Why Are Vaccines Important?
Today we explore why vaccines are important and how we can ensure all children have a clear understanding of the science and history behind vaccines. Our book, Vaccines Explained, provides teachers with a bilingual tool to start this conversation.
345 Million Doses Delivered
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health professionals have delivered over 345 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the United States and its territories. As of May 18th, over 120 million people are fully vaccinated. This news coincides with reports that over half the U.S. states have seen a decline in new COVID-19 infections. When more people receive a vaccine for an infectious disease, the spread of that disease will decrease. On a fundamental level, this is why vaccines matter.
There are many other reasons why vaccines are important. For example, getting vaccinated can help protect vulnerable people like infants, the elderly, and those with chronic health conditions. Also, if you do happen to become infected, a vaccine can minimize your body’s reaction to the disease and ensure your infection is not fatal. Altogether, vaccines are a crucial part of how we defend ourselves from global pandemics.
Public Health Education
We teach children the value of cleaning up after themselves. Helping with chores or making sure a classroom is tidy helps to build self-reliance. It also gives children more control over their environment. During the pandemic, many children found it difficult to cope with the stress of uncertainty. Indeed, part of rebuilding a sense of normalcy is to make sure we have all the facts about vaccines and their history.
We recently discussed how to talk to your students about vaccines on the Language Lizard blog. Now, we will explore how we can ensure all students feel educated about the COVID-19 vaccines.
First, when children see themselves represented in the books they read, they feel more included in their classroom. The same can be said for making sure that resources are accessible to students who speak different languages. The more closely a student connects with a book or a lesson, the greater the chance they will retain that information.
Vaccines Explained is a bilingual resource that depicts characters from diverse backgrounds. The simple text and accompanying multicultural lesson plan makes this a versatile tool in any classroom. It was also written by Ohemaa Boahemaa, an immigrant from Ghana who works at the Rutgers School of Public Health, and illustrated by Joyeeta Neogi, an Indian children’s book illustrator. Currently, Vaccines Explained is available in ten bilingual editions, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole.