On vaccination decisions

We were interviewed by a local news station on our decision to have Namine get the Covid vaccine.

On vaccination decisions

A while ago, we wrote about our decision for Namine to get the Covid vaccination (and again once she got the second one). It was not an easy decision, since she still gets sick easily and could very well end up in the hospital again as a result. It involved a lot of discussion, not only between Jessica and myself but also with Namine’s cardiologist and Namine herself.

Our writings on the matter ended up attracting some attention. First, the Children’s Hospital social media team noticed it and asked us if we would allow them to repost it on the CHW blog. We agreed; they ended up combining the two posts into one for republishing on their site.

We’re just a small blog, and we don’t get a ton of daily traffic. But there was substantially more that day, let me tell you. It even got the attention of a local news station in Madison. A reporter reached out to me to ask if we’d mind them interviewing Namine about her decision to vaccinate. I discussed it with Jessica and Namine — especially Namine, since it was primarily her interview. We all agreed to do it.

The original plan was to interview Namine first, then Jessica and myself together. The interviewer only had one microphone, however, so I ended doing the second interview by myself. The main focus of the interview was about why we decided to have Namine getting the vaccine.

There was also a secondary focus, at least in my mind, which didn’t get a whole lot of attention in the interview but I think is worth repeating here.

When we have to make a medical decision that involves Namine, we never make it without involving her. This has been true for a long time now; she’s thirteen, capable of making informed decisions when it comes to her health, well-being, and medical needs.

I bring this up because the decision to have Namine get vaccinated was not one reached by myself and Jessica alone. Namine was given a full vote on the matter, and if she hadn’t wanted to get it, we wouldn’t have forced her.

Jessica and I, as parents, believe in giving Namine as much independence as possible. With her being physically disabled, a lot of the time that means finding ways around accessibility — either in the home or out in the world. But with her additional medical needs, independence also has bearing on decision-making. It’s important for her to know that her concerns are valid, her thoughts are important, and her opinions are respected.