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Moms Council: Do You Support Kids Getting Flu Vaccinations?

Check out the latest "Moms Talk Q & A" column.

Do You Support Kids Getting Flu Vaccinations?

From Melisa Thorne:

The decision to get flu vaccinations or any vaccination for that matter for you and your family is a very personal one. Thus, I’m simply sharing my experience and not preaching one way or another.

The flu vaccination doesn’t do anything to prevent catching colds or other diseases. I believe that good hygiene; proper rest and exercise go a long way in preventing sickness. But kids aren’t as diligent as adults are with this. So I can see why the flu vaccination is strongly suggested for children and that is why I get the flu shot for myself as well as my children.

When it came to making a decision, I took into account that both my children were in daycare where I wasn’t there to constantly remind them to cover their mouth when they coughed and to wash their hands. Also, being in daycare, they were exposed to much more germs and the chance of contacting a flu virus was higher than if they were home.

As a parent, it’s my job to protect my children so this wasn’t a decision that I took lightly. I called my pediatrician and asked a lot of questions. She gave me all the material from the Center of Disease Control as well as the package inserts to help me make a decision. It really helped that my family pediatrician took the time to do this.  

From Danica LC:

I had a bad experience years ago in college, where I had the worst season of being sick shortly after receiving my first flu shot. At that point in my life, I had sworn it off for myself.

Fast forward to being pregnant during the Swine Flu outbreak of 2009-10. My PCP and OB/GYN urged all of their pregnant patients to receive both the seasonal flu vaccine, as well as the additional H1N1 vaccine.

Fortunately, the hospital I delivered at arranged for a special H1N1 vaccine clinic, with thimerosal-free vaccines for their pregnant patients. After asking questions, and weighing my options I took my doctors advice, and received both vaccines that season. Pleasantly, I did not have a horribly sick season, and the doctors said that my daughter would hold onto some of the immunity for a while, and since she was a January baby and newborns cannot receive their own vaccine, this was important to me.   

When determining whether or not to give the vaccine to our daughter, we asked both our adult PCPs and our pediatrician, and came to the conclusion that getting the flu shot is the right decision for our family.

I believe in taking extra precautions with hand washing and cleaning during the winter months, but having our daughter in day care means that we can't always be there to make sure she is washing her hands.

We have already received our flu vaccines for this season, and plan to in the future as well.

Christine Vara October 06, 2011 at 01:54 PM
It's great to hear that these moms are vaccinating, not just to protect their families but to reduce the spread of disease in their communities as well. Even though there is a universal flu recommendation for everyone over the age of 6 months, many parents have lots of misconceptions about the flu and the influenza vaccine. That is why it's important for people to find out more by visiting sites like the CDC flu page and http://www.vaccinateyourbaby.org/about/flu-vaccines/seasonal-flu.cfm. Every year plenty of perfectly healthy children (and adults) die or are hospitalized with the flu. Why not do you best to prevent that scenario by vaccinating?
Mark Ouellette (Editor) October 06, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Hi Christine, Thank you for reading our latest "Moms Talk Q & A" column and commenting on this health issue. Mark Ouellette Editor, Stoneham Patch
Dr. Avery Jenkins October 07, 2011 at 01:22 AM
The fact of the matter is, the most comprehensive analyses done to date on the flu vaccine shows that this form of vaccination is largely ineffective. I write about this in depth at www.averyjenkins.com

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