You know what's more difficult than trying to decide if I should get another cup of coffee? Deciding if I should get the flu vaccine for the whole family, including our two boys. I am faced with this dilemma every single year.
My YES reasons include:
- Children under 5 are at higher risk of severe flu implications
- They both go to daycare so they're more likely to catch the flu
- I absolutely MUST NOT get the flu, because let's be honest, the family isn't going to survive a week with me bedridden.
- None of us caught the flu the past few years (without vaccination), so our luck must be running out soon right?
- Prevention is the best measure, better safe than sorry!
My NO reasons include:
- It's not free, so it can't be THAT necessary right? (Note: As of April 2018, the flu vaccine is free in all Australian states except NT for children under 5)
- My GPs gave conflicting advice, probably not a good sign when medical professionals can't agree on something
- Isn't it better for the body to build up immunity against the flu naturally? I.e if one of us does catch the flu, it just means we'll be immune to it in future!
Now obviously the above presumptions were made before I did my research, so there are a few lessons I've learnt:
- Medical professionals are now largely in favour of flu vaccines for children under 5, particularly after the flu season last year in 2017, which was worst flu outbreak on record
- The flu virus alters itself and reappears as a new strain every year, so natural immunity does not exist for ALL possible flu virus strains because they just keep changing.
The below chart was put together to summarise the top 10 facts I've found, and hopefully, it'll help you in your decision for the wellbeing of your family!