Why We Chose to Get Our Children Vaccinated Against COVID

dad and daughter proudly showing their bandages on their arms after getting their covid-19 vaccine

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This post is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. All opinions are my own. This is our family’s story.

We’ve spoken a lot about the choices we’ve made as a family over the past two years. We are not a family that takes chances with our health — especially when our children are involved. We are mindful of those around us and have always vaccinated to protect those who are not able to be vaccinated themselves.

We wanted to share our family’s story in hopes that it will help you to decide what is best for your family. We will be including facts provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Services throughout this post. 

The county we were living in up until last month had a high infection rate. We made a decision early on to stay at home and have anything we needed delivered. We didn’t go anywhere unless it was a park or for walks around our rural neighborhood. The kids went to school virtually and we decided to continue to send them virtually, even after the schools opened up again last year. Since Nelson and I both work from home, we were lucky enough to have that option.

Nelson’s friend passed away due to COVID complications in February. He was a healthy, 32-year-old man with a wife and small children. He believed that his faith would protect him and chose not to wear a mask. Nelson wishes that he could go back in time and try to convince him to put one on, but unfortunately, it’s too late for him. 

His friend’s death shook us. He was the first person we knew that passed away due to COVID. He was otherwise healthy. We vowed to do everything possible to protect ourselves, especially for our children’s sake. 

Nelson and I made our vaccination appointments in April, as soon as our age group was eligible. We both had the same reaction — a sore arm and we felt a little tired. We knew at that point that if we were to get COVID, the side effects would not be as severe and that gave us a feeling of extreme relief. 

Fact: Everyone in the United States age 5 or older is now eligible to get vaccinated. More than 200 million people have safely received COVID-19 vaccines under the most rigorous safety monitoring in U.S. history.

In May, when our two oldest daughters (ages 12 and 15) were eligible, we discussed the vaccination option with them. They were both ready. They had stayed home for over a year and missed out on a number of important events like 8th-grade prom and 5th-grade farewell. They were ready and willing to do whatever they could to protect themselves and others. They were excited for the possibility of getting back to somewhat of a normal childhood.

Fact: Vaccines can help protect your child from getting COVID and keep your child from getting seriously sick even if they do get it. COVID vaccines provide an opportunity to return to a more normal lifestyle. Getting vaccinated is the best way to control the pandemic and make it safer for everyone to gather together at schools, weddings, sports events, and during travel.

Both of our older girls just had a sore arm — no other side effects.

As our family was almost completely vaccinated, we went on our first road trip at the end of May. We continued to wear masks indoors and outdoors if we weren’t able to social distance. It was nice to see smiles on our kids’ faces again but our youngest was anxious for her turn to be vaccinated.

At the end of July, for the first time in 16 months, I let my guard down and got too close to someone on our property. I read on social media that their family tested positive for COVID just a few days later. When I started to feel sick not long after, I knew in my gut that it was a breakthrough case of COVID. I immediately locked myself in a room and made an appointment for a test.

We had a trip planned, the day I started to feel sick, for the inspection of a home we were planning on buying and I decided to stay home while the rest of my family went. I was home alone, with a fever, chills, nausea, dizziness, and extreme exhaustion for three days. I lost my taste and smell on day three and that officially confirmed what I already suspected.

I had heard of breakthrough cases, but never imagined I would be at risk since we were SO careful. It only takes one lapse of judgment and I’m proof of that.

When my family got home from the trip, we all wore masks and I continued to stay in my room. My COVID test was positive and thankfully Nelson and the girls all tested negative. We know that our quick response helped to keep them safe.

dad kissing daughter on the head -- both have a bandage on their arm after getting their covid 19 vaccine

Fact: More than 7 million American children have gotten COVID-19. Since August, hospitalization rates for children with COVID have reached record highs. Even though it’s rare for kids to get severely ill from COVID, it can happen – and it’s even more likely they could spread the virus to other people who are at greater risk.

