Flu Shots: We’ve got ours, have you got yours?

Last week Mac had an on-site freelance job, so I worked from home on Friday.  That meant I had the pleasure of taking my kids for their flu shots.

Can you tell who got the nasal spray and who got the shot?

Can you tell who got the nasal spray and who got the shot?

It was entirely uneventful.  Other than some tears from both of them, it was easy, a couple of crackers and we were good to go.  Several days later, all’s well.  Nobody had any reactions.  Safe and effective.

Mac and I got our flu shots a couple of weeks ago when my company had a health fair with free flu shots for employees and their families (over 10 yo).

I’m hoping this year’s seasonal flu vaccine works better for us than last year’s.  While Mac and I were fine last year, Mabel and Nemo both came down with the flu- a strain the pediatrician said was a mismatch to the virus (see more on the efficacy of last year’s seasonal flu vaccine here).

I know that no vaccine is 100% effective.  For more on efficacy on the flu vaccines in different age groups, check out Melinda Wenner Moyer’s recent Slate piece on the topic (and note she gets herself and her son flu shots!). Given the safety of the seasonal flu vaccine, it is definitely worth the miniscule risk to give my kids even a “moderate” level of protection from the flu.  My own anecdata supports the safety and efficacy of the flu shot.  With a mom who is a public health nurse, I’ve gotten flu shots my whole life.  The only year I got the flu was the year of the vaccine shortage when I was in grad school.  I couldn’t get the shot, I came down with the flu, wound up with an abscess tonsil two days before Thanksgiving, it turned into recurring tonsillitis (every single time I got a cold), and landed me in the hospital the week my thesis was due to my readers, which meant I had my tonsils out at 27 years old the day after my thesis defense.

As I told Mabel when it was time for this year’s shot, “This medicine will help to make sure you won’t have to miss school on your birthday this year!”  Since she’s only 3 and still thinks school is nothing but fun, that line of reasoning worked for her.

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2 Comments

Filed under #scimom, Mabel, Mother, Nemo, Scientist

2 responses to “Flu Shots: We’ve got ours, have you got yours?

  1. I was also in grad school the year of the vaccine shortage, and I didn’t know at the time that I have asthma, so I also got the flu, and then bronchitis and a sinus infection, all while I was travelling abroad, and I was sick as a dog for a MONTH. (Probably partly because, asthma.)

    Anyhow. We got our flu shots two days ago! The bigger kid got the nasal spray LAIV one – I think he might have preferred a shot, frankly. Then they got lollipops. The little kid cried for a total of three seconds. I got fever and chills that night, but still way better than getting influenza. I also tell them that I know it hurts, but we have to get the shot to help prevent us from getting really sick and maybe having to go to the hospital.

  2. Last year, when we took M, she was given the choice between a shot and the spray and she picked the shot (much to everyone’s surprise). We’re going again this year and, again, we told her she could get the shot or the spray and she’s going with the shot. Guess the evil you know is better than the evil you don’t??

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