Click here to see the article on LAtimes.com today explaining it's hard for parents to find nannies that have had the H1N1 flu vaccination. Just a portion of the article is sampled below.
Many refuse -- some out of fear -- and that can cause a rift between caregivers and the families that employ them.
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
January 3, 2010
About three months ago, Samantha Slattery approached her nanny about getting the H1N1 flu vaccine. Slattery, 33, of Topanga, had a 5-month-old daughter and 2-year-old son. The baby was too little to be vaccinated, and Slattery wanted to avoid vaccinating her son.
But nanny Blanca Duarte refused. Duarte, 47, said she was afraid the vaccine would make her sick; she had gotten ill after a flu vaccination years before.
"For three weeks I could not work," Duarte said. "After that, I said no more."
She also worried about side effects. She said her teenage daughter had heard rumors at Crenshaw High that the vaccine makes you sterile. And she said her family doctor did not even have the vaccine in stock.
For many parents and caregivers, reaching agreement about flu vaccines has proved impossible, even amid initial fears that the H1N1 pandemic could prove more dangerous than seasonal flu.
New parents are particularly concerned, because babies younger than 6 months -- too young for vaccination -- are considered among those most at risk for serious complications.
This month is a peak hiring season for nannies nationwide as families return from holiday vacations and new mothers go back to work, according to officials from major nanny placement agencies.
Some nannies are trying to get an edge in the tough economy by advertising themselves as having received the H1N1 vaccine. But many others refuse vaccinations, parents and doctors say, because they are concerned about rumored side effects or unable to get access to the vaccine because of shortages.
In recent weeks, online message boards have filled as parents struggle to persuade nannies to be vaccinated, fire nannies who refuse and screen new applicants.
"Ugh! I am so frustrated right now that I could explode," the mother of a premature baby girl wrote on Babycentercommunity.com. "I have been interviewing potential nannies for the past several weeks. I finally found one that I was feeling confident that I would like to hire, I called to get more info for reference check and also I had forgot to ask if they were OK with getting both flu and swine vaccine this year. The response was no."
"I can't make her do it," another parent wrote on Urbanbaby.com. "I offered to pay. If she doesn't want to, she doesn't want to."
Mothers in West Los Angeles and New York City are calling agencies to ask how to broach the subject of vaccination with their nannies, said Claudia Kahn, owner and founder of the Help Company in Santa Monica, which serves families in both Los Angeles and New York.
To read the rest of the article please click here.
Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times
Have you had flu shot? Did the parents ask you to get the flu shot? Did they pay for the flu shot?