I had heard people say that COVID feels like a bad cold when you are vaccinated. But it was unlike any cold I ever had. The fevers were brutal. I was sick for over two weeks and still have side effects that my doctor can’t explain. I can say with 100% certainty that if I wasn’t vaccinated, I would have had to go to the hospital. So to answer the question I get asked the most, I don’t regret getting vaccinated. I’m glad that I made that decision and am grateful to have had the opportunity because I’m still here to tell my story.

Fact: COVID vaccines prevent more than 9 out of 10 hospitalizations and deaths from COVID. Children are four times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID if they live in a state with low vaccination rates compared to states with high vaccination rates.

At the end of August, our two youngest went back to in-person school. It took us a couple of weeks and a conversation with the principal, to feel comfortable with them going back, especially since our youngest, 8 at the time, wasn’t eligible for the vaccine yet. The principal assured me that they were doing everything possible to keep the kids safe. The statewide mask mandate did make us feel better and helped to keep them safe. 

young girl laughing with a yellow cape on

Last month, my youngest was finally eligible for a COVID vaccine. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any 9-year-old that excited to get vaccinated. She finally felt that sense of relief that we had for ourselves and our two oldest daughters. She had the same reaction — a sore arm. And she is proud to tell everyone that will listen that she’s finally vaccinated.  

Fact: COVID vaccines are given to children under 12 in smaller doses, tailored for younger children. Adolescents ages 12 and older receive the same dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine as adults. 

The decisions we made for our family were the right ones for our family. We would never tell anyone what to do with their family’s health but do encourage everyone to get their information from the right sources, before making decisions for themselves and their children.

There is a ton of misinformation out there. Before reading or watching anything online, please consider the source and what their credentials are. Talk to a doctor if you have questions about the vaccine.

Fact: If you are not vaccinated – no matter your age – you are at risk of getting sick, and yes, even dying. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1,000 children have died from COVID.

Find vaccines near you at vaccines.gov.

red pin that says Super Hero I vaccinate against covid-19

If you have any questions about our story, I’m more than happy to answer them in the comments below. Please keep the conversation respectful and I promise to do the same. #WeCanDoThis




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Hello There!

I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. I appreciate you telling us about your experience. I am glad you and your loved ones are feeling better. Stay safe

  2. It’s important for everyone to get vaccinated against covid. You did right by getting your kids jabbed.

  3. I am sorry that you got sick, and thank God you’re and your family are doing well now. Thanks for sharing your story with us

  4. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope that everyone stays safe and does what they feel is best during these hard times.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this heartfelt post. Sorry to hear about the losses of others due to COVID. This will help my friends very much as they decide if they want their children to be vaccinated.

  6. It is so important to ensure that your children are up to date on their vaccinations. In my country, there is not an option to have younger children vaccinated yet, but when there is, ours will be too. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  7. We have a friend also who died from covid and it’s not good to stay unvaccinated. We are very careful now and trying to be safe.

  8. Thank you! Both the hubs and I are vaccinated and our 18yo son as well. The hubs is already boosted and soon, my son and I will get boosted as well.

  9. I think its really depends here in our country what’s best is to really not to go out at all. Most vaccinated here has been spreading the virus more since they are too complacent that they will not have the virus anymore.

  10. In these times, it is really brave to get kids to vaccine. Especially when there is lot of misinformation going on. Kudos to you for taking such step.

  11. I am a firm believer in medical freedom. I have also practiced holistic medicine for the past 15 years. Not only do my hubby, grown children and I take natural supplements to boost our immune system, we all have had Covid. For us, it was a head cold that lasted less than a week. I am not against or for the vaccine, I simply believe everyone needs to do what is right for them and no one should be forced to take something they don’t want.

  12. We have some similarities as well, we took 2 years just staying at home always and just ordering everything since we aren’t vaccinated yet and had known plenty in our circle of friends dying as well. We have scheduled our vaccination now and we finally made the decision after we got the go signal from our doctor, the reason we just stayed at home and did not get vaccinated before was they were still recovering from previous illness and were not feeling well.

