Should Your Family Get Flu Shots?

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Down with the Flu

A couple of weeks ago I posted a thread on MomConnect asking for everyone’s opinion on Flu Shots. It generated a lot of strong responses and some great advice, and a few other threads as well. Like whether or not you should give your child the H1N1 Vaccine and I did end up deciding to do flu shots this year as we have the last couple of years. I just did not make the decision quite soon enough.

As I write this my entire family is down with the very nasty flu that has been going around both of my kid’s school and our community. I am so far the only one left standing, but can feel the nasty flu bugs circling me just waiting for their moment to pounce. I know it’s coming.

Though I will check with the doctor first, I think once everyone is better we will probably still go get the flu shot. This has been a nasty strain and it’s only October. There’s still many more months of the flu season left to deal with. I’d rather take my chances with the shot than risk welcoming another flu outbreak into my house.

So if you’re still wondering whether YOU should get the flu shots, the best advice is to trust your instinct and talk to your doctor or pediatrician to see what the flu season is looking like where YOU live.

If you’ve never done a Flu shot before and are thinking this might be the year to start then here is the rundown as written on the official website of the CDC.

Here are two types of vaccines:

The “flu shot” — an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.

The nasal-spray flu vaccine — a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for “live attenuated influenza vaccine” or FluMist®). LAIV (FluMist®) is approved for use in healthy* people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant.

And also here is who the CDC recommends should get the flu shot,

People who should get the seasonal vaccine each year are:

  • Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday
  • Pregnant women
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
  • Health care workers
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu

You can visit the CDC’s website to learn more about who should and shouldn’t get the regular seasonal flu shot as well as the H1N1 vaccine. But the best person to talk to is your own pediatrician to help you determine the risks based on your own family’s health history and what’s going on in your own community.

Good luck this flu season and stay well!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tamara
    Oct 23, 2009 @ 02:57:15

    Great post. I hope your family feels better soon. It sure is hitting hard around here, too. I recently wrote a post about this topic, too, and am still on the fence unfortunately.

    Feel free to visit my post/blog at: http://theunexperiencedmom.blogspot.com/2009/10/to-h1n1-or-not.html

    Tamara

    Reply

  2. Kim Tracy Prince
    Oct 23, 2009 @ 19:37:58

    this is a good post, Meghan. I hope I can get in on the vaccine before it hits my family, to learn from your experience. Be well.

    Reply

  3. Meghan Harvey
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 15:59:48

    Thanks Kim & Tamara! Family is finally on the mend, and we are going to be getting flu shots this week…even if it’s a little late…

    Reply

  4. Trackback: H1N1: Living With Swine Flu « MomConnect – The Blog!

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