Why We Celebrate “Flu Shot Day” in Our Home
Oct 15, 2020
By Robyn Correll, MPH
My kids think Flu Shot Day is an official holiday — and in our house, it is. They get off school and my husband and I take off work. We spend the whole day together, having fun and eating tasty things. And it all kicks off when we get our flu vaccines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over the age of 6 months old get vaccinated against flu every year. It’s one of the most important things I can do for my health and the health of my family. Our bodies need about two weeks to respond to the vaccine, so we try to get it done every year in September or October to make sure we’re protected before flu viruses start circulating in our community.
Here’s the thing though… No matter how I spin it, my kids know going out of your way to get poked with a needle or have mist sprayed up your nose isn’t exactly fun. What is fun is using a flu vaccine as an excuse to eat your favorite things or do your favorite activities. Thus… Flu Shot Day!
I can’t actually take credit for this idea. Years ago when I was working at The Immunization Partnership in Houston, my boss instituted Flu Shot Day as a way to honor the organization’s mission and bond as a staff. We all got our flu vaccines together and then celebrated with lunch. It was a great break in our fall, and a flu vaccine went from being an obligation I had to check off my (already too long) to-do list to something I genuinely look forward to — and now so do my kids.
This has been a really tough year, and we could use a few more reasons to celebrate. What better reason than doing our part to protect each other, our neighbors and our community?
With COVID-19 still spreading and flu season looming, I feel like my family needs Flu Shot Day this year more than ever. Not just because the vaccine could save their lives or mine — or because the symptoms of flu are so similar to those of COVID-19 — but because let’s be honest: This has been a really tough year, and we could use a few more reasons to celebrate.
What better reason to celebrate than when we do our part to protect ourselves, each other, our neighbors and our community?
Like with pretty much everything else in 2020, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in our usual Flu Shot Day formula. Usually, we go out to lunch — at a restaurant! indoors! —and then do something fun like go to the movies or a museum. Last year, we even stopped for unicorn milkshakes. (Yum!) All of which are out of the question due to the pandemic.
But that’s not keeping us from celebrating one of our favorite holidays. After getting our flu vaccinations at the pediatrician’s office this year, we’ll be ordering delivery from one of our favorite restaurants, jumping into our pajamas, playing board games and making banana splits.
It’s going to be amazing. And like always, I can’t wait.
Robyn is a public health professional and mom based in Houston. She’s been a consultant with Vaccinate Your Family since 2019.
Do you have any Flu Shot Day traditions? Let us know in the comments below!
NOTE: A version of this content originally appeared in Vaccinate Your Family’s Immunization Alerts eNewsletter, sent out on Friday, August 13, 2021. Stay up to date on the latest vaccine news by subscribing here....
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