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.
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.
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.
*** Specifically about H1N1, see this article on the NPR site:
Debate Over H1N1 Vaccine? There Shouldn’t Be One
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- FDA Press Release: H1N1 Vaccines Approved (blisstree.com)
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- Gov’t preparing media campaign to “promote vaccination”; people worried it could produce side effects (dvorak.org)