  13. To get vaccinated our kids is an individual choice! I hope that all kid will be ok and all parents will take a wise decision.

  14. Thanks for your honesty. I can totally relate to your reasons. Waiting to vaccinate all children would be a mistake

  15. Im so sorry for your husband’s friend. We lost some friends too for the same reason and this is enough to convince me to protect the kids.

  16. I believe that there are many benefits and that the vaccine helps prevent kids from getting COVID-19.

  17. Well done and congrats! You absolutely did the right thing. I love that you included facts in the article…

  18. I am so sorry you got so sick!! Covid is so rough. I have type 1 diabetes so i am so scared of getting it! I have 3 vaccines already and I still need to get y booster!

  19. It’s so important to stay safe and take all the measures possible to keep our family healthy. We are waiting to get the 3rd dose and my daughter will be getting her first one this month. We have lost several family friends during the pandemic.

  20. I can totally relate to this. We have also had friends die from Covid, including a friend who “did all the right things” by getting vaccinated, getting his booster, and minimizing contact. Covid has made so many things difficult and we also put a lot of thought into it.

  21. Oh man I’m sorry you got so sick! That sounds awful 🙁 I got the shot and I got such bad side effects for weeks. It’s reassuring to hear your kids did great with it! I know an overwhelming amount do just fine with the shot. I love hearing people’s different experiences, so thank you for sharing.

  22. I am glad you are protecting your family I agree that Covid does not discriminate and the more we can stop the spread the fast we can shut it down as we have in the past with other plagues and diseases.

  23. It’s such a scary world we live in now with this virus that is constantly changing around us. It’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and each other. I think everyone should have the right to choose what is best for them and their family but it’s important to know the facts and make an educated decision. Thank you for sharing all this info!

  24. I dont think Covid excludes children, as soon as the government allowed children mine were first in line.

  25. I’m glad that your kids are already vaccinated it is really important to get vaccinated. This is such a really great post and I’m going to share this with my friends

  26. One of my teens is vaccinated, he was the most reluctant but he did it. I have two kids left that I want to be vaccinated. I think each family has to research and make the choice they deem best for their family. Glad your little one is protected!

  27. In my country, until a couple of months ago, doctors were against children’s vaccinations. They said that we need that “silent” procuration to get immunity as a nation. Now, the story changed.

  28. We decided to get our shot to protect ourselves and even our loved ones, but I am so hesitant to do it for my kids because they are too young and I am sure if they can endure the pain of the vaccine.

  29. My husband and I are both vaccinated and my 19 year old as well but I am still hesitant for my younger kids to get it. They are both still to young any way to get it in South Africa so I have a little time to wrap my head around it still.

  30. That’s great that you took the initiative. Since this pandemic spun out of control, I’ve been pro-vax. Thanks for sharing this important message.

  31. I’m so sorry about the loss of your husband’s friend! It’s so sad that he had such bad complications at such a young age. I’m unable to get vaccinated for health reasons. I agree that everyone should do what’s best for themselves and their family, and I wish everyone would respect each other when it comes to this topic. I’m so ready for all of this to be over though!

  32. My boys only got the vaccination as the school originally said that they would not have to wear a facemask if they did. I am just ready for this to end soon.

  33. Such an important post to share and educate others with kids who are still unsure if the vaccine is safe Glad to know your kids were fine

  34. Yup, my kids are vaccinated. Well I guess one is technically an adult. But the younger one is vaccinated. We still need to get boosters though!

  35. Well done and good on you! Honestly, I commend you for your decision to get them vaccinated. I am heading for my third one shortly. Scared as always when it comes to needles but it has to be done so I can keep myself and my family healthy.

  36. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Nelson’s friend. I personally find that the decision to vaccinate your children is a responsible one. Sitting here typing this comment, I got my booster shot this morning and it is so important to continue to protect ourselves from this virus.