Helping Colorado's Moms Make Educated Choices About Vaccines
Mar 19, 2010
By Dawn Crawford, Communications Director at the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition.
Parents are inundated with opinions from others these days, leaving them with a myriad a questions about how to best care for their children. Is breast feeding the best or is formula okay? Give baby peanut butter or not? Co-sleeping or crib sleeping? Circumcision or au natural? Vaccinating or not?
With all these decisions, parents have to make an educated choice. They turn to experts like pediatricians, people like their parents who have been there and done that, to educational archives like websites, and to other moms and dads who are living the whole experience with them. Parents are drawing from so many resources that it’s getting hard to differentiate what is a reliable source and what is purely hearsay.
At the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition (CCIC), we aim to equip parents with the most up-to-date and relevant information about vaccines for their children. We know it can be a garbled world out there with lots of different talking heads and we want to cut to the facts.
We also want parents to make a fully-educated choice about vaccinating their children. Parents who fear vaccines feel that they are not being told the whole story. They feel that the government and special interest groups are hiding data and side-effects to protect the financial bottom-line.
At CCIC we guide parents to factual information about the whole picture of vaccines. We want them to know about the amazing benefits of vaccines and that they do save lives, but we also want them to know that science is not perfect. We want them to know about side-effects and ways that the government is working to keep vaccines safe and effective.
In Colorado we have a liberal vaccine exemption policy. We allow parents to opt-out of vaccines for medical, religious or philosophical reasons. When entering the 2007/2008 kindergarten school year, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 6% of children were exempted from vaccines.
It might be surprising for a pro-vaccine group, but we understand and appreciate our state’s exemption policy. We want parents to make an educated and purposeful choice to vaccinate their kids. We feel that if a parent has an opportunity to opt-out, that it opens a door to more conversation and greater education by vaccine providers. It also eases parents’ fears of “big brother” forcing them to do something. In the end, it gives them a choice. This lets parents make the informed choice to be part of the solution to protect our community from disease.
In the spirit of fostering a conversation about vaccines, CCIC has teamed up with a mommy blogger to talk about all the triumphs and fears of vaccines – Colorado Mom2Mom .
Colorado Mom2Mom is a blog written by moms for moms who have questions about childhood vaccines. This blog was created to support parents who vaccinate their children and to answer parents’ questions to help them make educated decisions about the health and well-being of their children. Our mommy, Melanie, discusses all aspects of childhood vaccination including the most current science, the latest research, and the emotional decisions that parents face when vaccinating their children.
The reason we partnered with Melanie as our writer is because she is a wife, mother to two beautiful fully-immunized girls, and a vaccine advocate. She is not a doctor or a nurse, but she does have a master’s degree in public health and works for a tax-funded health district in Colorado. She has extensive professional experience with vaccine education to parents and providers across Colorado. She is passionate about childhood vaccines because she believes that they are one of the most important ways you can protect your children’s health.
More than that, Melanie is a mom who had lots of questions about her babies’ vaccines. Like so many moms, she looked to the internet and health professionals to get the information she needed to make an informed decision. She wants to share her experiences and thoughts with you. She is interested in a dialogue and wants to hear what you may be thinking about, questioning or interested in knowing about childhood vaccines.
With this blog, and many other resources, CCIC connects with parents to give them the information they need to make an educated decision about vaccines. We are keeping Colorado kids healthy!
To learn more about how you can help keep your child healthy visit the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition at www.childrensimmunization.org.
Editor’s Note: The Colorado Immunization Coaltion site features informative videos on a variety of topics. We thought the video entitled, “Thimerosal: Something to Worry About,” was particularly interesting.
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