October means the arrival of fall filled with colorful leaves, carved pumpkins, and one of our favorite holidays: Halloween. On a less fun note, fall is also the season for the arrival of the flu. When we interview prospective nannies in person, we always ask if they have gotten their flu shots. If they haven’t had them, we then ask if they are willing to do so if a family requests or requires it. In our experience, more and more caregivers are willing to get flu shots and there is no shortage of places for them to go to be inoculated. There are, however, still cases of nannies who are nervous about getting any shot. Either they have had bad reactions in the past or they are simply afraid of having a bad reaction.
Here’s what the Mayo Clinic had to say about who shouldn’t get flu shots:
They go on to explain why it is important to be vaccinated every year:
This brings us to our next issue: Who should pay for the shot if the family requires it for the job? It has been our position that if the family requires the shot, then they should offer to pay for it. If someone refuses to get the shot based on religious beliefs, they cannot be required to get the shot. This puts parents in a difficult position since religious beliefs are a protected category under state and federal law. The big take away here is that the issue of flu shots needs to be discussed before a hire is completed, especially if a family is requiring the nanny to have one.