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Twins/Toddler Tuesday, What Do You Think?

Throwback Thuraday: Should You Give Your Baby the Flu Shot?

flushotWhether to vaccinate your children has become a controversial topic these days.  In my area, children cannot start school unless they are vaccinated and for the record, as a Health and Safety professional, I am pro vaccination.  Yet, when it comes to the flu shot, I have been undecided for years.

Last week we were at our nine month doctors appointment and everything was great.  Girls are 24.5lbs and 20lbs, healthy and happy.  Then, near the end of the appointment the doctor turned to me and said matter-of-factly, “well we should give them their flu shot”.

I was stunned for a moment.

Flu shot? Should they get the shot?  Do they need the shot?  Could their be complications?

Before I could answer my mother (who was accompanying me at the appointment) pointed out that they were sick, and so they wouldn’t be able to get vaccinated.  Crisis averted…well at least temporarily.

I asked if they should get one?  My doctor said her daughter was getting one (her daughter is just a few months older than the twins) which was reassuring that if she was giving it to her daughter it was probably a good idea. She also said that we have been giving flu shots for over a decade and there has been no evidence of any long term ramifications of using the vaccine on babies.

Personally, I have never gotten a flu shot, although others in my family have. Since I am healthy and not immunocompromised I figured I didn’t need one.  When I was pregnant with my Sawyer I read articles advising pregnant women to get the shot, I even saw ads on busses and subways urging me to get it,  but I decided not to just because, in spite of everything, I didn’t want to take any chances.

Since Sawyer was born in the summer the issue of the flu shot never came up at any of his appointments because they were in the wrong time of year.

pediatricThe Canadian Pediatric Society recommends that any baby over the age of six months get the vaccine.  From the website:

How safe is the flu vaccine?

The influenza vaccine is very safe. It cannot cause the flu. Side effects are usually mild and could include:

  • mild soreness where the needle went into the arm.
  • a slight fever or aching for the first day or two after immunization, especially after the first dose of vaccine.

If needed, taking acetaminophen can help ease the pain. In rare cases, a person may have red or itchy eyes, cough and mild swelling of the face within a few hours of vaccination. This usually goes away within 48 hours.

baby centreAccording to Baby Centre Canada, it is more dangerous not to get the shot than to get it.  From the website:

What are the benefits of the flu vaccine for children?

The flu vaccine protects children from serious illness and even death. The youngest children are especially vulnerable to the viruses that cause the flu. Every year in the United States, an average of 20,000 children younger than 5 are hospitalized with flu complications such as pneumonia.  Children age 2 and younger who come down with the flu are the most likely to need hospitalization. And kids between 2 and 4 who get the flu are more likely than older children to see a doctor, be taken to an urgent care center, or end up in an emergency room.

So what do I do for the girls? 


  • Because they are young they only need it once, whereas Sawyer will need two a month apart.
  •  Now that we live in an area with kids the girls are exposed and have been sick for the majority of the time since we moved  (with Sawyer he rarely got sick with no kids around and no daycare).
  • It’s free.
  • It is made from an inactive virus.
  • According to several credible sources, it’s safe.


  • I am worried about it.
  • There could have side effects.
  • It doesn’t work against all forms of the flu.
  • The odds of them coming into contact with someone with the flu are still relatively low.

flu-vaccineAdmittedly, I am probably over thinking it and I don’t know why.  But what I do know is that if I am, there are probably other mothers out there who are thinking about it as well.  So let’s hear your perspective.  Will you be giving your children the flu vaccine this year?  Have you done it in the past?  Feel free to share your story/ experience.

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About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.


17 thoughts on “Throwback Thuraday: Should You Give Your Baby the Flu Shot?

  1. I have always been wary of the flu shot and I’m not totally sure why. I guess I just don’t want to put anything into their little bodies unless its necessary? There’s so much conflicting information and different opinions out there! My oldest got his first flu shot last year when he was in kindergarten, and I have three year old twins who have not yet had it. I’m still undecided for this year!

