I believe that getting an annual flu shot is the right thing for my boys. I know there’s a lot of controversy out there around vaccinations for kids, but the thought of seeing my kids down for the count for days with an illness that I could have prevented doesn’t sit well with me. And I haven’t found the science against vaccinations to be compelling enough to change my mind. Having said that, I almost reversed my flu-shots-are-the-right-thing-to-do philosophy when I took my kids to a local drugstore to get their shots the other day.
Getting Flu Shots Is Not Always a Smooth Experience
I should have known I was in for a ride when my five-year-old said he wanted his brother, who is two years old, to go first. Truthfully, the two-year-old did pretty well: He cried, but he was still, and he didn’t freak out. The five-year-old, on the other hand, basically had to be strapped down. Not only did I have to hold and brace him, but the RN administering the shot felt it was best to shut the clinic door to help dampen the sound of his bone-chilling screams. Seriously—you would have thought we were cutting off his arm with a blunt instrument. It was pure hysteria.
Needless to say, he did survive (and so did I), but we might have to find a new neighborhood drugstore. (If you're in the same boat, you can find CVS MinuteClinic locations here, and Walgreens Take Care Clinics here.)
Flu Shots for the Family Help the Kids and the Company, Too
Despite the fact that my son will likely describe his experience as torture, I believe I did a good thing for his health. I’m willing to bet my employer thinks so, too. Of course, it’s smart for businesses to offer flu shots for their employees. According to the CDC, the flu shot is the best defense against the flu, reducing the number of cases by up to 70 percent. Preventing the flu at work helps with decreasing presenteeism and preventing absenteeism; employees are healthier and more productive—that is, of course, unless your employee’s family members come down with the flu. Consider that flu-related absenteeism can range from two to seven days. That is a lot of lost work time caring for sick loved ones.
Support your corporate wellness program—get your family members vaccinated!