Special thanks to NFID Executive Director & CEO, Marla Dalton, CAE, for this Thanksgiving guest blog post about being truly thankful during this season of gratitude.
Thanksgiving is typically a time to sit back, relax, enjoy the fall weather, and spend time with family. It is also a good time to think about what makes you most thankful. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my health and am reminded of the importance of staying healthy as a parent of teenage twin daughters. One of the easiest steps I can take to ensure that I stay healthy for my children is to stay current on all recommended vaccines.
As a parent, I know how important it is to make sure that my children are fully vaccinated—working in the healthcare field, I am reminded on a daily basis of the importance and value of vaccines. Getting sick from a vaccine-preventable disease would not only ruin our Thanksgiving get togethers, but could also have far more serious consequences.
As we take time to give thanks for good health, it’s important to remind the adults in our lives that vaccines are not just for children. Many adults don’t realize that there are now vaccines to help protect them from 14 deadly diseases, including influenza, whooping cough, and hepatitis A, to name a few. Yet, despite the availability of these life-saving vaccines, we still see disease outbreaks across the US, due in large part to individuals refusing vaccines or simply not taking the time to get vaccinated. This threat to our families and communities is preventable and it is our responsibility to ensure that our family and friends are up-to-date on vaccinations.
Vaccines are often listed as one of the top ten great achievements in public health in the 20th century and we should certainly be thankful for the millions of lives saved and disease prevented by these life-saving tools.
Getting vaccinated protects not only you, but also those around you. Vaccination helps prevent the spread of infection to others, including loved ones.
This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to take a moment to be thankful for the gift of health and to share your stories of thanks. Use the hashtag #ThanksgivingHealth to join the conversation on Thursday, November 23, 2017. I look forward to reading your tweets!