Are You Vaxxing Your Babes Against Covid-19? Two moms take on both sides.

By Babe | Illustration by Ana Hard

In our series The Debate, our community of real moms tackle the pros and cons around common parenting choices. The truth is, like so many decisions around child rearing, there is no right or wrong answer.  At HATCH, our job is to give voice to both sides of any debate, peppering real mom wisdom with the necessary facts so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Let’s just start out by saying that here at Babe, we are typically pro-science and pro-vaccines. We don’t pedal the Jenny McCarthy vision of infant care. Like the song goes, we are all about the shots shots shots shots shots…..

That said, COVID is not typical by any stretch and seeing that we are a safe space and non-judgement zone, when it comes to vaccinating your babies for Covid-19, let’s just say that whatever you decide, we get it. Here, we’re breaking down the conversation with one mama who is politely declining (though might change her mind as her baby gets older) and one mama who had been dreaming of the vaccine since we started scrubbing down our Amazon packages. Read up….

Not Gonna Vaxx 

Jenny S. 
Mama to Jackson, 20 months

So let me just start by saying I’m pro-vaccine. We have all the vaccines, so I’m not an anti-vaxxer by any means. I understand the importance of that. I also know that this new vaccine is a new science that hasn’t really been proven against the newest strain. It’s been studied, but we don’t know the ramifications of it yet. I think what doctors are saying and what my doctor said was that we know that the risk of COVID is worse than the vaccine. Fine. But, my son had COVID in January. So we know what those ramifications were for him. Why would I give him something else? I don’t know what those ramifications are for getting the vaccine, so why would I give him both? 

My other thing is that so many kids are not spreading it. Which by the way, if you get the vaccine, you can still spread it. So I don’t feel like I’m ruining society by not giving it to my son. He could still get it. Even if he gets the vaccine, he could still give it to somebody else. So I guess, what are the reasons to get it? What are the reasons to introduce him to something new that we don’t know a lot about?

My husband and I are fully on the same page. And we ask all the questions, we talk to other parents, we talk to our pediatrician. And the advice our pediatrician is telling us is that his practice is not requiring it but recommending it because the ramifications of COVID are greater than the ramifications of the vaccine. Now, if that’s the only reason to get it, that just isn’t enough for us right now. It’s not to say that I can’t change my mind in a couple months.

We’re also at a sweet spot. He’s 19 months old. So he’s not yet in school. That might also factor in one day, but right now he’s outside when he plays a lot. And we’re not doing school. So if I had to get it to dictate if we can do something, I would definitely reassess it. Like I said, we are vaccinated. I got a booster. But I do think we’re in a different moment  now with COVID. So we’re waiting a little bit.

I think if I had a three year old who was going to school or camp or with other kids a little bit older, I’d re-think. I also got the vaccine when I was breastfeeding. I just feel like we’re in an a specific period of time, where we can like wait a little bit. I just feel okay to wait. But again, like nothing’s set in stone. I think as as news develops, we will make different decisions.

TOTES Vaxxing

Mandy R.
Mama to Hudson, 4, and Charlie, 2.

So we have a 14 month old and a four-year-old. We are very conservative and have been really conservative with COVID. We haven’t been doing anything indoors. We took my older one out of his two’s program at the end of 2020 and he was home with us. We let our nanny go and it was just me and my husband, who both work full time and just cared for him. A few months into the pandemic, I got pregnant. I had my pandemic baby in April, 2021 and we still didn’t have childcare. Again, we were very conservative and nervous in the hospital. 

I should mention that my older son was born with one kidney, so he has chronic kidney disease. We had a very close friend of ours donate his kidney to his mom during the pandemic because she got COVID and it wiped out both of her kidneys. After hearing that story, how COVID can affect other organs, I freaked out. I was like, we are not going anywhere and kept it low-key.

Then it was summer and COVID numbers were low, but I had a newborn and a kid with preexisting conditions, which just wasn’t ideal for us. I was hoping a vaccine for kids would come along, but until it did, we were staying in this 2020 world. I’m a lawyer. I work in financial services at a hedge fund, so I’m not in a medical field, but I’m a strong believer in science and really all about it. I would do anything I can to protect my children, so obviously it wasn’t perfect by any means, but I wanted my older son to have some antibodies so that when he gets COVID, it won’t really affect his organs in a significant way. Also just generally speaking I’m one of the least trusting people on the planet, but I just really trusted the FDA to only approve a vaccine that’s safe for them. I feel that compared to other countries, the FDA is pretty conservative. For them to approve it, I had to put my trust in them and didn’t even think twice about it.

So they got vaccinated and it was amazing. It was literally thrilling to be there with other moms who were clearly very pro-vaccine and in the same boat as me. People were giddy. It was this really nice aura and almost like a relief. We were all experiencing it. For us, it helped give us the mentality that we needed to start living our lives. We very much needed it. We said once we get vaccinated, nothing else will be after this. It will take time to get used to, but we’ve started going indoors for playdates. As fall and winter approaches, we hope to eat indoors. I love Broadway shows and can’t wait to go see one. I’ll sit there with my mask on. I’ll have no issues. I will definitely go.