely rare.  Apparently this “expert” didn’t do her homework because from 2004-2008 the CDC estimates that 11, 967 cases of cervical cancer and 11,726 cases of head and neck cancers were caused by HPV.  That does not seem like an inconsequential number to me. The CDC estimates that 26,000 cancers each year are a result of HPV. In terms of cervical cancer, it is also worth noting that HPV infections associated with the disease fell by more than half in U.S. teen girls after the HPV vaccine was introduced in 2006? Based on this data it is evident that the vaccine saves lives by preventing cancer.

Couric’s show inevitably convinced thousands of at risk men and women from getting the protection they need.  I have no doubt there were mothers watching this show who will now refuse to vaccinate their children based on the unsubstantiated claims and one-sided remarks which aired this week.  It’s sad.  It’s tragic.  It’s unnecessary.  I wish Katie would have invited someone with cervical cancer to come on her show.  Someone who could look back and say “I wish I had been vaccinated.”  That would be an eye opening revelation for many, but controversy sells.  Controversy provides ratings…but vaccines save lives.  What’s more important?

National Giving Day!

TIP-Logo-for-docswebversionWe have some very exciting news to share with you!  Today is National Giving Day and to celebrate the Giving Library (, 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?

  1. Click here to view our video.
  2. Click the “Share Now” button.
  3. Create an account if you don’t already have one.
  4. Click “Share on Facebook” or “Share on Twitter.”
  5. Share either the default message or the message of your choice.
  6. The Immunization Partnership will receive $5 per share.
  7. 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!