Summer isn't even officially over yet (we still have until September 21, people!), and doctors are urging parents to get their kids flu shots now. Already?
Yes, says the American Academy of Pediatrics, now is the time to get those vaccines for kids and parents alike. Great.
In an advisory, the organization stated:
With the exception of children less than 6 months of age, everybody should go out and get their influenza vaccine as soon as the influenza vaccines are available. Influenza virus is unpredictable, and what’s most important is that people receive the vaccine soon, so that they will be protected when the virus begins circulating.
The good news is this year some shots will protect against four strains of the flu -- two A strains and two B strains -- while previous versions have only protected against one B strain. But the organization cautions people against waiting for a particular version of the shot. They just want you to get one -- any one -- as soon as possible.
Ugh, I just want to bask in the summer sun a little longer before thinking of runny noses, chills, and vomit. Most of all, I don't want to begin what's always the gut-wrenching process I go through to decide whether to get my kids the flu shot or not.
I don't put myself in the anti-vax camp; I get my children all the recommended vaccines for measles, mumps, and the big ones. I'm not 100 percent comfortable with them, but I've read all the research and believe the risk is less than the benefit. So we do them. When it comes to the flu shot, however, I'm not so convinced. As a general rule I believe less medication and medical intervention is better. I believe letting our bodies fight these things off naturally is best, and I don't believe there are no potential risks from vaccines. I just don't.
But then I get scared. I see a report of a child dying from the flu (the CDC reports 160 children died from the flu last year), and others being hospitalized, and I panic. Sometimes that means flu shots for my kids; other times I just can't do it. So this year ... we'll see.
Will you get your kids the flu shot this year?
Image via NBC