The Shot of Prevention (SOP) blog is hosted by Vaccinate Your Family, a national nonprofit organization that aims to raise awareness of the critical importance of vaccinations for people of all ages. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Shot of Prevention is a community blog where individuals, parents, medical professionals and others gather to discuss current events and issues regarding immunizations. Over the years we have heard many stories from parents, healthcare providers and vaccine advocates about how confusing and frustrating it can be to find good information about vaccines and vaccine safety online. This inspired us to introduce Shot of Prevention in 2009, a blog where different voices can come together to share their perspectives and personal stories. We hope you will find the resource to be beneficial, and we hope you will engage in these important conversations with us!
Amy Pisani – Lead Editor
Amy Pisani has been serving as the Executive Director of Vaccinate Your Family (formerly known as Every Child By Two) since 1998. The organization was founded by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Former First Lady of Arkansas Betty Bumpers in 1991 to ensure the timely immunizations of all children. Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Bumpers started the organization in response to one of the largest U.S. measles outbreaks in recent history, which sickened more than 55,000 people, hospitalized over 11,000, and killed more than 120, many of whom were young children. In 2008, Ms. Pisani oversaw the launch of the Vaccinate Your Baby initiative in order to encourage parents to get the facts about vaccinations. As science has advanced and allowed vaccinations to save lives across the lifespan, in 2015, the organization decided to officially broaden its mission to help protect people of all ages from vaccine-preventable diseases and launched the Vaccinate Your Family (VYF) program to emphasize the importance of vaccinations for the entire family. In November 2018, Every Child By Two formally changed its name to Vaccinate Your Family.
Since 2016, VYF has reached over fifteen million people with pro-vaccination messages, and our Vaccinate Your Family Facebook page remains one of the most followed on the topic of vaccines.
As a mother of two teenage boys, Amy has first-hand experiences with vaccines and questions parents have about their safety, efficacy and necessity.
Jennifer Zavolinsky – Contributor
Jennifer Zavolinsky, MHS, CHES is the Director of Outreach Initiatives at Vaccinate Your Family.
Erica DeWald – Contributor
Erica DeWald is the Director of Advocacy at Vaccinate Your Family.
Taryn Chapman – Guest Vlogger
Taryn Chapman, the creator of The Vaccine Mom, is now VYF’s new video blogger (“vlogger”) for Shot of Prevention!
Taryn is medical molecular biologist and medical writer, but when she is not geeking out, she loves spending time building and creating with her two little children. Before Taryn became a mom, she worked in vaccinology, virology, and biomedical research. As a researcher, she could tell you how a vaccine caused the body to make strong and powerful memory to a germ, but she had little experience with what was going on outside the lab.
When Taryn became a parent, everything changed. She never questioned vaccinating her children, but she learned very quickly that some parents do. These parents tend to be conflicted and misinformed.
Once the ladies in the moms group learned of her profession, she was bombarded with questions about vaccines. They may not know it, but she’s so thankful because it was their questions that led her down the path to becoming a passionate vaccine educator.
Funny how things happen. Taryn hung up the lab coat, as she felt the moral responsibility to DO MORE as an advocate–to make things right. The way we talk to each other is broken and needs to be fixed. A parent’s decision to vaccinate their child is an emotional one. All parents just want to protect their children, and that’s what this is all about.
At first, her mission as The Vaccine Mom was to deliver the science straightforwardly and help people see facts as facts. While facts are necessary to understand how vaccines work and why they’re safe, Taryn found it more important to educate parents on why getting their children vaccinated will protect them from harm, not cause harm.
Her goal is to help vaccine-hesitant parents make the informed decision to vaccinate. By connecting as a mother and creating meaningful conversations, parents tend to be more open to accepting that vaccines are safe and effective. Taryn is excited and hopeful that more parents will choose to vaccinate!
Christine Vara – Lead Editor from April 2010 through June 2018
Christine Vara is a strategic communications specialist with over 25 years of experience in advertising, marketing, public relations and social media. In April 2010, she began working with Every Child By Two (ECBT) to educate the public about the benefits of immunizations and to counter the pervasive amount of vaccine misinformation that exists online. Christine helped ECBT establish the first and most influential pro-vaccine social media pages. Over the years, Christine presented at many national and state-level immunization conferences, where she advised attendees on how to leverage social media and online communications to help parents make educated choices about vaccines. Her dynamic background in communications, combined with her role as a dedicated mother to five children, provided a unique parent’s perspective to the online discussion of immunizations and the science behind them.