Because my husband is a Vet, and my doctor doesn't see infants, we have three different doctors. The one thing that we always coordinate is our flu shots. With DH going to the VA Clinic, he is the hardest to coordinate. But as soon as he gets the appointment for his shot, Monster and I usually get ours within a day or two. Why are we so vigilant about the flu shots in this family? Well, when you have a preemie, their health is the most important thing. And because they are preemies, their immune systems aren't all the way developed.
Now, why is it so important for people to get the flu vaccine every year? That is because, there are different viruses every year. Yes, it is always called the flu, but there are different viruses that go under the term "flu". The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us of simple steps we as family and friends can take to help protect ourselves from the flu.
1. Always get your flu vaccine. Just because you got one last year, does not mean that you're protected this year!!
2. Always wash your hands! We don't always have a sink available, so we use hand sanitizer. While it's not the preferred way of keeping clean (it also kills the good germs) it's what we use when there's no other way available.
3. Children as young as 6 months can be vaccinated from the flu. I went to the doctor the day my son turned 6 months old for this one!
4. The flu vaccine is available in mist form for those that don't like shots. You can get more information on the mist form from your doctor or visit www.cdc.gov/flu
5. Even if you got the 2009 H1N1 Flu vaccine, you still need to get the 2010-11 flu vaccine for this season.
The most important thing in my life is my family! I do what I can to protect my husband and my son, and if that means causing a little discomfort for the sake of giving Monster a vaccine, I do it. Monster's doctor doesn't have the flu vaccine in yet, but we're on the list as soon as they get it, which means we will get an appointment that day! My doctor usually calls me, or sticks me when I have an appointment for something else, yes that has happened, "oh while you're here, you're getting the flu shot" has been said to me a couple of times. But that is also because I have Asthma and it's recommended for people who have Asthma to get the flu vaccine every year. And then all DH usually has to do is walk in and get his shot from the VA Clinic. So, we're all prepared and waiting on Monster's doctor, which should be in the next week or so.
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