Life Advice



Ask Amy: Anti-vax mother-in-law worries parents

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My mother-in-law has refused vaccines for years.

My daughter, who is now five, was a micro preemie.

Once she was born, the NICU required a Tdap vaccine and a flu shot for anyone to visit. My MIL was worried her arm would hurt and said she didn't need the shots, claiming she never gets sick. We said it was the hospital's rules, and if she didn't vaccinate, then she would have to wait at least six months for the flu season to pass before seeing our daughter.

I have a heart condition. My daughter has asthma and is prone to pneumonia. She was sick five times this year, once with the flu (Type A). My husband and I were both sick.

Currently both of my parents have COVID-19. I am stressed and a bit panicked.

I tried talking to my MIL. I said that this fall it would mean a lot if she would get the flu shot. She refuses.


I can't even imagine what is going to happen when there is a vaccine for coronavirus. What should I do? Come October when flu season hits, we may very well be in isolation again. My husband and I are planning to tell her that if she refuses the flu shot, she can't come around our family -- and if we let her be with us for Christmas, she will need to wear a mask and avoid physical contact.

I feel like I am being mean, but I couldn't live if something happened to my child. I don't know how to tell her any more plainly that she would be helping us if she gets these vaccines.

-- Anxious Parents

Dear Anxious: You have a lot on your mind right now. Don't borrow issues to worry about that won't come up for several months.


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