So Much More Than Just The History of Vaccines
Initially, the site appealed to me because I wanted to gain a better understanding about the history of vaccines. I’m often concerned that the success of vaccines - in reducing the overall incidence of disease - can sometimes be a detriment in that it means some parents have not witnessed the dangerous diseases that we vaccinate for. Subsequently, they may remain unconvinced that they need to continue to vaccinate themselves or their children in order to prevent what they consider to be relatively rare occurences.
One example occurred when I watched a recent episode of Pregnant in Heels. I had been alerted that the show’s host, Rosie, would be helping an expectant mother, Nia, who was not planning to vaccinate her newborn baby. One of the explanations that Nia gave for not vaccinating her child was that she felt vaccines were “antiquated”. She defended that statement by saying, “Who gets polio anymore?” It was a shocking realization to me that many parents are just not that familiar with the history of diseases and the ways in which we have learned to prevent them through successful immunization.
This is why, almost two years after the launch of The History of Vaccines site, that I continue to refer people to this comprehensive resource. The information they provide – in a clear, concise and easy to understand format - helps educate readers on more than just the history of vaccines. For instance, there is an entire section devoted to parents that includes educational activities such as How Vaccines Work, Herd Immunity, How Vaccines Are Made, and Types of Vaccines.
And what’s even better is that they have recently launched a Spanish version as well. All their articles, most popular activities and their vaccine timeline are now available by clicking the Español tab from the main website, or through a separate landing page at www.historyofvaccines.org/es/content. Additionally, if readers are viewing an English resource that is also offered in Spanish, they will see a toggle button allowing them to choose the language that’s best for them. Add to that the fact that the History of Vaccines is supporting a Spanish language Twitter account @historiavacunas, and it’s clear that this vaccine resource can be extremely helpful for Spanish-speaking providers and parents.
So, if you haven’t explored the History of Vaccines website, I encourage you to do so today. And while you’re at it, please share the site with parents you know, who like Nia, may not have a thorough understanding of the history, and future impact, of vaccines. You may even want to share what activities you found most interesting and why.