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Thursday, August 28, 2008

PSA: Don't forget your flu vaccines this year

I've been asked to tell you about a new campaign called Flu Vaccination: Choose Your Administration, which seeks to increase awareness of the need for the flu vaccine. (The campaign is sponsored by the company that makes FluMist.) You can learn more about the flu vaccine and the different ways it can be administered at the CDC web site.

The timing of this campaign is striking, because I was just reading an issue of Parents magazine, which highlighted the work of a man who lost his three-year-old daughter to the flu and now raises awareness of the importance of the flu vaccine. It's entirely possible (likely?) that his daughter would have survived if she'd been given the vaccine.

I've already made an appointment for the boys to get their flu vaccines next month, and Marc and I will be getting vaccinated then as well. A couple of years ago, the pediatrician's office was out of the shot, so I received the FluMist vaccine. That was how I learned that it's 50% more expensive than the shot, at least with my insurance company. So given a choice, I'd recommend the shot just for financial reasons - although the injection site does hurt for a day or two.



  • At 8/28/08, 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Flumist doesn't have preservatives in it. It's also a live (though pretty much harmless) virus so that being vaccinated contributes to "herd immunity" like the old oral polio vaccines.

    My choice is flumist, even though it costs more, it has benefits.

  • At 8/28/08, 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm glad you emphasize parents as well as kids getting their flu vaccinations. My sister died of complications from the flu in 2005--a particularly deadly year for the flu. She left behind two young boys and a husband.

  • At 8/28/08, 3:24 PM, Blogger Sarah M. said…

    Flumist is dangerous around people with weakened immune systems (such as preemies) so do be careful if you know anyone like that.

  • At 9/3/08, 9:01 PM, Blogger Chief Family Officer said…

    @anon#1 - Hm, I didn't know about the preservatives or lack thereof. I do know that b/c it's an active virus, it can only be given to older children and healthy adults. I'll have to ask the dr about whether it has more benefits that are worth the extra cost. Thanks!

    @anon#2 - I'm so sorry about your sister's tragic death. I think we tend to forget that the flu can be deadly, especially when we're not talking about, say, bird flu. I usually think in terms of getting us vaccinated so our chances of getting the kids sick is lower, but you make an excellent point. Again, my condolences to your family.

    @Sarah - Good point. I would definitely recommend discussing any concerns with a doctor. Thanks!


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