why we vaccinate
Adoption and Family,  adoption and tweens,  Health

Why I Protect My Family With Vaccines #ONVaccine

why we vaccinate


Maybe it’s because it took almost forever to become a parent that I feel so strongly about holding my kids close and protecting them from illness, accidents and harm.

Maybe it’s because I have a compromised immune system myself. I have Crohn’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder. I know I can’t afford to get ill. When I get sick, I have a much higher likelihood of ending up hospitalized than your average Mom does.

Maybe it’s because our babies, both adopted as infants, needed more health care, more nurturing, support, and security, because circumstances of their birth were not what I would have wished and their fragile immune systems struggled for years.

why we vaccinate
why we vaccinate

I have so many reasons to immunize, but really the four big ones are: Paula, Jim, Payton and Ainsley—my family. We fought hard to become a family, so I think it’s normal that we feel the need to hold close this incredible gift of parenthood that we were given. By the same token we also work hard to stay healthy in my house. Health isn’t something everyone is given. It’s something you have to work hard at and it’s a privilege. So I vaccinate for them—for all of us.

We have been religious about getting our shots from the time the kids were both still in foster care and as we waited to adopt them. From the very beginning, our pediatricians supported getting vaccines according to the recommended immunization schedule. This last couple of years, maintaining our commitment to vaccinating has been challenging. My older daughter has anxiety disorder. With that disorder came a needle phobia that peaked right as she needed to get her grade seven and eight immunizations.

It would have been extremely easy for us to avoid her anxiety and panic attacks by delaying the immunizations, but this wasn’t a matter of negotiation. Our new family doctor was incredibly patient with Payton, taking the time to answer any questions she had. And she had questions, grilling him on the contents of each vaccine.

He told her that all vaccines are safe, effective, and tested.

He read her the contents of each vaccine. None of the worrisome things she had heard about were in the vaccines she was getting.

If your child has needle phobia or anxiety about the process, talk to your health care provider and ask him or her to help your child feel more comfortable. There are lots of strategies and tools to help ease the pain and discomfort of needles for every stage of life, including what you can do as a parent to help.

Did you know that?

  •  Vaccines have saved the lives of more babies and children than any other medical intervention in the last 50 years. Click here for more information.
  • 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
  • All children attending school need to be immunized according to schedule.
  • Immunization protects children from many serious diseases that are easily spread in day cares and schools.

Vaccines are a part of our healthy lifestyle. They help protect my family, and yours, by building stronger immune systems—in all of us.

 This post was developed in association with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The opinions of the author are their own.

Like eating well and exercising, 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.

For more information you can read and view:

How We Can Increase Vaccination Rates and Protect Our Kids 

Why It’s Essential for Kids with Allergies to Be Immunized




Why I Vaccinate by #YMCCommunity Blogger Kerrie Mendoza

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Uplifting Families

    I have always vaccinated my children. As a parent, I don’t want my child to get very sick from a possible disease. I would rather them feel short term pain from the shot. For the most part, the vaccines are safe and don’t cause a bunch of issues.

    I know that someone people are convinced that vaccines cause autism but I personally don’t think that it is related. It could be but kids way back in the day would have had those diagnosis’s.

    Kudos to you for sharing this post, I know that it is a super controversial subject.

    • Paula

      Well they actually proved that the DOCTOR who did that controversial study falsified information – he did a heck of a lot of damage, didn’t he? He created a whole group of people who are afraid to vaccinate.

  • Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    I think it is beyond irresponsible for parents NOT to get their kids vaccinations. The benefits FAR outweigh any risks.

  • Amanda

    I am pro vaccine my husband is against it! He’s very much into the ‘controversial debates” and believes just about everything he hears. Because we can’t agree we always go in with questions and have a lengthy discussion with our doctor and in the end always have the vaccine.

    I think just being knowledgeable in the benefits as well as the negative outcomes is key in making the decision. I am however pro choice, I don’t judge anyone for their decisions and nor would I expect them to judge me.

  • Paula H

    I’ll start off by saying, I am not anti-vaxx. My kids are vaccinated.
    I believe in medical choice. Everyone does what they feel is best for their own family unit.
    I fully support full transparent disclosure. So people can make thoroughly informed decisions.

    Everyone has the right to and should be asking questions about what chemicals and ingredients are in products (health/beauty, food, medicine) and not be ridiculed and labeled for it. There have been too many chemicals historically passed and allowed in products in the past and then retracted that they will actually kill you after longer study. (asbestos, cigarettes, too many prescription drugs to count)
    Everyone has the right to have the truth about these products on hand so they can choose if the risk outweighs the benefit for their family unit.

    This is yet another topic to pit mother against mother in the “Who’s the better mother war” being raged upon women!
    Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Paula

      I am not interested in pitting moms against moms ever. I am interested in protecting children, and protecting my family. I believe it is possible to have grown up conversations about these things too.

