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Live webchat with Professor David Salisbury, Dept of Health director of immunisation, Mon, November 2, 1pm

(318 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Oct-09 11:43:35

We're very pleased to have Professor David Salisbury, the Department of Health's director of immunisation, as our guest for a live webchat this Friday, 30 Oct, at 1pm.

Professor Salisbury, who originally trained as a paediatrician, and also works extensively for the World Health Organisation including his role as chairman of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Vaccines, is a timely guest given that the swine flu vaccination
programme is now being rolled out. Pregnant women are one of the first 'at-risk' groups being offered the jab.

There has already been a large amount of discussion about the vaccine, so this is your chance to put your questions, concerns and comments to the government's top vaccines expert.

As usual, if you can't join us on the day, please post your question here and Prof Salisbury will try to answer as many as possible.

ilovesprouts Tue 27-Oct-09 11:54:25

hi my dd is 13 weeks pregnant , will she get offerd the swine flu jab and how safe is it to the unborn child and mother ,as ive heard a lot of bad press about it thanks

Ohhhh... that's going to be a lively chat

what do you think his fave biscuit is?

CMOTdibbler Tue 27-Oct-09 12:22:13

I won't be here, so can I ask:

What are your thoughts on vaccinating boys against HPV ? I know anal and HPV related head and neck cancers are rare, but their outcomes are very poor.

merryberry Tue 27-Oct-09 12:28:06

I take 2 types of immunosupressant drugs for severe rheumatoid arthritis. As well as the swine flu vaccine, I'm advised to also have the seasonal flu and pneumococcal vaccines.

Where can I find any of published data on these vaccines' safety and efficacy for myself and my healthy 'household contact' aka dear husband?

Same question also for safety/efficacy in children. When I look I only find policy interpretations of data. I'd like to read the original science myself.

Many thanks.

mylovelymonster Tue 27-Oct-09 12:29:22

I'd like to know more details about the flu vaccine (swine or seasonal) formulations - have all the traces of mercury (thimerosal?) been removed from vaccines across the board? I wouldn't be worried about attenuated/killed virus component - just other chemicals/preservatives/adjuvants in the formulation & potential toxicities. Any details?

saggarmakersbottomknocker Tue 27-Oct-09 12:37:55

I am a parent of a young person with an underlying health condition. I am concerned about her contracting Swine flu but also have concerns wrt to SF vax. <rock and a hard place frankly>

Is it correct that the vaccines offered in the UK will contain adjuvants which have been rejected by US regulators? As I understand it there is little data as to how adjuvants affect children and young people, particularly those with underlying conditions.

Your comments please?

Frrrightattendant Tue 27-Oct-09 13:03:15

Well done MNHQ, what a catch! smile

Thanks for coming on and answering questions Dr Salisbury. (I've nothing to add that hasn't already been asked.)

AppleMark Tue 27-Oct-09 13:35:42

Dr Salsbury you said on the BBC that a baby could theoretically withstand 1000 vaccines at once.shock
this information is also in the booklet given to new parents, do you stand by this statement.
Would you be willing to prove this theory with the swine flu vaccine perhaps 50 doses in each arm?

Beachcomber Tue 27-Oct-09 13:40:51

Dr Salisbury, why does the government continue to refuse to offer single MMR vaccines despite public demand for them and the well documented (if unconvincingly denied by the government) safety issues with the triple vaccine?

Hellenbach Tue 27-Oct-09 14:06:31

Dr Salisbury. As far as I am aware there have been no trial results yet for the use of swine flu vaccine on pregnant women. Is this correct? If so how can we be reassured that the vaccine is safe?

