This post is sponsored by The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. All opinions are my own.
This year has made one thing abundantly clear to me: My family is everything. I can get by without so many things I once thought “necessary,” as long as my children and my family are healthy and safe. This pandemic can be overwhelming and scary for parents. Not only am I worried about the health and safety of my children, I’m also constantly stressed out about our school situation. Right now, my older two children attend school full time and LOVE it. They are thriving being back at school. And I love it too. But I’m constantly worried about a COVID-19 or flu outbreak at school and having to go back to school virtually. It’s so stressful. I’m taking simple steps to protect my family, like making sure everyone is washing their hands frequently, eating healthy foods, getting plenty exercise, soaking up some vitamin D, and getting our flu shot. Choosing to get a flu shot this year is one simple step I can take NOW to protect them.
Now more than ever, it’s important forMichiganders like me to protect ourselves and our families by getting a flu shot this year.Getting a flu shot this fall will protect you and your family from the flu, which is especially important during this crazy COVID-19 pandemic. If you’ve never had the flu shot before, now is the time to start!
I got the flu shot this year for myself and my children because I want to take every step that I can to keep us healthy and safe. Despite common misconceptions, the flu is very serious, even for children. During the 2019-2020 flu season there were 6 pediatric flu-related deaths in Michigan alone and 187 nationwide (source here). That just breaks my heart into a million pieces. A flu vaccination this fall can keep you and your family from getting sick with the flu. I sure don’t want to miss out on anything else this year! It can also lessen the burden on our already struggling healthcare workers. Getting vaccinated for the flu can prevent any hospital visits related to the flu when our frontline workers are already bogged down with COVID patients.
It’s important to get your flu shot as soon as possible. It can take up to two weeks for your body to build up enough immunity to prevent the flu. Any signs of sickness in my child could result in them missing a lot of school…and school right now is one of our top priorities! So, vaccinating my kids for the flu now is so important to me. Michigan has a great supply of flu vaccines at many locations state-wide including pharmacies, your doctor’s office and the local health department. Where we live, we were able to attend a drive-up clinic!
As a parent, it’s important to keep in mind that the flu vaccine is safe for kids. My children know we get one every year. Whenever I have to talk to them about getting our flu shots, they typically freak out a little. We talk about how it’s a quick little pinch and then it’s all done! I’ll remind them that getting the flu is serious and it’s no fun at all to be sick. I try to stress the importance of doing whatever we can to stay healthy and avoid the flu. I also bribe them with a lollipop!
It’s important to remember that a flu shot cannot cause the flu. The flu vaccine does not have a live virus in it, so it’s impossible to get the flu from the flu shot. The most common side effects are soreness, redness, or tenderness on your arm where the shot was given. But most people experience no symptoms at all. The majority of reactions people have to the flu vaccine are considerably less severe and shorter lasting than the symptoms caused by actual flu illness.
I know this year is stressful and overwhelming and the flu shot might just feel like one more thing on your to-do list, but I would like to encourage you to think of it differently! It’s one step you can take right now to prevent the flu in your family. When everything feels out of control, it’s nice to know I can actually do something to help. If by chance you do get sick with the flu, having had the flu has been shown to reduce severity of the flu in the future. And a flu vaccination can help keep you and your loved ones out of the doctor’s office or hospital right now…. which is such a good thing!
This year I take comfort in the fact that my family is vaccinated for the flu. By doing so, we are doing our part to help protect others and ourselves. The CDC has found that a flu vaccination can help save a child’s life (source). And it can help protect women during and after pregnancy. Be sure to get all of the facts and find out where you can get your flu shot by visiting the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services resource page.
If you have any concerns, be sure to talk to your doctor or your child’s doctor.