Apr 19, 2015

Preventable Childhood Diseases are NOT a Right of Childhood


Raising two girls has been by far the most challenging and rewarding responsibility of my life. I never would have guessed all of the decisions my husband and I would have to make for our daughters Mary and Megan – glass bottles or plastic, formula or breast milk, full day kindergarten or not, private school or public school and on and on.

When it came to immunizations there was no question – we would immunize our girls, on schedule, always. I had been fortunate enough to work in the healthcare field and learned early on the benefit of immunizations. As chairperson of the Immunization Coalition for many years, I advocated for laws requiring immunizations for school, helped provide school site and workplace immunizations and spoke on a national level about the important of immunizations.

Measles, chickenpox, meningitis, hepatitis A and B, HPV and all the rest – in the Dettling home, our girls were going to be protected against these diseases. While some of these illnesses may seem minor or a “right of childhood,” they are dangerous and can be life threatening. In our family, we agreed not immunizing our girls was not an option. Our girls are 19 and 20 today and both college athletes, living in university dorms in Montana and Washington State. While it was hard to see them leave home, we know they are protected against disease and their immunization status is helping protect their friends and teammates as well.

Immunizations are the most impactful method of prevention in my lifetime – for our girls, immunizations were not only the right choice – they were the only choice!

Today's post was written by Lisa Dettling, who was instrumental in starting the Washoe County Coalition for Childhood Immunizations, which has since evolved into the Northern Nevada Immunization Coalition (NNIC) and is now Immunize Nevada. She served as chair of the coalition for many years and was responsible for securing the coalition not only a fiscal agent, but also grant funding to hire the first director.

During her involvement with NNIC, Lisa was approached by Reno/Sparks Rotary clubs to help sponsor a program related to immunizations. As a result, the first Rotary Flu Shot day was developed, a project that existed for many years. Whatever role she has held, she has always been an integral part of supporting all aspects of immunizations within the larger community.



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