As a parent going through this pandemic, I have been through a lot of different stages… Stages like “We Are All Going To Die,” “We Can’t See Our Loved Ones Unless We Live In The Same Household,” “Shaming and Blaming,” “Accepting and Protecting,” “Fully Vaccinated,” “Getting My Feet Wet – A Little,” and finally and thankfully “Back To Living.”
And I see that there are a lot of parents who are still going through similar roller coasters and have a lot of questions but many cannot ask them because they know that if they start questioning things don’t make sense or simply ask questions out of curiosity, they will either be shamed, blamed, or canceled and or even fired like happened to my best friend!
So I decided to use the platform that I have built since 2009 and blog my life experiences especially during this pandemic and also provide my readers with links that provide data and scientific facts by experts, doctors, and scientists, along with some opinion pieces and peer reviews by those experts in the field. And if any of my blogs or these doctors’ links help one parent/person to sleep better, I say it is a win…
And you don’t have to be a parent, this blog is for everyone… Although it will be publicly posted, I still consider this as my space and I will be sharing my space with you. All are welcome; from any nation, religion, gender, and color. We can agree to disagree with respect, I will respect you and your point of view, and in return, I ask you to do the same, please. I will not tolerate or respond to any insults, hate comments, and there will be no attacking anyone who comments, and no fake news sharing in the comments section. Thank you and WELCOME to “REAL LIFE by Mama Z”
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Today, I will focus on Covid19 VACCINATIONS for children and adult BOOSTERS – please make sure to visit the links I will add at the end of my blog. Because they are by the actual doctors, experts, scientists who will help you to make the best decisions for yourselves and your families! Mine is just storytelling. You can even skip my blog and go directly to the links… Trust me if you are open to receiving the message, they will change your lives by giving you back control over your life by presenting you the facts and data with no politics involved, so you can make the best decision for yourselves and your families! Feels good to even think about it, doesn’t it? It is exactly how America should feel like… “FREE!”
This past weekend, my husband got his Moderna booster. It has been an ongoing debate to decide if it was the right thing for us to get our boosters despite it being pushed to get it right away! Finally, after weighing the benefits and risks in detail, he has scheduled to get his.
And for me, as a 42-year-old, healthy, and active woman, who is not working in a high risk environment or spending time with any high-risk people, I have decided in opting out of getting a booster at this time…
And after long, long nights of research, discussions with great MDs, physicians (all pro-vaccine), we have finally made the decision on NOT vaccinating our 8-year-old daughter with the Covid19 vaccine. Here is why… Keep on reading because it is not what you think it is…
Now I am NOT an anti-vaxxer as some of you might have already labeled me as such in your minds. If you are a follower of my brand ZEYZANI on Instagram or Facebook, I am sure you remember me and my husband being one of the first to be fully vaccinated people against Covid19 during this Pandemic, back in January 2021! And for that, we are so thankful and grateful to science, all of the scientists, doctors, and experts who worked on these safe and effective vaccines against this virus.
As a person who comes from a family of doctors, pharmacists, scientists, and believers of science and data, I’ve always believed we should always be asking questions! But even I lost my way in the middle of this chaos; until recently!
We may disagree on policy or politics, but I am sure we can all agree, that this pandemic has been made so political that we all forgot that it is okay that we ask questions! Because if any of us did, we now would be labeled, judged or even canceled. But isn’t science itself all about asking questions? Where would we be if we stopped asking questions? Well… Exactly where we are now!.. Completely DIVIDED!
If you question the safety and/or efficacy of this vaccine, now you are an anti-vaxxer who is the reason for all those people dying from Covid19, doesn’t matter if you have been a science believer and follower all your life and always believed in vaccines… If you believe in the safety and efficacy of this vaccine and masking, now you are a socialist who wants to end the American way of living… This, my friends, is exactly where we are…
Believe me when I say this, I probably was one of the most freaked-out parents out there when this Pandemic first started... Although it was normal to be scared as no one knew anything about this new virus and they all needed time to figure things out, I was still in the very freaked out category! And this freak out has started to come to an end sometime in mid-2021.
And science did not fail us and we were blessed with safe and very effective vaccines by the end of 2020. Yes! I thought it was going to be the end of this Pandemic soon!
Getting vaccinated in January 2021 was a no-brainer for my husband and I; we believe in science and this vaccine's safety and effectiveness and we wanted to do our part to put an end to this pandemic (reminder this was the first variant time of Covid19 Pandemic).
Sometime in February 2021, I stopped watching and listening to the news completely… It was hard at first but refreshing at the same time.
