We are experiencing a pandemic of H1N1 influenza worldwide. As a result, governments around the world are asking everyone to become vaccinated. Kysa Crusco of New Hampshire has recently done an excellent blog about this issue from an American perspective.
Parents everywhere are wondering "should I vaccinate my child?" My own opinion is that the benefits to yourself and society far outweigh the risks. I believe you should bare the long lines and get it done.
I recommend you read more about the issue. The Simcoe County Health Unit has an excellent website with information about clinics in the Barrie area and other information about the issue. I especially like the fact sheet. The Government of Canada also has a great website with information about H1N1 too.
I believe that all of us should become vaccinated, not only to protect ourselves from illness but to minimize the spread of the virus to other people, some of whom might die from it. I feel it is my obligation to the Canadian society to be immunized even though the likelihood of a serious bout of flu is minimal. In fact, I believe so strongly about this issue, I have given my staff up to five hours off work with pay so that they can get their H1N1 vaccination shot, should they choose to do so.
That’s my opinion but vaccination is voluntary. You have to decide for yourself and your children whether to get vaccinated.
If you are separated or divorced, you should consult with your ex spouse before making this type of decision. That is, if your ex has any involvement in the children’s lives and you can discuss issues without a battle.
I always remind my clients ACBD: "Always Consult Before Deciding".
If you share joint custody with your ex, you have an obligation to make all major decisions affecting your children together. This includes major medical decisions.
Whether to vaccinate your child is a "major decision" requiring you to discuss it and decide with your co-parent, if you share joint custody.
I suggest you call or email your ex and offer these links so your ex can become informed too. Avoid it becoming a power struggle. Stick to the facts and the best interests of your children.
Even if you don’t share joint custody, it is a good idea to consult with your ex before proceeding so that your ex spouse feels involved. Your children benefit from having two involved parents and participation in decision-making helps make a parent feel involved.
If you believe that consulting with your ex will lead to a battle and you have sole custody, you can make the decision alone. It is important to minimize conflict, for your children’s sake, so avoid the conversation.
Now… go wash your hands and try to stay healthy!