lomorising Tue 27-Oct-09 14:12:43

am 35 weeks pregnant and live in Scotland so will no doubt be offered the H1N1 vacc very soon. The government website tells us in one sentence that most pregnant women will only get mild, normal seasonal flu symptoms and the next sentence tells us of the horrific complications we are likely to face if we contract the virus. If it is so important and advised that I should take the H1N1 vaccine, which apparently is not that different from the seasonal flu, why have I never been offered a normal seasonal flu jab and yet am being pressured to take the swine flu jab? Which is it - just another seasonal flu or is this virus in fact much more serious? Also, can you answer conclusively that the vaccine will not affect my unborn child 1,2,3... years down the line? If it did would parents receive compensation or would there be a long running battle as with Thalidimide cases from the 50's/60's? And finally if the majority of pregnant women are concerned about the safety of the swine flu vacc on our unborn children, why can't our own immunity to the virus be tested first before receiving the vaccination (as with the teenage BCG skin test and jab)? I hope I have given you the majority of questions pregnant mums really wish answered.

mrsTC Tue 27-Oct-09 14:14:20

Professor Salisbury

I am currently pregnant in my third trimester and, like many pregnant women, am unsure whether to have the swine flu vaccine as it has not been tested on pregnant women.

I understand that the vaccine being offered in the UK, Pandremix, contains an adjuvant which has not been tested on pregnant women. Is it possible to offer pregnant women Celvapan instead which is an unadjuvanted vaccine? I understand other countries are offering this.

In my own mind, I am finding it difficult to justify taking a vaccine when I do not know it is safe and am otherwise healthy with no underlying conditions.

I would be grateful to hear your views.

Many thanks

I have a DD who is 22 weeks old and exclusively breast fed. I am reluctant to give her the Swine 'flu vaccine, but would like to know if she would gain a degree of protection throught breastmilk if I were to recieve the vaccination instead?

Very cool

Is the current h1n1 immunisation campaign in England going to be large enough to benefit the population as a whole ie. will it be enough to slow the spread of h1n1 substantially so that health services are not overwhelmed?

LoveBeingAMummy Tue 27-Oct-09 14:27:27


My DD (18mths) was was said to have swine flu following the online assessement, due to other symptoms we were also advised to call NHS Direct who told me NOT to get the swine flu meds as it was unlikely to be that. I presume that on her records with her doc it will link and say she had the meds even though they were never collected. Does this mean that she will not be able to get the vaccine and does she actually need it?


Takora Tue 27-Oct-09 14:35:25

I have heard from an NHS nurse that there are two vaccines - a European and an American version - and that the American vaccine has been tested far more extensively on pregnant women compared to the European version, which has been more rushed. Can you confirm this at all? If this is the case, how accessible is this American vaccine to pregnant women in the UK?

As a (albeit mild) asthma sufferer in my third trimester, I am very concerned about contracting swine flu and having to take tamiflu (which many countries seem very against using and which comes with its own list of side effects) as I would not be recommended to take Relenza, so I am reluctantly leaning towards taking a vaccine, but I am still quite scared and want to know which is my best possible option.

Thank you very much in advance.

echops Tue 27-Oct-09 14:50:23

In 2003 following flu I suffered from an auto immune reaction which resulted in me having muscle / joint pain for over 2 years. I'm now 21 weeks pregnant and am concerned that the jab could trigger a similar auto immune reaction. Is this possible/likely?

stuffitllllama Tue 27-Oct-09 15:32:37

If the government is so concerned about childhood disease outbreaks, why does it still fail parents who want to give their children separate vaccines -- despite continuing worries about MMR?

How do you sleep at night?

Grendle Tue 27-Oct-09 15:40:38

I am very heavily pregnant, yet may be offered the vaccine before my baby arrives. I am interested in the potential ramifications of me having the vaccine, but then having an unprotected newborn just as the risk of catching it is probably about to increase with wave 2.

My understanding is that pregnant women are being encouraged to have it for their own protection, as the complications can be especially serious in late pregnancy. This is all well and good for me, assuming that I am actually vaccinated and my body has time to mount the necessary response to the vaccine whilst I am still pregnant in order to confer immunity.

BUT, what about my baby? I do understand that by being protected myself I may reduce the risk of the baby catching it in the first place (although it will also be living with one adult and 2 other children who are unvaccinated and may well catch it and pass it on). As I'm so far on now, the period of risk to me is rapidly decreasing, so I'm wondering would my baby get better protection (should it catch swine flu) if I haven't had the vaccine? As I will be breastfeeding exclusively, if my baby catches it then my body should mount some sort of response, particularly if I catch it simultaneously? Would this response be lesser if I have already been vaccinated and thus by being vaccinated I may actually weaken the protential protection for my baby?

