My Au Pair Won’t Get a Flu Shot … and we have an Infant. Now what?

by cv harquail on October 15, 2009

There are several situations where getting a flu vaccine is a MUST— and one of those is if you care for a child under 6 months old. These littlest ones are uniquely vulnerable to both the regular flu and the H1N1 virus– because they are too young to be vaccinated themselves.

Adults who care for and/ or live with children under 6 months old should be vaccinated against influenza and the H1N1 virus. To decline to be vaccinated (unless you have health issues of your own) is to take chances with the child’s life. I can’t get any plainer than that, folks.200910151050.jpg

So, obviously, you should take your Au Pair to get a flu vaccine and an H1N1 vaccine.

But what do you do if your Au Pair refuses to get a vaccine? What advice can you offer to this host mom?

I have an au pair that has been with us for almost three months. The threat of the H1N1 becoming a pandemic and our country having an immunization to prevent H1N1 was not certain at the time we were interviewing each other last April.

I didn’t have the foresight to think about setting forth a criteria that would eliminate au pairs if they said they would NOT get the H1N1 immunization should one become available.

So fast forward to today, our family has a two month old baby and two pre-schoolers. Our pediatrician has recommended that our family get the H1N1 vaccination to help our baby from getting H1N1.

I realize I cannot force our aupair to get one.

To help to convince her to get an H1N1 flu shot,

  • I sent her an email with links from the CDC and WHO that explain this vaccination and its safety.
  • I also asked to her to speak to her parents about this shot. Her parents do not wish for her to get this shot.

200910151046.jpg

The agency has not set forth guidelines nor can they require an aupair to get a shot.

So at this time, we are doing a lot of preventative measures with washing hands, using hand sanatizer and encouraging everyone to keep hands away from our baby.

What else can I do? What if our Au Pair gets sick? What if our babies get sick?

Click through to tell us what your plans are for both flu vaccines. And, add your advice below.

Worst case, you can buy your Au Pair this card from www.BeautifullyHandmade.com. Or, get the
HappyBear Tissue Box from Amigarumi Sweet
on Flickr.

*** Specifically about H1N1, see this article on the NPR site:
Debate Over H1N1 Vaccine? There Shouldn’t Be One

{ 38 comments }

Nancy October 15, 2009 at 11:38 am

understand your Au Pair as I would not get the vaccines myself nor would any of my family.
Coming from overseas myself from Eastern Europe it is very unusual for young people including kids to get the flu shot.
The flu shot was originally created to protect those at greater risk to be affected negativelly by flu, like older sick people.

All of the flu shots do contain thimerosal.

If it is that important to you I would go into rematch but would not pressure someone who is against getting a vaccine to get it.

Anon mom October 15, 2009 at 11:46 am

Nancy,
FYI NOT all the flue shots contain thimerosal. Some do, some don’t, you have to ask your doctor.

CV October 15, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Also, according to the CDC website, (http://www.cdc.gov/FLU/ABOUT/QA/thimerosal.htm) those vaccines that contain thimerisol contain tiny amounts that have been certified as safe. Let’s not get into a conversation about thimerisol though, or we will have to pit scientists against non-scientists in a conversation where neither will budge.

MommyMia October 15, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Is the flu mist a possibility, if Thimerasol is an issue?
I understand people’s reluctance to get the vaccine, but I am also very concerned about my children and myself catching swine flu, because so many around us fail to practice basic sanitation. Every time I volunteer at school or drop my younger one at preschool, kids are coughing and sneezing everywhere, despite the teachers instructing them to turn their heads to their shoulders/upper arms.
I have talked to some parents who say that their friends, who are physicians, say they won’t even consider getting vaccinated themselves, yet my pediatrician says “absolutely, get them.” So I can’t decide (the kids already got the seasonal flu vaccine, and the H1N1 is supposed to arrive next week in our area).

CV October 15, 2009 at 12:17 pm

MommyMia, according to the CDC ((http://www.cdc.gov/FLU/ABOUT/QA/thimerosal.htm) “For the 2008-09 season, there is one product licensed for 6-23 month old children (the product is thimerosal-free). For children between the ages of 2 and 5 years of age, there are three products available that are thimerosal-free (sanofi’s Fluzone; MedImmune’s FluMist) or preservative-free (trace thimerosal- [Novartis’s Fluvirin]).” Also, there are H1N1 vaccines available that are thimerosal-free.

