Some people don’t get flu shots.
Some people are really, really stupid.
I used to be one of them. I used to be one of those people who thought, “Ohhh I don’t need that, I’ll be fine, I never get sick.” Turns out you can eat healthy, do all the right things, and those little suckers called GERMS and VIRUSES can still get you. Who knew?! (Being a mother also makes you care a little bit more, too)
Without trying to sound too preachy, I figured I’d share the following from one of my favorite children’s health blogs, Seattle Mama Doc.
Things To Know About Influenza:
- Vaccination is the best way to protect you, your family, and your community from the flu.
- Children under age 5 are at higher risk from complications from the flu. Children under age 2 are at even higher risk. Children with asthma and with some underlying medical conditions are at high risk as well.
- Pregnant women are at exceptionally high risk from influenza and complications from the infection due to changes in their immune, cardiac, and pulmonary (lungs) systems. While pregnant women make up only 1% of the US population, they accounted for 5% of the country’s deaths from H1N1 (Swine flu) in 2009. All pregnant women are recommended to get a flu shot. However we know that only about 30% of moms are immunized at the time of delivery. The bonus of protecting themselves? New research shows how vaccinating pregnant women protects babies. When moms protect themselves by getting flu shot, they also prevent spreading flu to their babies. Babies born to vaccinated moms have a lower risk of flu (and hospitalization) under 6 months of age when they are too young to get the flu vaccine.
- The best way to protect a newborn baby from the flu is to have all caregivers (parents, grandparents, nannies) get the flu shot.
- People can spread the flu to others before they even know they’re sick. People also spread the infection after they have had it; they can continue to spread flu for 5-7 days in mucus, sneezes, and cough. The best way to protect yourself is to get a flu shot, and second to that: wash you hands, cover your cough, and stay home from school or work when sick with fever and cold symptoms.
- Each year 20,000 children under age 5 are hospitalized with flu or complications of the flu. 11 children died from influenza during the week of January 30-Feb 5th in the United states.
- Overall flu vaccination rates are less than 50% for people under 65 years of age. To best protect our communities, vaccination coverage rates should be about 90%. We’re not there. Immunizing yourself and your family protects those who are too sick (or too young) to get the flu shot and are also at higher risk of complications.
And finally, her Flu Shot Cliff’s Notes:
Influenza causes more hospitalizations than any other vaccine-preventable illness. It’s not just kids at risk for complications (asthmatics, diabetics, children with complex heart disease or immune problems) that die from the flu. Nearly 1/2 the children who died in this last year were well, healthy children. PREVENT influenza, get a flu shot for all the members of your family. Although the flu vaccine dose is the same as last year, it’s recommended we all get a dose this season. For children who didn’t have a dose last year under the age of 9: they need 2 doses this year, separated by 1 month.
The Mister and I went with Bean to get our family flu shots last weekend. Our little warrior took it like a champ and didn’t even cry!
Now if only I could say the same for the Mister….
What about you, are you getting the flu shot this year? Why or why not?