I started getting out of my shell around April 2021 and started seeing friends and doing things (still outdoors only) together while still playing it very very safe. And also having almost all of our family and friends being fully vaccinated helped to ease my fear of contracting this virus at the time!!!
If you had asked me back at the beginning of 2021, it was a no brainer that we were “of course” going to be one of the first in line to get our daughter vaccinated too; as soon as they approve the Covid19 vaccinations for kids (She was 7 back then, now 8).
I was also 100% for all vaccine mandates, for schools, for businesses, for travel… Boy was I wrong badly… *Pro vaccine friends, don’t stop reading here, I promise you that I am pushing any agenda other than the following science and making your own decision that is best for you and your family!
Around June 2021, I started listening to these doctors (listed below) and a few more, reading their articles, their peer reviews on studies, then the data that is out there that is available to all of us…
Vinay Prasad MD, MPH http://www.vinayakkprasad.com/
Zubin Damania, MD https://zdoggmd.com/
Marty Makary, MD https://www.martymd.com/#hero
Monica Ghandi, MD, MPH https://academicmedicaleducation.com/monica-gandhi-md-mph
Paul A. Offit, MD https://www.paul-offit.com/about-paul-offit-md Local Pediatrician, specializing in infectious diseases and expert on vaccines immunology and virology - Philadelphia / CHOP
And I “still” had full trust in the CDC, the new government, and FDA “at the time”… I believed that they were going to be this honest, science and data-based leaders. *I am not making this blog about politics either, but unfortunately they are a part of what has been happening to us all, so they might get mentioned here and there!*
As I read more or listened more, I started having questions about this vaccine for my daughter’s age group (5-11)! And no I was not reading any right-wing conspiracy articles or watching those types of videos. I was reading studies posted on CDC’s website along with well-known and trusted doctor’s peer reviews. And although it was a no brainer for me to hand my arm out and be one of the first adults to get vaccinated, it was not and should not be a no brainer if I was going to inject a new vaccine in my child, so I said to my husband “we better research some more before giving her this new vaccine...”
So I started asking smart, science-based questions about this vaccine for my 7-year-old (now 8) daughter, who by the way, has been fully vaccinated with all the necessary vaccines since she was born as well as her annual flu shots every Fall!
But… Oh my!!! I had no idea what was waiting for me!!! How dare I ask questions about this vaccine?! All of a sudden, I started getting those "I would have never expected you to be one of those anti-vaxxers," some would point out my education and how unintelligence step this is for me to take and make me feel guilty as if it was my fault this was happening to the World. “I don’t understand, if you don’t vaccinate your child, what can we expect from the next person who is not educated? Haven’t enough people have died already?” or some were blessing me with my right to choose (well thank you) but still jab me with some guilt for what they have gone through: "You do what you think is best, but what I personally experienced what this virus can do, I lost friends to it and I am telling you, there is no other way..." judgments!
Yes, it is sad and unfortunate how many people the world has lost to this virus, we too know people who have gotten deadly will with the first variants, and some lost family members… My heart hurts for them all, truly… But is it really true that there was no other way other than vaccinating my young and healthy child? And leave that question aside, when exactly did it become NOT okay to ask questions for the safety of our child/ren? And if it was still okay, why was I getting shamed and labeled for it?
In the past, I had asked similar questions on the other vaccines too! For instance, the Gardasil vaccine and people seemed to have opinions from both spectrums on that as well. And after reading a lot of peer reviews and discussing it with trusted MDs, as well as her own physician, we decided that yes, our daughter will be getting the Gardasil vaccine when she is 12! So, what was happening here that now all of a sudden asking questions around safety or efficacy of a vaccine now has become a scarlet letter I had to carry as a parent and a human???
Why was it hard for some to understand that this is not my own body and my daughter is not at an age to make this decision for herself, so as her mother and father, shouldn’t we better do all our due diligence before we put anything in her tiny little body?
And like I said we are a family of science followers, and I must mention that my own husband was still thinking that it was a no-brainer to vaccinate her right away. So as a part of this very divided, labeling shaming and blaming society, as a wife whose husband did not want to wait to vaccinate their child, and a mother of a child whose friends were all getting vaccinated together, this was no walk in the park for me! But I don’t know what to call it, “motherly instinct,” or simply “being cautious,” I said “Let’s hold off for a bit! And talk to her physician and see what he thinks and other MDs we trust. Thankfully she is not in any serious risk category, we can make a risk-benefit analysis and then decide!” Well my husband is a 6 Sigma Master Black Belt, so I think I had him at “risk-benefit analysis,” so he agreed.
