Let's Talk About Vaccines
Updated: Apr 23
The beginning stages of the pandemic posed a lot of questions for both nannies and families trying to navigate social distancing and hypothetical exposure. Working from home, virtual learning, and pod configuration set a whole new list of potential ground rules to consider. Now, with vaccines on their way, a new conversation is looming - how to discuss vaccination for your household.
Although vaccine distribution is currently in the early stages, starting the conversation now about concerns and expectations will prevent potential disagreements in the future. And, with the rapidly evolving priority groups, anyone in your household could become eligible for the vaccine at a moment's notice.
Tackling topics regarding medical information and choices can be tricky. Since the two current vaccines are being offered under emergency FDA approval, a number of companies are currently shying away from requiring their employees to get the vaccine. Many individuals may have personal reasons for declining vaccination as well, including a history of allergic reactions to vaccines, religious reasons, or autoimmune disorders. Please note that individuals who are uncertain of how the vaccine may potentially affect other conditions should consult their physician to assist in their decision.
For nannies who are interested in getting vaccinated, ask your employer whether or not you will receive time off for a vaccination appointment. It is also important to be aware of the potential side effects of the vaccine. While most individuals experience little to no side effects including minor headaches or body aches after the first dose, the side effects following the second dose may be more severe. It may be of value to discuss with your employer planning for time off the day after your appointment in the event of unpleasant symptoms. About one in three individuals experience side effects including a headache, body aches, fever, or fatigue for no more than 48 hour after their second vaccination.
For families who are interested in getting vaccinated, it is important to reiterate the rules you may have set up at the beginning of the pandemic. Since children under sixteen are unable to receive a vaccine at this time, not everyone in the household will be protecte. Continue to set expectations for mask-wearing, social distancing, and sanitization. These mitigation strategies are critical as your household may be vaccinated in different stages and as we learn more information about the length of immunity and whether people who are vaccinated can continue to spread the virus.
Vaccines are a way to protect not only yourself from potential infection, but also enhance protection for your communtiy. The COVID-19 vaccines currently available have under gone rigorous studies to determine their saftey prior to FDA authorization. The vaccines are highly effective and come at no cost to the public. There is a lot of helpful reading material on the CDC website to navigate potential questions families and nannies may have about the vaccine. Prior to engaging in a conversation about how you would like to address the vaccine for your household, it may be helpful to have both parties read the information available on the CDC website.