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Is Your Nanny Vaccinated?

The subject of vaccinations can be a contentious one and, unfortunately, the available advice is not always easy to navigate or even particularly clear.

Over the past decade or two, many have claimed that the effects of the vaccinations are worse than the illnesses themselves. However, most of the claims are controversial and as yet unproven. Unfortunately, this leaves most parents with a difficult decision to make when deciding whether or not they want to opt into the vaccination program – unless they already have a firm opinion one way or another.

Despite all the controversy, it has become increasingly common over the past few years for employers to request that their nanny or childcare provider has had all the usual vaccinations. There are a few illnesses, which are particularly contagious and can have severe complications in young children. These are most commonly Influenza, Whooping Cough and Measles.

Seasonal Influenza

The flu is rarely severe in healthy adults but it can hospitalise young children and can even cause death in the most extreme cases. Yearly flu vaccinations are advisable for any childcare worker, both to protect themselves, and to protect their charges, from the virus.

Whooping Cough

Whooping cough is highly contagious and affects the respiratory system. It can affect people of all ages but can be very serious indeed, particularly for babies less than a year old. The vaccination is offered to newborn babies and pregnant women due to its virulence. People who regularly work with children are advised to receive the vaccine at least two weeks prior to coming into contact with babies under one-year-old. This time-lapse will allow the vaccine to take effect.

Measles

Probably the most important vaccine as Measles is extremely dangerous and can cause death in unborn babies and children under 5 years old.

Due to the heated debate surrounding the issue, many people are wary of immunising themselves so it’s always best to check in advance if you are in anyway concerned about your potential employee:

  • If it is a particular requirement of yours then it would always be advisable to discuss this in advance of employment. If an agreement is reached always, make sure it is included in the employment contract.
  • Always remember that you have no right to force an existing employee to be vaccinated – termination of a contract based on a nanny’s refusal to vaccinate could be considered wrongful dismissal, particularly if the subject has never been discussed or made plain that it is a requirement.
  • Nannies may lose job opportunities if parents and agencies require their job candidates be vaccinated, therefore, it can be in their best interests to be immunised and many nannies will already be fully vaccinated. However, some people are unable to receive the vaccine due to an allergic reaction to the vaccines or their own personal beliefs.

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