Should I vaccinate my child with the COVID-19 vaccine? This is such an important and personal question, one that parents, and caregivers are struggling to balance the best information and find the answer that is right for them.
The other day I got a call from someone near and dear to me. This individual wanted to know if I recommended that his children, ages five and nine, get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. I reminded him that I am not his physician as I am not yours and I encourage everyone to discuss this with their child’s pediatrician.
I didn’t have a simple answer for him. It is much easier to make this decision for oneself than to take on the weight and responsibility of making it for a young child you love.
How to Approach Thinking about this Question.
Here is how I approach thinking about this decision. As parents and caregivers, we make decisions all the time that affect the health and well-being of our children. What we feed them, how much sleep we make sure they get, how we discipline them, and the list could go on and on. When we decide for someone, we are responsible for, whether that person is a young child or an elderly parent, we decide based on the best information we have at the time of the decision. We often spend time researching to help us figure out what is the right decision for us. This is so important. The decision you make must be the right decision for you and your parenting partner.
What Happens if I Make the Wrong Choice?
As parents we may ask; what if down the road it turns out to be a “bad” decision and my child has an adverse outcome?
If you choose to vaccinate your child or decide not to vaccinate your child, there could be an adverse outcome. Now as a parent and grandma, I have the perspective of looking back on my decisions with 20-20 hindsight.
In looking back, I realized that I’ve made many bad and good decisions that affected my children. Some even resulted in adverse outcomes for them and me.
I learned; that we all make decisions based on the best information we have at the time of the decision. When there is an unwanted or adverse outcome, it is essential to give yourself the perspective of hindsight. A favorite quote from Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computers, said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.”
When you connect the dots looking backward and you wish you would have made a different decision. Stop, and realize it was impossible to connect them looking forward. You made the decision based on the best information you had at the time. With that knowledge and knowing, give yourself some grace.