Autismomma October 16, 2010 at 12:30 am

As someone whose children were injured by vaccines, I have done a lot of research into vaccines and their ingredients, so it never ceases to amaze me how little the general public knows about vaccines. It really shouldn’t surprise me though, as I used to be just like most people and blindly trusted the information my doctor gave me regarding vaccines.

I do not try to sway parents one way or another to vaccinate or not vaccinate, but I do ask that they EDUCATE themselves – something that you have clearly not done. Please don’t take this as offensive – I didn’t educate myself before vaccinating my children either. Many of us don’t because we are led to believe our doctors always know what is best. However, if you ask many doctors what is in particular vaccines, the majority will not be able to answer correctly, if at all. I know this to be true from my own experiences and those of several of my friends.

My point here though, is that if you were educated about vaccines, you would know that the flu mist contains a live flu virus and is therefore, a bigger risk for the au pair to be in the presence of the infant if that is the form of flu vaccine she chose to go with if she did ultimately decide to get it. Her body would then contain a live form of the flu virus, which can then be passed on to the baby.

A better choice for flu prevention is frequent handwashing, limited or no use of hand sanitizers (as these promote mutation in viruses and other harmful organisms), and taking vitamins B, C, D, and zinc.

Obviously, you don’t know me at all so if you don’t believe what I am telling you, I totally understand. If that’s the case, simply type “flu mist live virus” into your search engine and you will find what I am telling you is correct.

Dorsi October 16, 2010 at 1:47 am

I was surprised more crazy anti-vaccine people didn’t come out last year when this thread was popular. I respond all to often to trolls (it is a life habit I am trying to break), but I think this a relevant conversation to have. You cannot get the flu from the vaccine or from people who have had the vaccine (live or killed virus).

I know more about this than most people. You should trust your doctor on this issue. If you want to do your own research, please do — please check articles published in peer reviewed journals (most of which are available on Medline, at least the abstracts). It is far less accessible than google, but far more reliable. Any crazy (myself and the above poster, for example) can say anything on the internet. Autismomma probably has never seen a kid, pregnant woman or beloved grandmother die of flu. Each of those is terrible in a unique way.

But, I have to thank her — I am getting ready to interview new AP candidates and I forgot that this is going to be an important issue in the next round. So, thanks for the heads-up and I will be sure to get my child and AP vaccinated!

au pair October 15, 2009 at 1:43 pm

I got the FLU (conventional flu) this month. It was the worst days I spent in the USA. My family did not even offered me any medicine. I got fever, fatigue, muscle sore and all that bad stuff. I do not take care of any infant, even though my family took the children to be vaccinated. I am au pair. The flu shot here costs money and I have no money for that. At the time was afraid I have gotten the suine Flu and it kinda hurt me that they took the whole family to be vaccinates expcept me. I felt like it wasn’t important if I get sick or not. and then I ask : Ïs it the hostfamily responsability to pay for the au pair’s vaccine while she is working for the family?

HostMom in NY October 15, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Just an FYI: You cannot get vaccinated while you are sick, which is why they did not take you. No doctor would give you a shot unless you were 100% healthy and over the flu.

A October 15, 2009 at 2:12 pm

It’s your au pair’s right not to get the vaccine, but let her go work for someone who doesn’t care that she won’t get it. Find one who wants the job and cares about your baby enough to get the vaccine!

MommyMia October 15, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Thank you, CV for the vaccine info. (I was about to go to the CDC site, but got busy catching up on your posts & others’ replies, as usual when I take time to visit here!)

AuPair above, I’m so sorry to hear that you got the flu. Please talk to your host family & see if they will take you for a swine flu shot when you’re better, or “lend” you the money – as someone said, the average cost is about $25-30, but compared to the time and expense if you get sick again with a case of the H1N1, it’s worth the peace of mind, I believe. Some areas even have free clinics for low-income patients, which you might qualify for.

And thanks to those who pointed out in the other post that not spreading the virus to others whose immune systems may be compromised – I think most people are thinking only of their own health, and usually by the time you know you’re really sick with the flu, you’ve already infected others without knowing it! By the way, our LCC did an informational session at her last cluster meeting on swine flu, which I thought was great.

HMK October 15, 2009 at 3:57 pm

I am the one that posed this question. I could not ask for a better aupair except for this item. That said though, I would have a hard time forgiving myself if something should happen to my baby and I didn’t put her needs first. I feel like I am giving an ultimatum to the aupair and she has explicitely stated that she is not comfortable putting a fast tracked vax in her body and having something happen to her down the road. I can understand that too.

With that said, is this a serious enough issue that I should indeed consider rematch?

