Pandemic Parenting

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An Open Letter To Parents Waiting To Vaccinate Their Children

Let’s‌ ‌end‌ ‌this‌ ‌thing‌ ‌together.‌

by Romper Staff

To‌ ‌the‌ ‌wait‌-and‌-see‌ ‌parents,‌ ‌

We‌ ‌see‌ ‌you.‌ ‌You‌ ‌got‌ ‌vaccinated‌ ‌yourselves; ‌you‌ ‌wore‌ ‌your‌ ‌masks; ‌you‌ ‌worked‌ so‌ ‌hard‌ ‌to‌ ‌protect‌ ‌your‌ ‌older‌ ‌loved‌ ‌ones.‌ ‌You‌ ‌didn’t‌ ‌post‌ ‌misinformation‌ ‌on ‌Facebook‌ ‌or‌ ‌scream‌ ‌at‌ ‌anyone‌ ‌at‌ ‌a‌ ‌school board‌ ‌meeting.‌ ‌But‌ ‌now‌, ‌your‌ ‌younger‌ ‌child‌ ‌is‌ ‌eligible‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌vaccine,‌ ‌and‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌fence.‌ ‌

Listen,‌ ‌we‌ ‌understand.‌

We‌ ‌have‌ ‌babies,‌ ‌too.‌ ‌And when they looked into our eyes for the first time,‌ ‌with‌ ‌that‌ ‌trust‌ ‌and‌ ‌dependence‌ ‌and‌ ‌love,‌ ‌we‌ ‌vowed‌ ‌to‌ ‌always‌ ‌protect‌ ‌them‌,‌ ‌‌j‌ust‌ ‌like‌ ‌you‌ ‌did.‌ ‌‌We‌ ‌got‌ ‌them‌‌ vaccinated against past plagues‌ ‌like‌ ‌polio‌ ‌and‌ ‌mumps‌ ‌and‌ still-circulating ones like flu and ‌hepatitis‌.‌ ‌‌We‌ take‌ them‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌doctor‌ ‌when‌ ‌they‌’re‌ sick.‌ We,‌ ‌the‌ ‌editors‌ ‌and‌ ‌writers‌ ‌at‌ ‌Romper,‌ ‌Scary‌ ‌Mommy,‌ ‌Fatherly,‌ ‌and‌ The‌ ‌Dad,‌ ‌would‌ ‌do‌ ‌anything‌ ‌for‌ our infants and toddlers and big kids and teenagers.‌ ‌We‌ ‌would‌ ‌never‌ ‌hurt‌ ‌them.‌ ‌We‌ ‌would‌ ‌die‌ ‌before‌ ‌hurting‌ ‌them.‌ ‌Just‌ ‌like‌ ‌you.‌ ‌

The‌ ‌first‌ ‌time‌‌ ‌we‌‌ ‌had‌ ‌hope‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌COVID‌ ‌vaccine‌ ‌was‌ ‌in the‌ ‌summer‌ ‌of‌ ‌2020.‌ ‌‌We‌ ‌read‌ ‌about‌ ‌Sarah‌ ‌Gilbert,‌ ‌the‌ ‌British‌ ‌woman‌ ‌who‌ ‌helped‌ ‌develop‌ ‌the‌ AstraZeneca‌ ‌vaccine.‌ ‌A‌ ‌detail‌ ‌jumped‌ ‌out:‌ ‌Her‌ ‌21-year-old‌ ‌triplets‌ ‌had‌ ‌participated‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌clinical‌ ‌trial.‌ ‌She’d‌ ‌enrolled‌ ‌her‌ ‌children‌‌ ‌‌—‌‌ ‌‌her‌ ‌children‌‌ ‌‌—‌‌ ‌‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌trial‌ ‌for‌ ‌her‌ ‌experimental‌ ‌vaccine.‌ ‌‌A‌ ‌mother‌ ‌would‌ ‌never,‌ ‌ever,‌ ‌put‌ ‌her‌ ‌children‌ ‌in‌ ‌harm’s‌ ‌way.‌ ‌She‌ ‌knew‌ ‌it‌ ‌worked.‌ ‌She‌ ‌knew‌ ‌it‌ ‌was‌ ‌safe.‌

Since‌ ‌then,‌ ‌c‌ountless‌ ‌others‌ ‌have‌ ‌put‌ ‌their‌ ‌children‌ ‌in‌ ‌trials‌‌,‌ ‌too‌ ‌—‌ ‌for‌ ‌Moderna,‌ Pfizer,‌ ‌and‌ ‌J&J.‌ ‌Those ‌kids‌ ‌are‌ ‌doing‌ ‌great;‌ ‌‌the‌ ‌side‌ ‌effects‌ ‌were‌ ‌overwhelmingly‌ ‌minimal.‌ ‌Those‌ ‌parents‌ ‌gave‌ ‌their‌ ‌children‌ the gift of immunity.

