Sometimes it takes a kid to explain something to another kid.
My big sister is a student filmmaker who wrote the documentary, Invisible Threat; a peer-to-peer film that explores the science of vaccines and outbreaks. While she was making the film I was due to get a shot for school and she wanted to document my experience. My parents said I needed the shot to prevent me from getting sick but that didn’t convince me. Like most kids I didn’t think getting sick was likely. However after I learned about herd immunity and saw first hand what happens to the vulnerable when it breaks down, I gladly got my shot.
It was surprising to me that kids aren’t taught about community immunity and that it wasn’t in our school science textbooks. This inspired me to write a children’s illustrated book about what I learned about shots, protecting my health, and the health of babies in my community. It is everything I wish I had known when I was getting my kindergarten shots in a story about how my puppy and I became community immunity superheroes, based on my real life experience.
My name is Ethan, I’m 14 years old, and I dedicate my book to the children who rely on herd immunity to keep them safe. When you buy my book another book gets donated to promote pediatric health or to a Children’s Hospital Library. Those kids fighting cancer, needing transplants, or battling other diseases are the real heroes and I want them to know they have a friend who cares and that’s why #IAmTheHerd.