Anonymous October 15, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Our household (myself and kids) had the H1N1 flu. My son is only 2.75 years old and he had the mildest case. Our AP did NOT get the flu although she cared for the kids when they were sick. Personally, I don’t think everyone should panic about this specific virus but that’s a different topic. Every year I encourage and pay for my AP to get a flu shot. (We’ve had AP’s from all over the world and it was not standard for any of them to get a flu shot in their home country, but they respected my request.) This year I paid for our AP’s seasonal flu shot and she had a reaction to it. She couldn’t work for part of a day, but I think the $20 I spent (and a half day of missing work) is much better than juggling childcare and caring for a sick household member if she had (gets) the flu. I think she would agree that a half day reaction was better than what the rest of us had!
Ironically I got the flu within 24 hours of our LCC and us advising our AP about the H1N1 virus. I did exactly what I told our AP not to do – burn the candles at both ends.

NewAPMom October 15, 2009 at 4:30 pm

I was in the ER with my son (1 year old) because of a high fever. They tested him for H1N1 and he came back negative, but the doctor said lots of kids have it but test negative, and thought he probably had it anyway. The doctor also said that for every baby who had come into it, she’d consulted with the regular pediatrician and decided not to treat it, just let it run its course.

I got the regular flu shot but have concerns about the H1N1 for the same reason. (I won’t give my kids either flu shot as I do have concerns about vaccines in general which I won’t go into here.) I also think there’s a lot of panic around H1N1 that isn’t necessarily merited. So my advice would be – if she really feels strongly about it, and has done the research, and it’s not freaking you out too too much, then it doesn’t necessarily merit rematch. But of course you have to follow your gut.

Nancy October 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Would it be good enough for you to ask her to avoid sick people, and to have her take extra vitamins, like C vitamin, D3 vitamin and Sambucol during these colder months to boost her immunity?

You can also give D3 vitamin to your baby: Carlson has infant drops.

HMK October 15, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Nancy,
My aupair is not comfortable taking vitamins. She comes from a conservative family whose practice does not involve taking vitamins and so she won’t take them here either. I like your idea though and we have upped our Vitamin intake during these cold/flu months. My infant does receive Vit D drops too.

I have asked her to stay away from friends who are sick or who have been carring for sick children to avoid the germs. She seemed amicable to the idea.

HMK October 15, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Another note to add is that I talked to the LLC, and to go into rematch at this time would involve a minimum of four weeks, maybe longer if the au pair has to come from her home country. So during this period, our aupair would still be caring for our children and half of the cold/flu season would already be over. It seems that I need to make this work and do what I can to renforce to our aupair on washing hands and avoid those who are sick.

Angela October 16, 2009 at 2:35 am

First if you are with CC there are a lot of in country au pairs. your LCC probably just discouraging you. Second flu season can last til April so not it’s not over. I work in a hospital and at first I thought it was a lot of fluff but not after what I have seen first hand. If she is going to the University for classes even greater chances of her getting it. Make sure she sneezes in her sleeves. I am a believer of the H1N1 seen it first hand not pretty. I work with pregnant ladies luckily we haven’t lost anyone but stats are showing pregnant ladies out of 100 twenty eight of them are dying from this.

E2 October 15, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Unfortunately, I think that the discussion on whether or not to get the H1N1 flu shot is a moot point…by the time it is widely released, it will have gone through my community (the kids at the elementary school are all coming down with it now).
And for au pair above…the only flu going around right now is H1N1 (check the CDC website…it accounts for 99% of the cases they are testing).
Our au pair has stated that she won’t get the flu shot either, and that worries me. I’ll be following her around with Lysol if she gets it!! I would certainly pay the $28 for the shot if she wanted it.
For the mom with the infant…if your au pair does come down with the flu, I’d take her to the doctor and request the anti-viral meds. Many doctors aren’t prescribing these, but tell them that you have a baby in the house that she is caring for. The meds will cut down the length of the flu and limit your exposure.

Calif Mom October 15, 2009 at 7:56 pm

au pair — it is correct you cannot get a flu shot while sick. This year there are two flu shots. One is called “seasonal” and one is H1N1 or swine flu. The swine flu shot was not available when you were sick, and is still very difficult to find. So your host family probably got the “seasonal flu” shots for their family.

When you are better, you may ask them to get the swine flu shot, too. Probably you already had that flu, though, but it will NOT hurt you to get the swine flu shot, as well.

