Vaccinations to me are an essential part of keeping my family healthy. They are a non-negotiable and something I do not take for granted. I’ve received a flu shot every year, been vaccinated against countless vaccine preventable diseases and lead a healthy life free of illnesses. Illnesses my ancestors were terrified of. I’ve travelled the world knowing that my body had already developed antibodies against some of the diseases I could come in contact with. Why I vaccinate comes down to safety, the health of my family and an effective health care system I am fortunate enough to have access to.
My mom is one of the many reasons I keep myself and my boys up-to-date with our vaccinations. When my mom was in cancer treatment, it really hit home how my decisions regarding vaccinations had a direct and potentially serious impact on her health. With almost no immune system she would not have been able to fight off a simple flu. Other diseases could have been fatal. I quickly understood that vaccines are part of a healthy lifestyle because they strengthen the immune system and prevent the spread of illnesses to others.
Travelling and working in communities around the world has taught me to never take for granted the access we have as Canadians to excellent health care..
While doing service projects in Kenya and Ecuador, it became apparent quickly that health care was something desperately needed in these places. In countries where infant mortality rates are high, and disease spreads quickly, people would do anything to have access to free and easily accessible vaccinations. Before traveling to these countries, I needed five vaccinations and daily anti-malaria pills. I had the experience of a lifetime and came home healthy.
Thanks to vaccines, infectious diseases that were the leading cause of death worldwide 100 years ago are now the cause of less than five per cent of all deaths in Canada. That’s amazing! Vaccines have saved the lives of more babies and children than any other medical intervention in the last 50 years. If you have school-aged children, they need to have proof of specific vaccines to attend school. Click here for more information.
Vaccines are so important for our health, our safety and they are truly the definition of prevention is the best medicine. A simple injection provides your body with the ability to create antibodies that keep you healthy for years to come. Why will I always vaccinate? Because it is safe, effective and the best decision for my family’s health.
This post was developed in association with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The opinions of the author are their own.
Getting immunized is an important part of creating a foundation for a healthy life. If you’re on the fence about immunizing, here’s the information you need to make an informed decision for your family.