Dear Pharmacy Guy: My husband is getting Social Security, but is he being vaccinated?

My husband is receiving Social Security. We have lived here since 2011. He has been involved in a lot of family activities but none since 2014 when he stopped coaching the girls’ basketball team due to kidney disease. When he first got involved in family activities he had many chicken pox and measles vaccinations, and wanted to have a booster shot at 18. All these vaccines have since expired. I do not think this is uncommon since the children and families we are concerned about are not receiving their vaccinations.

There is one opportunity every year for a child to be vaccinated for a serious disease. I’m assuming that if someone’s booster shot is due for a booster he could get a new booster or the child can be given a new shot as part of his booster. I ask for your guidance. I have asked my husband for permission to tell this to my daughter’s school, but he said no.

Don’t ask if he can be vaccinated as part of his daily regimen of vaccines. I want to set expectations with his family members to find out if they are meeting these goals and would like to see whether he has made them public information. My husband and I are using a secured credit card. Do I need to change the credit card when it expires? Is there a way to lock it out and report it to Experian to protect our credit rating?

You’re in an awkward situation. If you take him to the ER for a checkup after this call, will it make him feel uncomfortable about getting vaccines? Will it also make you feel uncomfortable about expressing concern for him if he is out of the country or in prison? Will they think you’re being spiteful by asking him to get vaccinated or do you think that this is important?

That last one is a key part. It all has to do with your motives and if you think you’re actually going to bring this up in a way that gets your husband off the hook for vaccines, that can lead to trouble. Because, remember, it’s not just about your health, and your husband’s health, and your daughter’s health. It’s also about your daughter’s future health. You want her to have a happy, healthy life, whatever that involves. So if your husband can’t get the vaccines, there’s no way to make the kids at his kids’ school, or who his parents or nieces and nephews have, choose to be vaccinated.

Don’t try to strong-arm your husband into having a vaccination when his family or school can, and likely won’t, follow him. The events of the last few years will have changed his family’s history of vaccines. The next shot won’t start for a few years, and your husband will need to have one of his shots in his first year of Social Security retirement. Then he needs another vaccination before it kicks in. If you try to get him to do it now and his family won’t follow suit, there’s a high chance that, many years from now, his grandchildren will have missed his shot, and then there will be no vaccination protection for those children. That’s something he’ll be very disappointed with and hard on you for not keeping track. But at least you don’t have to worry about his kids’ future health.

One question about you using the credit card or locking out the card: There are places that offer credit cards that have “revenue protection” and payment options for excluded or delayed payment. But the overwhelming majority do not. I hate to tell you, but this is probably not the best idea. You could pull credit reports regularly to see if your husband has more lapses than others, and then open up the card, if necessary. But good luck. If your husband really does like doing this, maybe for me he’ll simply kick him off the card.

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