Calif Mom October 15, 2009 at 7:57 pm

au pair — I wrote the wrong word above — the seasonal flu has not arrived yet, so it is NOT too late to go get that flu shot, after you are better. The flu usually arrives here much later in the fall/winter, and it has not been found yet in the States. If you have fever and aches, you almost certainly had h1n1 (swine) flu already. Good news is that you are now immune!

Calif Mom October 15, 2009 at 8:00 pm

One more nuance in all this — kids are often coming down with H1N1 that shows up as a gastrointestinal illness, no cough at all. Yes fever. Our school is warning everyone about “coughs and fever” but that is not the whole story.

Adults are more likely coming down with it as cough, but not necessarily a fever.

(This from a speech I heard today by NIH’s top doc on flu, Anthony Fauci MD.)

au pair October 15, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Thank You all the hostmoms for your advice. I am not sick now, I got sick some time ago and they got the flu shot way before I got sick and didn’t take me with them to take the shot. which makes me think that as long as the children are protected it doesn’t matter if I get sick or not. Even though I am going to get some information about where I live and pay for it myself. Swine Flu is something that really scares me also I would never EVER would want my kids to get sick because of me (which they wonbt once they got the vaccine). Thank you for your help though :)

CV October 15, 2009 at 10:00 pm

au pair, I sense your hurt at the idea that the reason your family didn’t take you for a shot was b/c they don’t care about you…. that might be true BUT there are also other possible explanations. It may simple not have occurred to them to take you, and they might have felt like it was an invasion of your privacy to ask you to get the shot. As you can see from comments by all of us moms, there is a wide range of feelings about the flu’s seriousness and the flu vaccine as an option, not to mention lots of disagreements about what to do re: ones au pairs. i hope that in fact your family does care about you….
cv

PA au pair mom October 15, 2009 at 9:09 pm

au pair:

just FYI….if you get the flu vaccine you CAN still get the flu. There are many strains of the seasonal flu and the strains to be included must be “guessed” at by vaccine producers almost 9 months before the flu season starts.

It does offer protection, which is important, but it is not guaranteed. Good handwashing is your MOST important defense against the flu.

Jeana October 15, 2009 at 10:52 pm

I’ve read a lot of information about the importance of H1N1 vaccines, and unfortunately, a lot more information, also from MDs, about reasons NOT to vaccinate. My 11 and 6 year old will not be vaccinated. I consulted with our doctor, who was aware that one of my daughters had a very bad reaction to vaccines this summer. The vaccine isn’t available to us yet, and my older daughter is recovering from H1N1; she got it before she even could have been vaccinated, if that would have been the recommendation from our MD. A student from my school district died this past week, due to a heart problem and H1N1. I contacted our MD. Knowing that our doctor has said no to my kids being vaccinated, I’ve been searching for information about how I can help us all be healthier. Our doctor already had suggested Vitamin D. We added pro-biotics, which can be purchased at a health-food store. We wash hands when we return home from anywhere, we’re bleaching down counters and frequently touched areas of our home everyday. I purposely purchased every OTC medication I thought could help us, if needed. We’re sleeping with vaporizers on, because it is my understanding that flu viruses prefer dry air. I purchased masks, and have done my best to keep my daughters apart during the past week when we’ve been dealing with H1N1. I’ve had many conversations with our aupair, who is from China. She’s shared information with me about how schools and businesses are being pro-active in dealing with H1N1 in China; far more aggressively than we’re dealing with it in the US. I’ve asked our aupair to read and listen to info about H1N1 in her native language so that she can make an informed decision about whether to receive a vaccine. I asked her to seek the counsel of her parents. Her decision is no, at this time, but she knows I would support her choice, either way. I’ve explained that when the vaccine becomes available, I could help her get the vaccine, if that is her choice. I’ve been handing our aupair a cocktail of vitamins and pro-biotics, and she’s happy to take them, along with our family. I’m trying to have a back-up plan for the possibility that schools could be closed. Two schools in our district closed briefly last spring, due to H1N1. I understand that the original family that posted has a newborn and that is totally different than elementary school aged children. I think that it would be helpful for host families to understand that vaccine schedules are different in different parts of the world. Children are vaccinated for the same illnesses, but often the vaccines start a bit later than how we manage them in the US. What seems “normal” to many of us; to accept a vaccine because it is available isn’t “normal” to our aupairs, from different parts of the world. Our Chinese aupair was ill recently, and went to see a Chinese doctor, who gave her traditional medicine. Our aupair explained to me that the medicine would work slower than western medication, but it would be healthier and more natural for her body.