  • canadianmomeh.com

    These are some excellent points. I have close family members who choose not to vaccinate their children. The rest of us do. It scares me to think about the what if’s. The best thing we can do is educate ourselves and our loved ones and hope everyone makes the decisions best for their own family.

  • Sarah Bailey

    I don’t mind getting vaccinated – I’ve only ever had one bad one where I was boarder line if I should have had it anyway and turns out I shouldn’t have so grew a TB pustule on my arm (however very glad it was there and not in my lungs)

  • aimee fauci

    This is such a controversial topic. I am pro vaccines. I respect parent’s choices however if they choose not to get their kid’s vaccinated then I hope they keep them away from babies that have not been able to be vaccinated yet.

  • Maureen Campaiola

    I agree with most vaccines like to stop Whooping Cough, Measles, etc. I don’t agree with the HPV vaccine or even the flu shot. I never take the flu shot and I haven’t had the flu in forever. I do feel that some vaccines are just a way to fuel big pharma.

    • Paula

      I do get the flu shot and my family does too. We get all the shots but we also research and I respect other opinions. I know many don’t get the flu shot. Every doctor I have ever had has recommended that I get the flu shot because of the Crohn’s disease.

  • Randa @ TBK

    When I first had my son I was confused on what to do. Can you believe I felt like a bad mom for thinking about vaccinating? I was torn between the arguments. It wasn’t until the head lady at the Ronald McDonald House sat me down and give me the facts (she used to be head nurse at the NICU) and told me how vaccines are not just for the child but for everyone.

    Did you know that if a pregnant woman gets the chicken pox awful things could happen to her baby? I had no idea. I used to think that vaccine was useless (because I survived the pox) and after I heard that I signed Carter up for every vaccine.

  • Theresa

    We vaccinate for certain illnesses. However, one needs to really inform themselves on what vaccines they are giving their children. At my doctors insistence, we have Guardasil (sp?) for HPV. My daughter went through 3 painful sessions of shots and years later we found out the makers fudged the benefits, saying it really was an unnecessary vaccine because it strain it prevents works itself out of the system eventually anyway. The side effects could have been disastrous and left me feeling very angry and duped. Now, we research, research, research, then wait some more before jumping on the new vaccine bandwagon.

  • Pam

    I am a RN and a retired Resource Nurse for the second largest school district in the US. SO… of course I am pro vaccine. I know it has become a very heated topic and I have seen some knock down, drag out fights on facebook.

    • Paula

      Pam: Very glad to read this. I know. I know. I have seen some real mud slinging on both sides of the debate and what’s missing often is factual information in the context of an actual conversation. We can agree to disagree about things respectfully. But people seem unable to agree to disagree on this topic. It’s become such an emotional debate that people are unable to calmly look at the facts and that’s not beneficial to either side.

  • Mama to 5 BLessings

    This is such a touchy subject. I do vaccinate my kids, but I admit I HATE vaccines. I HATE what is in them BUT I have to weigh the pros and cons. I would rather my children be protected than not. There are too many people that do not vaccinate and too many immigrants coming in our borders bringing disease and illness. I chose to protect my children.

  • Ann Bacciaglia

    I am a huge advocate of vaccines. It is a shame we are seeing preventable diseases like the measles coming back.

  • Annie M

    I am totally pro vaccine, especially with working in healthcare! Just look at the outbreak of measles in Disneyland that could have been prevented…

  • Jeanine

    All my kids are fully vaccinated. However I hate this topic. Hate it. My youngest developed hives from his last vaccine and it scared the crap out of me! People scolded me and it was terrible however the hives didn’t bother him and he’s alive so to me that’s still a win. I’ve done my research and I’m proud to have chose to vax. My youngest will now be staggered due to the last reaction but I still plan to have him fully vaccinated. Would much rather him alive and well, than deal with any potential life threatening illness or anything else!

    This is a subject along with breastfeeding and circumcision that really hits people the wrong way, and it sucks. To each their own however newborns and elderly concerns me where no vaccination is concerned. Lots of people don’t think of others, who can’t get vaccinated, too early for it or who have weakened immune systems when it comes to vaccines and they only think of themselves. So sad.

  • Rachelle J

    Vaccination is such a touchy subject for a lot of people. But what (I think) it comes down to is education. If you are fully educated on the risk and rewards of vaccines, then you have made the right decision.

  • Anne | HealthySouthernMama.com

    I am thankful to have a pediatrician who is supportive with my preference to stagger vaccinations rather than follow the recommended schedule and have so many given all at once. We did not do the flu vaccine this year … who knows what we will do next year since they may be in a a school setting (homeschooled my son this year). It’s a shame that this topic has become so controversial and that people cannot have discussion without it becoming heated. I wish we could all be and act like grown ups when we disagree. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lisa Rios

    I agree Vaccines plays a major role in our healthy lifestyle & that it has saved lives for more babies & children. But the main important thing is for the parent to know clearly on what Vaccination is being provided to the child, so they know the benefits clearly.