Basically I want to know what to know what evidence there is about the likely immune responses in a breastfeeding mother (vaccinated or unvaccinated) with an unprotected baby should the baby catch SF.

Thank you smile.

knitcorner Tue 27-Oct-09 15:51:20

Since the swine-flu panic in July when doctors were told not give tamiflu to pregnant women, what has changed to make swine-flu a more significant danger to them? (so much so that you are prepared to mass-vaccinate an untested drug to that group).

Then all the questions Lomorising raised please.

Plus, if I don't have the vaccine (as I'm 6 months pregnant), can my husband take it so he can care for me should the worse happen?


LeninGhoul Tue 27-Oct-09 16:07:32

Is it true that 25% of the SF cases in critical care are children? If so, this is significantly disproportionate. Will all children be next on the list to be vaccinated?

I'd rather my kids were vaccinated than me (I'll probably be called due to asthma) as I can judge if I'm worsening or developing a complication better for myself than I can for them.

Beachcomber Tue 27-Oct-09 16:14:38

(Not a question as such but just to echo Stuffitllama's sentiments about how the good doctor sleeps at night).

beachedwhalenow Tue 27-Oct-09 16:25:56

The Adjuvant – squalene is worrying pregnant mums and is putting us off having the vaccine.

Other countries which have adjuvant free vaccines are keeping them for pregnant women. The adjuvant free vaccine is considered to be the preferred choice by the W.H.O. then if that’s not available the adjuvant version thus 2nd best!, This does not give us confidence and only adds to our anxiety over having a vaccine whilst pregnant.

*When will we be offered the choice between the two vaccines Celvapan and Pandermix?*

waitingwaiting Tue 27-Oct-09 16:33:03

It appears that Celvapan may offer pregnant women immediate protection from swine flu afterall, as Baxter has submitted a variation to its Celvapan H1N1 vaccine EMEA licence seeking approval for a single dose use of this vaccine.

In which case, surely Celvapan MUST now be the preferred Choice of Vaccine for Pregnant women?

PLEASE CAN YOU GIVE US THE CHOICE???.. PRETTY PLEASE! I will feel so much happier having the Celvapan vaccine.

If this is not possible please be so kind as to explain why.......

stuffitllllama Tue 27-Oct-09 16:37:33

Beach, I'd like to open the book on whether or not we'll get real answers or more lashings of "reassurance".

I will bet my mortgage it'll be more soothing words.

I can hear the conversation now in the Office of Spin: "You've got to do Mumsnet, everyone's doing it now, and the timing's perfect. It's alright, they'll only ask about biscuits and if they want more, there are at least one or two questions we might be able to answer truthfully. Just blither on about those and you can just ignore the others. Just say "perfectly safe for the majority" a LOT and the words "perfectly safe" will be what they remember."

Sigh. Hope he gets a shock.

DorotheaPlentighoul Tue 27-Oct-09 16:45:54

Too true, stuffit.

SquIDGEyeyeballs Tue 27-Oct-09 17:27:42

Dr Salisbury do you think the UK runs the risk of 'vaccine fatigue' as more and more vaccines are promoted?

I feel that this may have a negative effect on the perception of the value of vaccines generally, especially as many of the vaccines are to prevent diseases that affect the minority rather than the majority and are not necessarily life threatening.

EVye Tue 27-Oct-09 17:33:43

Why does the UK not perfom a chicken pox vaccination programme for people who have not had it by their teens?

pofacedandproud Tue 27-Oct-09 17:41:00

Dr Salisbury, some people are worried about Pandemrix as it contains squalene, an adjuvant not licensed in the States. Why is it not safe for Americans but safe for us? Why cannot people get Celvapan if they prefer?

How is prion contamination avoided in the making of these vaccines, particularly the cell cultured ones [Celvapan] Where are the blood products sourced from?


corblimeymadam Tue 27-Oct-09 17:49:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stuffitllllama Tue 27-Oct-09 17:55:29

May I have another?