Calif Mom October 16, 2009 at 1:01 am

This is not a “fast tracked” vaccine!

This is tricky but absolutely true: while this particular version of influenza is ‘new’, the vaccine is made the same way they have been made for decades now (unless you get flu mist–it’s different); the shot is made with a killed virus, grown in eggs, purified back out, and “filled and finished” in the exact same way as seasonal flu vaccines. Literally millions of doses have been administered, with hundreds of thousands of those to pregnant women.

The fact that this came to market quickly is a GOOD thing. Remember SARS? Public health experts and researchers have learned some things from past emerging diseases, and are getting better at speeding up all these processes, not to mention coordinating with each other. Just like electronics, medicine, too is increasingly sophisticated and speeding up. This is a good thing.

If the virus had showed up a couple months later, it would have been added to the normal, trivalent (three-strain) vaccine and we would all be calling it “seasonal flu”.

Lots more at the Health and Human Services website: http://flu.gov/index.html

There is a map tool to help you find flu shots in your area.

Calif Mom October 16, 2009 at 1:09 am

Jeana,

(Nice to see your name again in comments!)

There is no single “scientific community”– like lawyers, scientists are trained for years in how to pick apart each others’ arguments, and some really enjoy doing so. Everyone has to look at the preponderance of evidence, and weigh the risks of the disease vs the risks of the vaccine (half of the deaths in adults are NOT due to an underlying illness, which is striking to me).

Everyone who has concerns about “what’s in the shots”–if you’re worried about mercury, I hope you and your family also don’t eat predator fish including tuna or swordfish, because they are loaded.

The thimerosal that is in the multi-vial containers is there to prevent deaths from bacterial contamination. Sometimes you just can’t win! ;-)

Jeana October 16, 2009 at 8:00 am

Also meant to say that when we were at the doctor’s office this week, we were told that if additional members of the family appeared to become ill from the flu, to come in within the first 48 hours, as we could receive an anti-viral, to help combat the flu.

TX Mom October 16, 2009 at 10:23 am

For the original poster, I would explain to your AP that for most childcare workers, the flu shot is NOT optional in the US. I don’t know if it’s state jurisdiction or even law, but the childcare centers I have been associated with in the states I have lived in (TX, MA, MN, OR) require their employees to get flu shots each year.

Christine Connally October 16, 2009 at 11:20 am

I can see the issue from both sides. One thing to consider about the FluMist is that is a live virus as opposed to killed virus in the shot. So, the live virus can stay in your system for up to 3 weeks after receiving the FluMist. It is not very likely to be spread to healthy adults from those who have received the FluMist, but the most vulnerable (people with compromised immune systems and young children) can contract it that way.

A Denver hospital has opted to wait for the injections because of concerns over health care workers spreading the virus once they have received the FluMist. http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/21212055/detail.html

My 2 cents October 16, 2009 at 11:35 am

To OP: You need to decide whether her getting the shots is a dealbreaker for you and your family. It’s hard, really hard, but in the end no one can make that decision for you. If you do decide it’s a dealbreaker, consider telling your AP that’s where you are coming down and see if she will change her mind. Arguments about whether others should be forced or pressured in to what you want, I’ve got to think your AP would appreciate at least having the chance to reconsider her being fired over that choice. I would !

Incidentally, my own kids have the flu right now. The doctors aren’t certain but they think it’s H1N1 “based on the time of year,” whatever that means. We have high temperatures and that’s it (no stomach flu — thank you!).

Calif Mom October 16, 2009 at 5:48 pm

My 2 Cents — what that means is that the seasonal flu strains aren’t being seen here yet, but H1N1 is. So your docs make sense, and even if it sounds vague, it really isn’t.

CDC is doing sampling of people with what they call influenza-like-illness at different cities around the country. So while not each patient is going to be tested, CDC is “doing testing” — they’re just doing a representative sample. And that testing is usually done through Emergency Rooms, not your regular doctors offices.

NoVA Host Mom October 20, 2009 at 9:50 am

au pair – they might not have taken you for the very reason that this post exists to begin with: they may have thought it was not appropriate to ask or tell you that you need to have any flu vaccination. They are the parents and can choose to vaccinate their own children. You are an adult and can decide for herself if she chooses to have one or not. As you notice, not all HFs require their AP to have one. Your HF seems to not think it is necessary to require or even strongly recommend. It has little to do with whether or not they “care” so much as they might just be trying to respect you as an adult to make your own call on a vaccine. Try looking at it from another perspective. And when I am sick, no one buys me medicine. I get it myself. You are an adult and they are not responsible for your health care. If you need medicine for symptom relief, it is your responsibility to get it (or even ask for recommendations for things they use, like NyQuil or Sudafed, etc).

