Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Great Flu Shot Debate Solved

No, I'm not talking about the heated discussion you get into with the other mom at the playground over whether or not you are getting flu shots for your kid(s). I'm talking about the debate that goes on in my head that also happens to be pretty heated.

Every year at this time, I am forced to make a decision that I just can't seem to ever feel good about. Do I get the flu shot for my kids?

Normally I am very pro-vaccine. I have followed the vaccine recommendations set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and I have no doubt that I am doing the right thing by having my children receive most of the vaccines that are available and recommended for them. Whooping cough, polio, Hepatitis, tetanus, etc. In fact, the only one that bothers me even a little is the chicken pox vaccine, but that's a blog for another day.

But back to the debate in my head... Here is what happens in my head every year at this time:

I should get the flu shot for my boys because my pediatrician recommends it. But...

It doesn't protect against all strains of the flu, so they could still get the flu anyway. But...

They've gotten the flu shot before and have never had a problem with it. But...

You've gone your whole life without getting a flu shot and you've never gotten the flu. But...

Wouldn't you rather get it for them and know you did what you could to protect them than end up with a child who gets hospitalized with serious complications from the flu when you could have done something about it? But...

Alec and Chase have pretty good immune systems, so why inject them with something that you aren't 100% sure about? But...

I think you get the idea. This goes on and on, day after day, night after sleepless night. And when I finally do decide whether to get or not get the shot for my boys I am still not sure of my decision. I feel like I'm back in high school taking a multiple choice test, and I'm stuck on a question where A and C could both be the answer. I might as well just flip a coin and let the coin decide.

I thought maybe blogging about it would help me come to a decision, but it seems all I've done is put my debate in writing, which is possibly even more confusing. I did, however, realize that there actually is a way to avoid the whole debate. If only I could figure out a way to become a bear, I could hibernate and avoid the whole flu season altogether.

I'm a super big "what if" person, which is why I think I have such a hard time with this decision. I knew being a parent would be hard, but it's these kinds of decisions that I feel are one of the hardest parts about being a parent. It seems like whichever choice I make will be wrong. Both choices have risks, and both choices have benefits. Usually I can easily justify the risks for the benefits, but this is one of the few times that I can't. Or can I? See what I mean? I literally drive myself crazy over this same decision every year.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Since blogging about it didn't help me come to a realistic decision, maybe your input will inspire me (though I have a feeling the responses will be just as opposite as the thoughts in my head!). Maybe I better seriously consider this becoming a bear thing...


  1. I couldn't agree more - this is one of those things that's so difficult to decide! I personally have only ever gotten the flu twice (the two times I had the flu shot, go figure) so I get nervous about it, but I let my husband win this one and we did get it for Brayden this year.

  2. Wow. I've never really thought about it. I just get it and so do my kids. Once I heard I was supposed to worry about vaccines, but I've never even heard you're supposed to worry about the flu shot!

  3. Yep. I think you've just proved it really doesn't matter. So get the shot. Or don't. But don't bother worrying about it. Both are good choices.

  4. Never had even one immunization growing up. Religious preference. Have had the flu several times and it was no fun but not life threatening. I am getting the vaccine for Levi this year because Cam is bringing home all the fun preschool bugs and he is only seven months but I don't do the flu shot after year one.

  5. I just got my first flu shot this year, not sure if I'll do it for my girls. Visiting from SITS!

  6. I go back and forth on this every year too! For the past two years, I haven't gotten them for my kids. Not because I'm making a "No Shot" stance, but because I've been too lazy to get to the doctor. That said, in the past two years, my kids haven't missed a single day of school. The only years they've gotten sick, they've had the flu shot! I know it has nothing to do with our luck, but it still flies around my head. I'd planned on taking the kids next week to get the shot, so I'll let you know if they get sick this year. ;) Stopping in from SITS!

  7. I don't have kids and I have to get a flu shot every year for work since I work at a hospital. I think it depends on your situation....would you miss out on work if your kids did get the flu? Your kids have good immune systems, so that good. Stopping by from SITS!

  8. Funny I just did a post this week about who should get the flu vaccine. Great minds think alike!

    I am not pro-vaccine at all, however I do think depending on your current life activities, age, work, etc. you should consider them.

    I have never and do not give my children unnecessary medicine and/or vaccines however, my husband has lung issues and does get the shot every year to avoid further illness.

    Perhaps you should ask yourself if having the flu in your home will cause much disruption? Interfere with a paycheck? Make you crazy?

    If so perhaps the answer is the shot. Hope this helps.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    As Told By Lisa

  9. I have a 5mo old who is too young for the vaccine, but my pediatrician told me to get a FLU shot since I was breastfeeding.
    I got the FLU last year while pregnant. You would think that I would be all for the shot however... I'm not. I'm one of those people who have gotten the shot in the past and have gotten the FLU too.
    I don't know what your stance on GMOs and "clean eating" is but check out this article from FOODBABE as to why she isn't getting the FLU shot.
    - its filled with junk
    - its one strand of the virus, and you could contract multiple different... so much more!

    Hope this helps. Found you via SITS.
    check my new blog out newbornmama.blogspot.com

  10. Stopping by from SITS. You and your family should definitely get the flu shot, in my opinion. First, you are protecting them from the most likely strains of the flu. Second, by vaccinating, you are contributing to the "herd immunity" of our entire population. Better for you, better for the community.

    ps - tmack is wrong; it's not just one strand and children's vaccines are usually thimerisol free but you can ask your pediatrician if you are not sure.