Deal said she has visited hospitals throughout the state and has recently focused on the metro Atlanta area.
“My passion is taking care of children in every area of the state, and while immunizations is just one area we’re focused on when it comes to children, we want parents all over the state to know how important it is to get these vaccinations for their babies because it protects not only them, but all of our people,” she said.
At a press conference, Deal distributed custom-designed Hallmark cards congratulating new parents.
“The card’s purpose is an immunization record which folds up and is easy to keep in a wallet or purse so that when a parent takes a child to the doctor, a nurse can fill it out and so that both doctors and families can have a record of the vaccines these babies receive,” she said.
Fulton County resident and new mother Brittany Shaw received a card and a visit from Deal.
Shaw said she agrees with Deal’s message and plans to continue getting vaccinations for her newborn son, Taylen.
“I think it’s good for parents to have a record of their child’s shots because it gives parents the opportunity to have a record like a doctor does,” Shaw said.
She also said while she does not feel that schools or governments should force parents to vaccinate their children, she believed in doing so for Taylen because she did not want her child to spread or catch a preventable illness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend vaccines against hepatitis, diphtheria, measles, mumps, influenza and other diseases before a child’s second birthday.
Deal said although not everyone agrees with vaccinating, she believes the harm the shots prevent outweighs any risk.
“I grew up in a period of time where I had whooping cough and now we are seeing problems with whooping cough again, which is unnecessary,” she said. “It is much more sensible to prevent our children from getting it again through immunizations, and while I know everybody doesn’t agree with these practices, as parents we can take precautions and preventative measures for our children.”