While this post is sponsored by CVS MinuteClinic; all opinions are my own.
Let’s debate (peacefully please) flu shots! Do you get them for yourself? Do your kids get them? Why or why not?
I asked this question earlier in the month on Facebook and received a wide range of replies. Many of you swear by the flu shot and get them every year for your entire family; while others are anti-vaccinations and never get the flu shot. I can respect both sides of this debate.
Fact: This is the first year that I can ever remember getting the flu shot myself.
Fact: My children almost always receive the flu shot; although we haven’t made it in to the doctors for them yet this year.
Fact: My husband almost always gets the flu shot at work.
Why did I decide to get a flu shot this year, but never have in the past? I’m sure as a child and young adult that there were years when I probably received it; I just don’t remember. The last time I actually had the flu was when I was 21 and it put me out of commission for over a week. It was miserable! You would think that after that experience that I would have received the flu shot every year; but it never crossed my mind.
Earlier this month I was having a new patient consult with my new primary care doctor. I was going over my medical history and my long list of ailments and conditions, when she asked me if I was going to get the flu shot. I explained to her that I’ve never gotten it myself; but that I wasn’t against it either. I asked additional information about the type of flu shot and why she recommended it for me. After our discussion, I decided that it was in my best interest to get the flu shot that day. Thankfully, I’m not afraid of needles and shots.
I have had asthma since I was a child. It’s worse in the Fall and Winter when the weather begins to change. As a child, I had pneumonia 2-3 times (I was hospitalized for it two years in a row around Halloween) and was very susceptible to bronchitis. I remember my younger brother having to Trick-or-Treat for me because I was too sick to go out with him. As I got older, my immune system has been much stronger but I still fear getting sick because I know how much more difficult it is for me to recover. As an adult, getting that sick would be beyond miserable! There are too many people who rely on me; from work to my family.
What is the flu? The flu is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, dry cough, and aches. You can actually be contagious 1 day before you start to even feel any symptoms and will be contagious for up to 5-7 days. Senior citizens, young children, pregnant women, and people with asthma or diabetes are most susceptible to the flu.
Aren’t there natural ways to prevent getting the flu?
There are natural ways to help prevent getting the flu; but they don’t keep you from being exposed to the flu. Germs are everywhere! You and your family are exposed to germs and sick people at school, work, while shopping, at church, at girl scouts, and anywhere you go! While you can eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep – you still run the risk of exposure. We should be teaching our children to wash their hands regularly and to cover their mouth and nose when they cough. These are all good hygiene skills we should practice daily; but unless you lock yourself in the house from October through January, you are going to be exposed to the flu!
CVS MinuteClinics offer the flu shots in all their locations for children ages 18 months through adults. The flu shot is covered by most health insurance; including Medicare Part B. For children 6-18 months, you should always consult your child’s pediatrician about the flu shot. For those patients choosing to get their flu shots with CVS MinuteClinics, you’ll receive a 20% off shopping pass for CVS. You could use that to stock up on vitamins and tissues!!
I’d love to hear from you, in the comments below tell me how you feel about the flu shot. Do you and your family get the flu shot each year? Why or why not?
Learn more about the flu at: www.cdc.gov/flu and MinuteClinic’s vaccination offerings at: http://bit.ly/ZQZVDn You can also follow @MinuteClinic on social media and follow the #FluPlus hashtag.
Disclosure: I have received promotional consideration from MinuteClinic.
Keara B. says
Just wanted to say thanks for sharing this… I sometimes feel like the only “kinda crunchy” mom who gets the flu shot for myself and my family. Good to know I’m not the only one! 🙂
Calley Pate says
Thank you for your comment Keara!! It helps to know I’m not alone either.
Jill S says
Like you, I don’t have time to be sick, as it is I have seasonal allergies or whatever that are knocking me out (that or I literally got sick from running to the pharmacy to get my husband’s meds when he had surgery or being in the hospital 2 days in a row with 2 different family members. )…. I have a sore throat in the AM and PM and just kind of cough throughout the day. Other weird stuff but you know, TMI but it leads me to think it’s allergies (never had before BTW)… but I could NOT get the flu.. oh my God… a cold is bad enough. Can’t imagine nursing a baby in the hospital can you? I mean… unless you have a newborn… but let’s try keeping an 11 month old in the hospital with you if they’re ebf no formula.. right…. flu shot it is! I got my younger ones a shot at the same time, my hubby can get his at work (I’m a SAHM so he HAS to work)… and of course just the one in school (probably the biggest issue right now) needs hers. But finding time when she’s NOT in school is the problem.
Jill S recently posted..Plastic surgery, part 2
Jill S says
… and of course I sound dramatic, but when I get sick, I get sick. One year a 24 hour stomach flu hit my brothers’ kids on Christmas eve when we were all together. I was sick from Christmas past new years. 2 freaking weeks of stomach troubles and everyone else was better the next day. I lost 5 lbs. I dont’ recommend that, and of course it came right back…So yeah, I get my flu shot because I really really don’t want the complications.. I already have a low enough immune system with not sleeping, etc.
Calley Pate says
I totally hear you Jill!!