GRAND Magazine- Winter 2020 - 35

grandfamilies

Valuing vaccines across generations

BY DONNA BUTTS AND JAIA PETERSON LENT

the spread of a disease that affects both young
and old.
The vaccine is one that prevents pneumococcal diseases - pneumonia. This can be deadly for
anyone, but the young and the old are particularly vulnerable. In fact, each year thousands of
Americans die from the disease.
The decision to not recommend the vaccine is
a risky proposition. Why? Because more and more
grandparents are being called on to provide parttime or full-time care for their young grandchildren. In fact, nearly one third of young children
in childcare are in the care of grandparents. And
about 7.8 million children across the country live
in households headed by grandparents or other
relatives.

"When you live through things like that, you
say, 'We got to do what we can to keep our communities healthy and help our young children
who are coming up.'" - Tom Taylor

O

ur friend, Tom, was talking about living
through the polio outbreak before a
vaccine was available. His sentiments
around community health are timely. In the
midst of cold and flu season and the winter
months we spend more time together in close
quarters. Healthy exchange between generations can quickly turn unhealthy if vaccinations
are not up to date.
Vaccinations are recommended for young,
old and in between not only to protect from
catching preventable illnesses but also to
reduce the chance of spreading them between
generations. It's called "herd immunity," which works
simply but only if the majority of people are vaccinated against a disease.

"

"

Vaccines are one of the easiest
and most effective ways
to keep all of us healthy.

Our organization, Generations United, works
every day to build bridges, connecting generations

35 GRAND

JAN., FEB. & MAR. 2020

so that people of all ages are viewed as a benefit to
each other, not a burden. Whether within a family or
community context, we believe exchanges across the
ages are healthy, reducing the detrimental effects of
social isolation and allowing the passing on of culture and knowledge. However, without up-to-date
vaccinations, these connections can be more harmful
than helpful.
The other recent vaccine news that's worrisome
is that a committee at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention decided earlier this year to
drop a recommendation for a vaccine that prevents

Click here to continue reading
Jaia Peterson Lent is Deputy Executive Director
of Generations United, a national organization
dedicated to improving lives. Home to the
National Center on Grandfamilies, Generations
United is a leading voice for issues affecting
families headed by grandparents
or other relatives.

Donna Butts is the Executive
Director of Generations United,
a position she has held since 1997


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0994809700/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=grandmagazi0d-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0994809700&linkId=c0cf2342749a51234e00421ef2df453e https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003B6QYSW/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=grandmagazi0d-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B003B6QYSW&linkId=74a78ba0a510c9871c2e38f745d59213 https://www.grandmagazine.com/2020/01/valuing-vaccines-across-generations/ http://www.gu.org http://www.programsforelderly.com/caregiver-generations-united-national-center-on-grandfamilies.php https://www.gu.org http://WWW.GU.ORG

GRAND Magazine- Winter 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine- Winter 2020

Contents
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2020 - 1
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2020 - 2
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2020 - 3
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2020 - Contents
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2020 - 5
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