Professor Elizabeth Miller of the Health Protection Agency has said:

‘Guillain Barre Sundrome has been identified as a condition needing enhanced surveillance when the swine flu vaccines are rolled out. Reporting every case of GBS irrespective of vaccination or disease history is essential for conducting robust epidemiological analyses capable of identifying whether there is an increased risk of GBS in defined time periods after vaccination, or after influenza itself, compared with the background risk."

Is this not an admission that you do not know if this programme will cause more cases of GBS -- and in fact you are using the roll out to find out if it causes more cases of GBS?

I do believe this is the same Elizabeth Miller who has previously acted as an expert witness for GlaxoSmithKline.

edam Tue 27-Oct-09 19:03:34

Prof Salisbury, I'm sure you don't want to get into MMR again, but since you are here... Back in the early days of the controversy, both the Cochrane Collaboration (as it then was) and Drug & Therapeutics Bulletin backed MMR but said the safety studies were not comprehensive and called for more, well-designed research. That means research that is capable of answering the question 'is there a very small sub-set of children who may be susceptible to adverse consequences from this vaccine?'.

Has such research been carried out? Can you cite references in peer-reviewed journals?

Many thanks.

Lauramc Tue 27-Oct-09 19:07:28

Dear Prof Salisbury
I like thousands of other mums to be are extremely concerned over the decision as to whether to accept the swine flu vaccination. The Pandemrix data sheet clearly states that the vaccine has not been tested on pregnant women and there is no data available on its safety - therefore how can you be sure that it is safe?
I realise that the vaccine is very similar to the seasonal flu vaccine but why was this previously not allowed in pregnant women and why is it safe to have a swine flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy whereas I cannot have a seasonal flu vacc until 13 weeks?
The swine flu vaccination also contains Thiomersal, previously banned in any vaccines administered to pregnant women in the united states - how can this then be documented as safe?
If Celvapan is thiomersal free, why can pregnant women not be offered this vaccine instead. I realise that since the ban on thiomersal containing vaccines in the USA, autism rates have remained unchanged, however I hope that you will understand our concerns and be able to offer lucid advice that we are so far yet to receive.
Thank you for you time

stinkypinky Tue 27-Oct-09 19:10:03

Sir, I am a nurse (Scotland). I am also 14 weeks pregnant. At present 30+ clients/staff have been infected, and frankly, I am very worried (also have toddlerin full-time nursery)

I have been told by Occupational Health to see my GP to be vaccinated, and my GP has said they have no idea when this is likely to happen.

It has seriously crossed my mind to 'go sick' until I am vaccinated, as I feel my employer is failing to do everything possible to protect me.

Yes, I know you could catch it anywhere, there are higher risk areas to work in, and my children are no more important than anyone else's, but I am still very frightened, and a mother's instinct is to protect her young.

ReneRusso Tue 27-Oct-09 19:36:19

Will data be collected on any adverse reactions in pregnant women receiving the swine flu vaccine, will this be published, and if so where?

I am pregnant (17 weeks) and so I expect to be offered the vaccine, but I have already had swine flu. However I was not swabbed so this was not confirmed. Assuming it was swine flu, what would be the effect on my immune system of receiving the vaccine? Would my baby have any immunity from my infection in the 1st trimester?

There is very little data available on the safety of adjuvants in pregnancy, so why are pregnant women being offered a vaccine with adjuvants?

Beachcomber Tue 27-Oct-09 19:40:07

Hah Stuffitllllama, I'll bet my mortgage on it too!

Can I have another one as well, an easy one this time.

Do Dr Salisbury and his department think that it is a bit of a coincidence (and shamefully unscientific) that whenever anything negative happens after vaccination it is generally described as 'a coincidence' or due to 'underlying conditions'?

VulpusinaWilfsuit Tue 27-Oct-09 19:45:52

'how do you sleep at night?' shockangry

The man's a public health official. FGS. Be polite. Why do you think he is likely to want to engage with him if you're just rude and hectoring?

