Father Knows Best: #GetVaccinated

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) have shared their wisdom, insights, and practical advice for families. Thanks to safe and effective vaccines, celebrations this Father’s Day may be a bit more typical for many families. We asked NFID leaders (and dads) to share their best health-related advice this Father’s Day …


Joseph A. Bocchini, Jr., MD, Willis-Knighton Health System (NFID Immediate Past-President): As a father, grandfather, and pediatrician, I urge everyone to get vaccinated. We now have safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines for everyone age 5 years and older, and vaccines for children as young as 6 months of age are likely to be approved shortly. This is a great milestone in our ability to protect our children from COVID-19 infection and hospitalization. Yet, too many adults and children remain unprotected against COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable diseases. If you have questions or concerns about vaccines, my advice is to talk to a trusted healthcare professional. Make sure the decisions you make for yourself and your family are based on sound guidance.


NFID Director Orin Levine FamilyOrin S. Levine, PhD (NFID Director): My advice this Father’s Day is father to father. As anyone who has flown on an airplane knows, in the event of an emergency, the flight attendant instructs passengers to put on their own mask before helping others. In that same spirit, I’m hoping all the dads today will take some time to take care of their own health—get more exercise, take care of your mental health, wear your seatbelt, and get vaccinated. Taking care of yourself helps you take care of the people that you love. Just like putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others.


Walter Orenstein, age 4 years Walter A. Orenstein, MD (NFID Past-President): Get yourself and your family vaccinated with all recommended vaccines. When I was a child, we did not have vaccines for diseases like polio, measles, Hib, and meningitis. Having trained in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases in the 1970s, I felt like I was frequently doing spinal taps to determine if a child had Hib meningitis, since there were more than 10,000 cases each year. What is mind-boggling now is that many younger pediatricians have never seen a case of Hib meningitis because widespread vaccination has dramatically reduced the incidence of the disease. Remember, vaccines don’t save lives, vaccination does!


William Schaffner, MD (NFID Medical Director): The best advice I can offer to fathers (and future fathers) is to ensure that you and your family are up to date on all recommended vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines. We have safe and effective vaccines for many preventable diseases and as fathers, we have a responsibility to make sure those vaccines are used to protect ourselves, our family, and our community. Get vaccinated—it’s the best advice a father can give … or receive.


On Father’s Day, and every day, make sure your family is protected against vaccine-preventable diseases:

To join the conversation and get the latest news on infectious diseases, follow NFID on Twitter using the hashtag #GetVaccinated, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, visit us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to receive future NFID Updates.