Observing National Vaccination Day: Protecting Our Children’s Health

By Laurie Strongin, Hope for Henry CEO

As we commemorate National Vaccination Day, I am mindful of the critical importance of childhood vaccinations in safeguarding the health and well-being of our children.

Childhood vaccinations are one of the most effective public health interventions, preventing the spread of infectious diseases and saving countless lives. Despite their proven benefits, there is still much work to be done to ensure that all children receive the vaccinations they need.

The risks of not getting vaccinated or delaying required vaccinations are significant. Without proper immunization, children are vulnerable to serious and potentially life-threatening diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, and pertussis. These diseases can lead to severe complications, hospitalizations, and even death. Additionally, unvaccinated children pose a risk to the broader community by contributing to the spread of preventable diseases.

The threat posed by unvaccinated peers is particularly alarming for immunocompromised children. I know this reality all too well, as my son Henry’s immune system was fragile for years following a life-saving bone marrow transplant at age 4 1/2. Throughout that challenging period, Henry was forced to live in isolation, shielded behind a mask to protect him from potential infections. Exposure to diseases like measles or chickenpox could have proven fatal for him, underscoring the urgent need for widespread vaccination and community protection.

Vaccination rates in some communities are below the levels needed to achieve herd immunity, leaving our children and communities at risk. We must work together to address barriers to vaccination access and education and ensure that every child has the opportunity to be fully immunized.

At Hope for Henry, we are committed to ensuring a positive and empowering vaccination experience. Hope for Henry’s “I’m Getting a Vaccination Today” program materials, available at, help kids and families prepare for and navigate the vaccination process. For those living in the Mid-Atlantic, our partner Giant Pharmacy offers Hope for Henry vaccination tools at all its locations to provide an exemplary experience for children.

This National Vaccination Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to protecting the health and safety of our children by ensuring they receive the vaccinations they need. Together, we can create a healthier future for all.

Visit Hope for Henry’s Vaccination site here: vax.hopeforhenry.org

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