This past Saturday, my wife and I took our children to Yale Health Plan o get our annual influenza vaccinations. I cannot remember the last time that I did not get the flu vaccine. My children have received it every year since they were old enough to get. Why is this? Quite simply it’s the best way to ensure that none of us gets sick with this very serious illness.
My 5 year old was not excited, either before
He rapidly recovered, however. The eight year old, was the picture of composure, although he was the one who was complaining the most before the shot.
One of my favorite things to do as a pediatrician is to vaccinate children. Since I don’t work in primary care, this usually means either the influenza vaccine or the Pneumovax vaccine. When I’ve vaccinated a child in clinic, I feel confident that I’ve administered the safest and most well studied treatment to prevent very serious illnesses. I spent a lot of time and energy convincing parents that they too should get the vaccine to protect their children. Inevitably, there are some holdouts (and it’s usually the dad).
There is a ton of information about the influenza vaccine online. Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann wrote a terrific article about 11 things parents should know about the 2015-16 flu vaccine. Print that article and give it to the holdout at home (usually Dad). Remember, influenza kills healthy children every year. Even if you get the flu, it is much less severe. And fortunately, the vaccine is a really good match for the strain of influenza which is likely to hit us this year. Hopefully, a one time influenza vaccine is not too far away. In the meantime, my family and I will continue to be vaccinate.
Please vaccinate your children and yourself.