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 I was likely to get sick. 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 17 years old, and I dedicate my book to the children who rely on herd immunity to keep them safe. When you buy my book you help me fund my pediatric health campaigns. 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.