Every Thursday we highlight a problem from a listener. We give our advice and ask other listeners to offer advice. Welcome to the Counseling Corner.

Dear Brain,

I’ve got something I want to discuss with you and your listeners of a medical nature. Flu season is quickly approaching, and my husband and I took our kids to the doctor and got them their shots. We do this on a yearly basis, and so far, none of them has gotten the full-blown flu bug. Now, I know the flu shot is by no means a guarantee you won’t get the flu, but it can’t hurt your chances. That is where my girlfriend and I have a MAJOR disagreement. She is against her kids getting a flu shot because, in her words, “that’s how you get the flu….by the shot." I’ve tried politely discussing this with her, and have told her that our kids have never had a bad reaction to the vaccine.  She'll hear none of it!

So here I am hoping that you and your listeners can enlighten my friend, and all of us on the truth on what a flu shot can and can’t do!  As a parent, why wouldn’t you want to provide your kids with all the protection you can give them?


What Our Listeners Think:

Tina works in the ER and is exposed to the flu all of the time. She never used to get herself or her children vaccinated until someone pointed out that even if she doesn't have symptoms, she is still exposing her children to the germs so they get vaccinated now.

Phyllis and her daughter both get the flu shot every year, she said they haven't had the flu in 7 years.

Becki said: "The flu shot takes one to two weeks to become effective. So if you get sick right after, you were already going to get sick. Also, the CDC picks several stands of the flu that they think is going to be the worst that season and they make a vaccine for it. If you happen to get the flu after that, it's probably a less severe strain than what you could have got."

The one year Sharon wasn't able to get flu shots for her family due to a shortage, her daughter was very sick with H1N1 so she recommends getting the flu shots.

Jennifer also works in the medical field and pointed out that people do not get the flu from the flu shot. If people get the shot and still get sick it is a possibility that they were already sick before getting the shot, or they have a different strain than what was in the flu shot.

Brain says:  It's up to you whether or not you want to get the shots for you and your family.  Personally, my kids get them every year.  Do they still get sick?  Yes, but anything I can do to prevent them from getting the flu is worth it in my eyes.