I have a really hard time getting my kids vaccinated. Shots hurt(!), which is stressful to them AND me, and they also cause a day or two of feeling downright lousy. So, I’m definitely never keen on putting any of them through it. But I do because I want them to be protected (as much as possible) from deadly diseases. Polio, Diphtheria, Meningitis…these will likely never affect my children. I am EXTREMELY grateful to live in a place and time when we have to ability to vaccinate against such terrible things! Risks and side effects noted, I still choose to vaccinate.
The flu shot, however, is one I almost always skip. Mainly because I don’t know that it’s all that effective, but also because of the pain factor (mentioned above). Maggie and Joshua have each only had the flu once, and the same is true for Stephen and me. And Samuel’s never had it. But this year, after having a very hard cold/flu season last year with Samuel, and his recurrent episodes of croup, I’m feeling differently. I’m scared, if he does get it, that it could cause issues with his breathing. Same goes for Joshua, since he has a history of asthma. I’d never really researched it before this year, but now I know there is a greater chance of my boys having complications so I’m taking action. They’re both getting the flu shot on Wednesday.
I also think it would be wise for the kids to be protected from it so that they don’t accidently bring it home to baby Elizabeth! She is too young to be vaccinated for it, but her brothers can be. But what about Maggie? I had read that it’s only recommended for those 6months – five years, and those who are at risk for complications from the flu, but then saw the CDC’s current recommendation included widespread coverage of all individuals 6 months+, so as to reduce the spread of the illness, so I guess Maggie needs one, too.
Oh, I hate cold & flu season!