Indianapolis mom Julie chose to have her seven-year-old daughter Emily vaccinated against COVID-19. We interviewed Julie to find out why she decided to do so and how her daughter has been doing since.
When did Emily get her COVID vaccine?
She got her covid vaccine in early November 2021.
Was there a specific deciding factor in whether to vaccinate your daughter?
When I was pregnant with Emily, I talked to a pediatrician about why kids should be vaccinated. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I let all the hype of Hollywood stars not getting their children vaccinated because it could lead to autism sway me. The pediatrician was knowledgeable, patient, and kind. After that conversation, I knew Emily would receive all her vaccines when she was born. Then, when talk of this vaccine became available, we knew this would not be any different. She gets her flu vaccine every year. We do it to protect her and her dad, who has a weakened immune system.
Did Emily have any input about the decision to have her vaccinated?
Yes and no. We’ve talked about how important the vaccine is to protecting her and everyone else. Her dad has cancer, so when we got our vaccines in spring, it kind of allowed our kids to do more than they were doing — play inside at the neighbor’s house and do indoor sports like gymnastics that they hadn’t done since the pandemic began. She wants to do more indoor sports this winter, attend family get-togethers, and keep her daddy healthy.
Was she scared or nervous at all?
She was not scared. She was very excited. My son just got his (he just turned 5) and was terrified. His sister kept encouraging him, I held him on my lap, and I packed a sucker for after the shot.
Have you felt any pressure not to get her vaccinated or to get it?
Some family members don’t think anyone should get the vaccine, especially children. My immediate family is all for the vaccine, but know that it’s our decision on whether or not to vaccinate our children.
Did Emily experience any side effects?
She had a headache after her second one, but Tylenol kicked in after 30 minutes, and she was back to playing outside.
How did she feel emotionally after getting it?
I think she felt excited. She knew we thought the vaccine was going to protect more people and allow life to go back to normal. She’s tired of missing out on things because of the virus.
And how do you feel now that she’s vaccinated?
I feel so relieved. I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until she finally received the first dose. When she was 3, the flu and pneumonia took over her little body, and she ended up on life support. I didn’t even know that could happen. The fear of losing a child is something I never want to experience again. If there is anything I can do to protect my children, I will do it.
Julie M. is a wife, mother of two, and teacher in Indianapolis. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and reading.