For the OP, if your AP is attending classes now, I would definately be concerned. There is a great deal of public interaction that way. It is not as though just restricting play dates and friends coming over will do it. Regardless of the type of flu being discussed, we have not yet hit the peak.

You and your husband need to decide between yourselves where you draw the line. Are you able to come up with preventative measures that she will follow and you both feel comfortable? If so, then there is the solution. If not or if she is not following the agreed-to guidelines/rules, then maybe you need to consider a rematch (which we did in just 2 weeks, start to finish, so your LCC might be looking for an easy way to defer the issue). While you cannot force your AP to have a vaccine, you can choose to not employ someone who is not vaccinated.

FWIW, we have a 13 mo and I am due in early March as well. Our AP will be getting the flu shots (seasonal and H1N1) and we will be paying for them (H1N1 is free in our area). We will also be suggesting the pneumonia shot (good for nearly a lifetime anyway), but not mandating that. For next year/next AP, we will be mandating it. My husband and I are both in professions where we are around a lot of icky things. While we might have been vaccinated, nothing says we cannot bring it to an unvaccinated person and they get sick from it. That does not do any of us any good, at least in our situation. With such a young baby for you, I would definately err on the side of caution.

Mag October 22, 2009 at 6:58 pm

HMK – stop your handwringing over your au pair’s “right” to refuse to take BOTH flu shots — seasonal and H1N1. She doesn’t have the right to endanger your children by refusing to be vaccinated against a communicable disease that experts far more intelligent and well educated than she (or her parents) have determined can be lethal, and it doesn’t sound like she has a reasonable excuse for not complying, other than ignorant superstition. This is a public safety issue, not an individual rights issue. What if she claimed that she had the “right” to smoke in the presence of your child, refuse to use seat belts or obey speed limits — would you hesitate to take action to protect your child for fear of violating her “rights?” There is no such thing as an unlimited personal right, especially when public safety is involved. You don’t have to justify your decision by flooding her with more CDC information. Tell her that a condition of further employment with you is to get the shots by a date certain because failing to do so will unreasonably endanger your children, and don’t debate the issue with her. You should pay for the shots because you are requiring them for employment. If she still refuses, ask for a rematch as soon as possible and get her out of the house. There will be an entire pool of great au pairs already in the country who are looking for new families and who are probably very willing, and even grateful, to take flu shots. Go with your mothering instincts, stand your ground on this, and don’t feel guilty.

NewAPMom October 22, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Mag, I strongly disagree. The decision about whether or not to get a vaccination is absolutely a personal right. That decisions may however have consequences, one of which could be her loss of employment. But it is hers to make, nonetheless.

PA au pair mom October 22, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I don’t want to get the H1N1 vaccination because I’ve already had the virus, but my employer is requiring it (I’m a nurse practitioner). Several people in my office and thinking of quitting if they are forced to get it.

Healthcare is a “personal” issue for a lot of people and informed consumers should have the right to make choices, in my opinion.

That being said, if the OP thinks it’s a deal breaker, then it will turn into a much more serious situation.

TuTu77 November 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I come from a conservative family too. I have never been vaccinated. And until now I do not go for the shots. While I was Au Pair I did not have problem with this issue. The kids were vaccinated but I wonder why they would always get sick after the vaccines. My diet is totally vegan, I mean I eat mostly raw and not frozen or canned food. I avoid using microwave (for my personally). So vitamins always come directly from the fruits and vegetable I eat. Maybe in this case if the Au Pair does not want to get the flu shots then provide her the essential resources that will give to her body the strength to counteract any virus. My former HF always had plenty of fruit throughout the year, and I love it! The difference is bigger when we come from a country where our diet is so different. Personally I have never eaten fast food, my mother taught me since I was child how to cook deliciously. So for me, the optimum option is to have a healthy natural diet. However, I got really sick the second year of my Au Pairing experience, but let’s be clear and honest: I was sleeping in the basement converted into a room. There wasn’t any options to open the two small windows because there was a greater chance bugs will come in, or a skunk would “aromatize” my room. I did not have clean and pure air flowing through the room. During winter it was cold, but if the heater was higher, upstairs would be too hot. I used plenty of blankets to keep myself warm. My Hfamily provided me eventually a dehumidifier. It helped but I was just glad when my term was over and I could sleep in my room again.

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