Will My Children Get the Vaccine?

vaccine, covidI’ve been asked many times recently if I will let my children get the vaccine. The answer is yes. The better question is, do I think my children need the vaccine? The answer to that, given the data and the evidence, is no. I will take my kids for the vaccine when I have to, and by that I mean, when whomever is in charge tells me they won’t be able to live their lives without their vaccine passport. They have already given up too much, and I cannot watch them give up more. It is likely they will need proof of a vaccine to attend school, to go to concerts and ball games, to play team sports and to engage in after school activities. The increasingly ever-present shame game is already being played out on college campuses, where if you do not walk the party line, get your vaccine and shut up about any reservations you have about a novel shot, you are at best irresponsible and at worst, racist. Believe me, I can’t see how the two are connected either, but when you really want compliance, accuse the non-compliant with the worst you can throw at them and watch them obey. College campuses have become a hotbed of self-righteousness, snitching and surveillance.

I am pro-vaccine. I have reassured countless parents about the safety of vaccines for their children and the importance of protecting them from harmful viruses. I volunteer at a covid vaccine site. My kids have had the chicken pox vaccine and the HPV vaccine, both relatively new. I trust science and most scientists. If I had to bet, I would put my money on the vaccine being safe for my kids, but I wish I wasn’t going to be forced to gamble. For my daughters who have already had covid, I expect the vaccine will make them pretty sick, very likely sicker than their symptoms when they tested positive. I believe, with their young strong systems, they have natural immunity, and challenging their immune system again is an exercise in PC optics and kowtowing to the fear and the unknown.

Also Read: Should My Son Get the HPV Vaccine?

Speaking of the unknown, what has frustrated me most about our approach to covid is how much credence we give to what we don’t know, how often we’ve ignored what we do know, and how we’ve adopted a zero risk tolerance approach to the virus. We have all but ignored the side effects of a societal shut down on the people we must protect — our children, our working moms, our underserved, our mentally ill. Now, with a vaccine whose long term effects are unknown — again, probably safe, but still there is uncertainty — we are hellbent on injecting anyone with a pulse, regardless of the actual risk the virus poses to them. I understand herd immunity. I know the more people vaccinated, the slower the spread. Still, if we vaccinate our vulnerable and all adults, do we really need to vaccinate our kids?

The question is a good one. Will my kids get vaccinated? Yes. Not because I think they should. Not because I will feel better if they do. Not because I have no reservations about the vaccine. They will get vaccinated because the writing is clear on the wall. They will be required to in order to carry on with the business of living and learning. I can’t and won’t use them to make a point, and I can live with the small amount of vaccine risk if it means they can stop shouldering an unfairly huge share of the burden of this shutdown. I just wish I didn’t have to.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at drkarenlatimer@gmail.com to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.


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