    Posted by krissyagar | October 29, 2013, 12:32 pm
    • I feel the same! There was just something about it. But now with the recent studies saying it my actually benefit your heart and the big provincial campaign I think I am sold…however they have been sick for weeks so probably not this year, but definitely when they start school.
      Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Posted by Shannon | October 29, 2013, 7:33 pm
  2. My baby is fully vaccinated, but she won’t be getting the flu shot. It doesn’t protect against all strains, and it just isn’t worth it to me.

    Posted by Lindsay | October 29, 2013, 12:47 pm
  3. We do not get flu shots.

    Posted by Heather C | October 29, 2013, 5:18 pm
  4. I’ve decided to get Hazel (9.5 months old) and myself the flu shot this year. .She doesn’t interact with a lot of children, but she does interact with children who are in daycare. My husband also interacts with a lot of people at work, and chances are at some point someone I our family will come in contact with someone with the flu. If I was still nursing (had to stop because of baby 2 and lack of milk) I don’t think I would get it for her.

    Posted by powe7120 | October 22, 2014, 8:00 am
  5. My kids get flu shots yearly. No problem at all. We do this because my kids have asthma and a simple flu/colds can trigger it based on experience.

    Posted by The Vanilla Housewife | October 22, 2014, 10:04 am
  6. I follow immunization schedules to the letter for my littles…except for the flu. I’ve never gotten it for myself (not even with the H1N1 that everyone was so afraid of here and not when I was pregnant either), didn’t get it for my son last year and am not planning on getting it for either kiddos this year. It just seems like so much of a hit and miss for me (because it doesn’t protect against all strains). I know people who swear by the flu shot and others that swear that each time they’ve gotten it, they fell ill with the flu anyways. So I’ll just stay away from the flu shot again until (and if) something changes my mind about it.

    Posted by mommytrainingwheels | October 22, 2014, 10:14 am
    • See that’s how I am. I totally believe vaccination (especially since I work on the health and safety field) however there is just something weird about the flu shot. My work is doing a clinic this year but I still think I won’t get it. I guess we will see.

      Posted by Shannon | October 22, 2014, 9:12 pm
  7. I know way too many people who came down with the flu immediately after getting the shot so I just don’t believe that it doesn’t cause the flu. There are years that we get the flu and years that we don’t but I think I feel better just taking my chances instead of injecting a weakened virus into my body. That’s just how I feel about it though. Of course I may end up kicking myself if we get the flu this year. 😉

    Posted by journeyformybaby | October 22, 2014, 12:15 pm
    • Well the thing is the shot doesn’t protect you against all flu just certain strains. So you can have the vaccine and still catch it. Knock on wood you have a healthy winter. I feel the like my whole family has been perpetually sick now that my oldest is in JK (kids don’t go to daycare so we were a relatively germ free home). I am hoping at some point we will gain immunity LOL

      Posted by Shannon | October 22, 2014, 9:14 pm
      • Well, looks like I commented 1.5 years ago. 😉 I still feel the same. The flu vaccine is useless in my opinion as I think I recall 2014 was the year the wrong virus was predicted and the shot didn’t protect anyone from the viruses that were going around anyway. Prior to having kids, I hadn’t made up my mind for sure on vaccinating following the current schedule. Truth is, I don’t blog about it or even allude to it because I’ve seen comments turn borderline aggressive on similar posts but… I simply don’t vaccinate at all. I’ve considered it strongly and have decided not to at this time. BUT, I am also aware that there may be repercussions (no matter how careful we are) for not vaccinating so I would never tell a parent not to vaccinate their child! I think it’s a very personal choice and one that I reevaluate at every well-child check up. I would not say that I’m “anti-vaccine”, just not entirely comfortable with vaccinating either for several reasons. I also was not vaccinated as a child so I think that makes me a little more comfortable with my current choice.

        Posted by journeyformybaby | May 31, 2016, 10:23 am

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