Now‌ ‌we‌ ‌can‌ ‌all‌ ‌give‌ ‌our‌ ‌kids‌ ‌that‌ ‌gift.‌

There has been no ‌hesitation‌ among the editors that lead ‌BDG’s‌ ‌Parenting‌ Portfolio about vaccinating ‌our‌ ‌children‌,‌ ‌in‌ ‌part‌ ‌because‌ ‌we’ve‌ ‌been‌ ‌reporting‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌impact‌ ‌of‌ ‌COVID‌‌ ‌‌since‌ ‌March‌ ‌of‌ ‌2020.‌ ‌We’ve‌ ‌published‌ ‌hundreds‌ ‌of‌ ‌stories‌ about ‌the‌ ‌public‌ ‌health‌ ‌guidelines; talked ‌to‌ ‌dozens‌ ‌of‌ ‌epidemiologists‌ ‌and‌ ‌virologists,‌ ‌pediatricians‌ ‌and‌ ‌vaccinologists; pored ‌over‌ ‌studies‌; ‌and‌ tested ‌counter‌arguments.‌ ‌We’ve‌ ‌been‌ ‌waiting‌ eagerly ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌vaccine‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌cleared‌ ‌for‌ ‌everyone‌ older than ‌5,‌ ‌and‌ ‌now‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌here.‌ ‌It’s‌ ‌cause‌ ‌for‌ ‌celebration.‌

Vaccines‌ ‌aren’t‌ ‌the‌ ‌kind‌ ‌of‌ ‌medicine‌ ‌that‌ ‌works‌ best ‌if‌ ‌only‌ ‌some‌ ‌of‌ ‌us‌ ‌get‌ ‌them‌ ‌—‌ ‌this‌ ‌isn’t‌ ‌a‌ ‌“you‌ ‌do‌ ‌what’s‌ ‌right‌ ‌for‌ ‌you‌ ‌and‌ ‌I’ll‌ ‌do‌ ‌what’s‌ ‌right‌ ‌for‌ ‌me”‌ ‌situation.‌

If‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌decided‌ ‌to‌ ‌“wait‌ ‌and‌ ‌see”‌ ‌with‌ ‌your‌ ‌kids,‌ ‌this‌ ‌will‌ ‌never‌ ‌end.‌ ‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌“do‌ ‌your‌ ‌own‌ ‌research”‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌internet‌ ‌and‌ ‌listen‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌skeptical‌ ‌friends‌ ‌instead‌ ‌of‌ the CDC or your‌ ‌own‌ ‌pediatrician,‌ ‌then‌ ‌you‌ ‌aren’t‌ ‌really‌ ‌protecting‌ your children.‌ ‌Vaccines‌ ‌aren’t‌ ‌the‌ ‌kind‌ ‌of‌ ‌medicine‌ ‌that‌ ‌works‌ best ‌if‌ ‌only‌ ‌some‌ ‌of‌ ‌us‌ ‌get‌ ‌them‌ ‌—‌ ‌this‌ ‌isn’t‌ ‌a‌ ‌“you‌ ‌do‌ ‌what’s‌ ‌right‌ ‌for‌ ‌you‌ ‌and‌ ‌I’ll‌ ‌do‌ ‌what’s‌ ‌right‌ ‌for‌ ‌me”‌ ‌situation.‌ Communicable diseases only end when we ‌all‌ ‌have‌ gotten our ‌shot.‌ ‌Everyone.‌

Getting‌ ‌your‌ ‌shot‌ ‌is‌ ‌an‌ ‌incredible‌ ‌feeling‌.‌ ‌One‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌kids,‌ ‌a‌ ‌6-year-old,‌ ‌got‌ ‌his‌ first dose ‌last‌ ‌week.‌ ‌“I’m‌ ‌excited‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌protected‌ ‌from‌ ‌COVID,”‌ ‌he‌ ‌told‌ ‌the‌ ‌nurse‌ ‌in‌ ‌his‌ ‌sweet,‌ ‌brave‌ ‌voice.‌ ‌“It’s‌ ‌the‌ ‌best‌ ‌thing‌ ‌I’ve‌ ‌ever‌ ‌done,”‌ ‌he‌ ‌told‌ ‌his‌ ‌father‌ ‌later‌ ‌that‌ ‌day.‌ ‌Another‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌children‌ ‌told‌ ‌his‌ ‌mother‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌day‌ ‌he‌ ‌got‌ ‌his‌ ‌shot‌ ‌was‌ ‌“the‌ ‌second‌ ‌most‌ ‌important‌ ‌day‌ ‌of‌ ‌my‌ ‌life,‌ ‌after‌ ‌the‌ ‌day‌ ‌I‌ ‌was‌ ‌born.”‌

So‌, ‌what‌ ‌are‌ ‌you‌ ‌waiting‌ ‌for?‌ ‌‌Make your appointment today. ‌Let’s‌ ‌end‌ ‌this‌ ‌thing‌ ‌together.‌


The‌ ‌editors‌ ‌of‌ ‌BDG’s Parenting Portfolio

Romper,‌ ‌Scary‌ ‌Mommy,‌ ‌Fatherly,‌ ‌and The‌ ‌Dad‌ ‌‌