Flu Shots and Germaphobia

I have been pro-vaccines from day one. I've done my research, I work at a school where I see sick kids daily and we track immunizations, and I've never had a doubt in my mind about weather or not to immunize my kid. Sure the stuff in the shot might not be the best, but neither is the amount of sugar or processed food I let my son eat. More importantly, the ingredients in the shot is 1000 better than the sicknesses the shots prevent. Herd-immunity is huge, and immunizations don't always mean you're 100% immune. The more people that are vaccinated the better off we all are. I am getting on a soapbox about immunizations here, which is not what I meant to do. Everyone has their opinions and there is more than enough literature regarding vaccines on the internet than you can shake a stick at. There is nothing I can add.

The topic I am not so confident in my decision about is the flu shot. When Beckett got his immunizations at his normal check up last month they asked me if I wanted to include the flu shot. I sat there like a deer stuck in the headlights because I hadn't really thought about it. I never had the flu shot until I was pregnant, and it just wasn't something I thought about doing. My doctor gave me a few of the basic details and told me that she makes sure her own children get one every year. I decided that it wasn't going to hurt anything, and he is so little that it was better safe than sorry. I didn't realize it's a shot that is given in two doses a month apart from each other. Now it's time to go in for the second half and I can't decide if I want to or not. The arguments for and against getting the flu shot both have very valid points. After reading and asking around I have decided to have him get it. Even if the flu shot isn't protecting from all of the flu strains this year, it is protection from some of them. Many children and healthy people have died from the flu already this year. Although I don't think the chances of something like that happening are high, I would never forgive myself if Beckett caught something that I could have protected him from. And supposedly those that still catch the flu even if they have received the shot, have milder symptoms regardless of what strain it is. I decided that the bottom line is I don't think the shot is going to harm him in anyway. Will it help him? I am not sure, but because I don't believe it will harm him then I would rather get the shot just in case. Shots are not fun at all, but seeing him cry for 30 seconds is way better than seeing him hospitalized with a preventable sickness. 

While I'm on the subject of sickness, I think I might need to rethink my anti-germaphone ways. I rarely get sick, and I contribute that to working at a school and rarely using hand sanitizer. I do wash my hands regularly, but I try not to be freaked out about germs. I am exposed to students that are sick and coughing all the time, and I like to think I have a super immune system haha. I feel like people that are crazy about sanitizing and being clean freaks are more likely to get sick than those that aren't. Last year Beckett only caught a mild cough and I was feeling good about my anti-germaphobe stance. In hindsight I think it was really because I was still breastfeeding him. He is recovering today from his second fever this winter, and I'm starting to think I need to be a little more careful about where I let him play, washing his hands, and the germs I bring home from work. But I also want his immune system to be strong and the best way to do that is let him be exposed to some things. I still don't love hand sanitizer, but maybe next time his binky falls on the floor I'll think twice about picking it up and giving it to him. Yep, I am one of those Mom