And that is when we started talking with her physician again. I must say he was the one who first said that there is not enough studies out there for him to be for or against this vaccine yet… And when we went back to talk to him about this, he was on the same page as he was! Thankfully our daughter was not in any serious risk category – meaning she is at a healthy weight and does not have any underlining conditions. And he said there are no wrong choices in our case, and told us that he would support whatever we choose in the end. After him, we started listening to a lot of doctors and experts, all of them being pro-vaccine, but with no political agenda and are honest with the data and information that they give so parents can make an educated decision…
It was not easy I’ll tell you… We both went back and forth on this so many times since October 2021 (after the Covid19 vaccine was approved for children ages 5-11). We were both biased and it was very difficult to be objective. Our bias was we are pro-vaccine and our biased instinct was to let’s just do it. But something was telling me that I had to stop and make sure this specific vaccine was really necessary for our child… As a mother, I find it, it was my duty to make sure this was the right thing for her!
After many sleepless nights and discussions around it, we’ve made our decision last week and scheduled our daughter to get vaccinated with the Covid19 vaccine for kids! Her first shot was on January 9th, 2022.
Literally, two days prior to her vaccination date, a new opinion piece where they peer review the latest data on the effectiveness of this vaccine in a Podcast, got released by these 3 MDs we fully trust and follow… And boom, I was back to where I was with it again and I had no idea how to tell my husband that I wanted to cancel her appointment.
I took a deep breath and told my husband: “Look, I know we have been battling with this and I appreciate you being so patient and respectful and giving me the time and space for me to research and learn more on this vaccine. But I realize she is not only my child, but she is also yours too. These doctors just released this Podcast and a portion of it, talks about the efficacy, safety, and necessity of Covid19 vaccinations for *healthy* young children at this point in time. It is about 2 hours total but the last hour is what you really want to hear. Please listen to it and after you do, if you still say ‘Yes, I still think that she really needs this vaccine now.’ I will respect that and we will keep her appointment for Sunday!”
After him listening to the whole podcast by these VERY PRO-VACCINE DOCTORS, he said “I agree, I no longer believe she needs to get it for now.” And that is my friend's when I got to exhale as a parent!
It is very crucial to mention that in this podcast, none of these doctors said do not get your young healthy children vaccinated, none of them ever said they don’t believe this vaccine works, or this vaccine is not safe or effective. Instead, they simply laid the risks and benefits of a young “healthy” child being vaccinated with this vaccine, especially with Omicron strain, and talked about pros and cons for either choice and literally told their audiences that the decision should be theirs and theirs alone.
That all being said, I still believe that for young and healthy children there is no wrong with either decision to or not to vaccinate! And I must say that I am also truly happy for the parents who made the decision either way. Science says it is a safe and effective vaccine!. All of us want the best for our children and living in limbo trying to make this decision has been an absolute nightmare and I don't wish this on any parent. So good for those parents who made a decision either way. Now you can all exhale too and live in peace like we finally do with our decision!
But once again, if our daughter was overweight or obese, had diabetes, or had any other health conditions, the risks of her being severely ill with this virus would have been a lot higher and then we would have DEFINITELY, without a shadow of a doubt, vaccinated her against Covid19! And this is why we ALL should START ASKING QUESTIONS and make the best decision for our families! And that is why these mandates are fools’ errand!
Instead of vaccinating her, we have added more vitamins to her regimen and are focusing on eating healthier, and staying active as a family. For instance, she now eats 1-2 bananas and an orange a day, she started eating more vegetables like beets and artichoke… When it is sunny we try to be outside to get natural vitamin D. Yes of course these things alone will not help her NOT contract this virus but will help recover a lot faster and milder if/when she gets it!
Now I know I may get a lot of push back for this blog because somehow it has become not okay to ask questions before you inject your child with a new vaccine or even yourself! If you are going to hate me for saying ASK QUESTIONS, get the facts and decide for yourselves, I say "so be it!" But I would still call this blog a success if I made a difference in one mom or dad’s life and let them know that they are not alone… It is okay to ask questions! It is our right! In fact, it is not only our right but our DUTY as parents! So ASK AWAY!
Thank you for joining me on my very first blog… Next blog, I will talk about masking and testing in this crazy Covid19 pandemic time. Until then, try to stay sane and safe… <3
CHILDREN’S COVID19 VACCINATIONS:
Latest very informative videos/podcasts to watch/listen to:
"...With Omicron, however, we NOT only DON'T see the rise in death rates that were associated with the first waves, but we actually see a continuing DECLINE in DEATH rates, DESPITE a radical INCREASE in cases..."
Special Thanks to:
Vinay Prasad MD, MPH http://www.vinayakkprasad.com/
Zubin Damania, MD https://zdoggmd.com/
Marty Makary, MD https://www.martymd.com/#hero