As it was announced that Germany approved vaccinations for kids ages 5 to 12 this past week, the ‘us’ vs ‘them’ divide widens! Stories of children being shamed in the classroom as a result of their vaccination status and coffee shops vandalised on account of the same thing?  Is this really what we have become?  Are we really resorting to this?  One thing I know for sure, is that judgement never serves!  However, we do have the opportunity to learn with real listening and conversation!  And so it is for these reasons I write this article on why I choose to vaccinate my kids and these reasons alone.

Another thing I don’t believe anyone can deny, is that the pandemic has been traumatic on so many levels and it has wounded on so many more!  Do we really need to add another level to this already gaping wound?  With all the hatred we have in the world already, do we really need to add any more?

The vaccinated vs the unvaccinated

As a result of stepping off my soapbox and actually having a conversation I’ve also learnt this.  ‘Unvaccinated’ does not always mean ‘antivax’.  And if you take a moment to listen before you judge, you may find a soul who takes longer to process a decision as a result of circumstances you have no idea about.  Or logistics or religion or a host of other reasons.  Just like I now realise, that MY decision to be the first in line to vaccinate my kids is as a result of circumstances that happened many years earlier, long before COVID-19!

My Story and why I choose to vaccinate my kids

In terms of the vaccine and what lies ahead, yes, I’m fully aware of the fact that there are many unknowns.  However, my mind to vaccinate my kids happened many many years ago long before corona was ever cooked up (in nature or otherwise)!!  I am mum to two boys and almost 8 years ago to the day my youngest (I’ll call him Little H) became incredibly unwell!  He was only four weeks old when my precious little human spent 11 days in hospital fighting for his life!  Back then it was the RSV virus today it’s corona virus.  And, like corona, the RSV virus is very mild for many young children.  But for others, like my little human, it can cause severe disease!

Monday the 2nd of December 2013. I noticed early in the morning that little H seemed unwell, very sniffly and his breathing seemed slightly off.  So, I booked an appointment with the doctor and went in.  She said he had a small upper tract infection but assured me that everything was fine and that I should go home.  Later that night, his skin looked mottled and his breathing considerably more laboured.  And I was beginning to feel very very uneasy and concerned!  However, I thought of what the doctor had said and remember thinking I know he’s not old enough to have Nurofen but perhaps I should give him some and see if it helps him sleep!  Honestly I replay it over in mind so often  ‘what if I had and he’d slept’ he probably wouldn’t have woken up.  And that, still haunts me today!  However, thank god in that moment my mummy instincts went into overdrive!  And everything screamed at me to go to the emergency room, and fast!!

Within minutes we were rushed in and the wheels were put in motion to save my precious tiny human!  Staff couldn’t believe that I had been sent home and not straight to the emergency room.  

I remember not long after we were admitted that the nurse suggested that I leave the room as they needed to insert a tube through his nose and down his throat.  Of course my initial instinct was I’m his mother he needs me I can’t possibly do that!  But in that moment she said something to me that I will never forget “he will never remember that you left the room for a few minutes, you however will remember this forever and it will be traumatic”.  As I left the room I heard him screaming and honestly to this day I am so grateful to her, as there were plenty of other traumatic things that would unfold over the next few days as his little body battled the virus!

He was given a drip as well as oxygen and I pumped milk every 2.5 hours so he could be fed through the tube in his nose.  He was nebuliser every 4 hours and hooked up to a oxygen saturation monitor to ensure his oxygen levels remained within a safe range.  And over the next few days that beep was not only his safety line but mine! 

The sheer terror the alarm brought each time it went off when his levels dropped was like being stabbed in the heart and the panic it induced horrendous!  The incredible paediatric nurses would adjust his oxygen and the steady beep would return and I’d settle back but never relax!  I’d watch him as his stomach would cave in and his ribs become so profoundly visible as he struggled to breath and wish that there was a way to trade places so he didn’t have to go through it! 

The absolute desperation and sheer helplessness that I felt left me in tears on more occasions than I can count. 

The walk to and from the fridge to store the milk I pumped a constant reminder of how every ounce of him was needed to fight and feeding took too much.  Watching as my milk supplies began to dwindle because pumping just didn’t have the same effect as my littlest human drinking.  And one thing I never had a shortage of was Milk!

The days ticked over and Little H continued to fight and things got worse before they got better.  On and around the 7th or 8th day there was a discussion of him potentially needing to put on a ventilator.  Another heal prick would be the determining factor.  As all these discussions and events continued my mind turned how I would do anything and everything in my power to prevent him ever being in a position like this again!!  And it was on that day that I knew, I would ALWAYS choose to vaccinate my kids.  

Also, I want to point out I had vaccinated my oldest and hadn’t ever considered not doing it.  But, it was from that very moment that I knew why we do it and why we have vaccinations.  Moreover, I realised if I had these potentially life saving things right at my fingertips and I could prevent my child ever from suffering like that again I would!


So in conclusion, I choose to vaccinate my kids because one my choice means that they have the chance to not need to fight for their lives.  And two, because hopefully at some point they can have a childhood where they don’t ask ‘when will corona be over’ because they desperate to visit their grandparents or have birthday party again.