VulpusinaWilfsuit Tue 27-Oct-09 19:48:22

with you

coolbeans Tue 27-Oct-09 19:58:16

By VulpusinaWilfsuit on Tue 27-Oct-09
The man's a public health official. FGS. Be polite. Why do you think he is likely to want to engage with him if you're just rude and hectoring?"

My thoughts exactly. I really do hope that 'how do you sleep at night?' isn't indicative of the tone of the webchat from some posters. I'd quite like answers from someone who doesn't feel he's being attacked for daring to be a member of the medical profession.

Anyway, my questions for Professor Salisbury are:

How effective will the new vaccine be? And will two doses of vaccine be required for children? What does the research indicate about how protected children will be from the virus?

Also, if I may, are there any allergies that mean you shouldn&#8217;t get the vaccine?

Thank you.

Beachcomber Tue 27-Oct-09 20:21:22

I thought it was quite a good question actually because in the last six years that I have spent caring for my vaccine damaged child very few days have gone by when I haven't genuinely wondered how the people who are involved in the vaccine programme, at a high level, sleep at night/live with themselves.

There are very sad reasons for why some people feel this way and Dr Salisbury is in a position where it is impossible that he is not aware of those reasons.

Benjistar Tue 27-Oct-09 20:48:26

Questions and comments for submission to Professor David Salisbury;

Information available to pregnant women at the moment is very blurry and in all honesty, I don't think anyone is convinced that they should just go head on and take a vaccine without trying to understand more about it.

Firstly the statistics that are quoted are entirely misleading (and to be brutally honest meaningless);
Pregnant women are 4 times more likely to get complications and 5 times more likely to end up in hospital....

Is this 4 times 0.0001% or is it 4 times 10%? Ditto for ending up in hospital. Without this information it is nearly impossible for intelligent people to assess the risk they are choosing to take by not taking the vaccine.

Furthermore, I think there is a lack of trust in the medical advice as the vaccines clearly have not been tested on any pregnant women.

Reading between the news articles and the various research papers, I have managed to deduce (as a lay person) that we should avoid the vaccines with adjuvants in, but that there is a stronger argument that the Celvapan vaccine (I think this is the adjuvant free vaccine) is the best one to consider going for (after 14 weeks).

The reasons for this are that (from the information I have been able to find out) the adjuvants are the additives that pose the most risk to an unborn baby - they have not been tested and contain additives that could cause mental retardation.

My understanding is that the adjuvant free vaccines are very similar to ordinary flu vaccines that have not shown any issues with pregnant women - ie ordinary flu vaccines have been tested on pregnant women and are OK.

So firstly, what exactly is the percentage probability of complications and ending up in hospital, and secondly, when it comes to understanding the vaccines, have I got my facts straight here? If not please put me right.

Finally, assuming that we end up at the position where the Celvapan (i think this is the name of the adjuvant free vaccine - if not please tell me which one is) is the one I want to take; I have heard that GPs are required to prescribe this for us if it is an anuthorised drug and that PCT committees can sign off on its being given to those who apply (should there be any problems).

Thanks and I look forward to your responses.

mummyzanne Tue 27-Oct-09 20:57:07

why are some people being offered it now and others dec or later??? even though we r all pregnant just usin different doctors???

AppleMark Tue 27-Oct-09 21:23:33

on the recent "Measles is your child safe" campaign a booklet handed our to parents used the term "nutty antivaccinators" to describe those with safety concerns and those who beleive there child has been damage by vaccination. £400,000 of tax payers money was spent on this campaign organised by salisbury. he deserves tough questions and a rough ride, we have the sickest generation of children ever with alergeis ashma diabetes add adhd autism and childhood cancers. but our health officals are more interested in pushing vaccines on us.

mumbot Tue 27-Oct-09 21:32:55

What evidence can you share with us to demonstrate that the adjuvant in Pandremix is safe for pregnant women?

Not the anticipated behaviour of the adjuvant but how Pandremix actually reacts in pregnancy on a large scale population.

whomovedmychocolatecookie Tue 27-Oct-09 22:00:42

For anyone who truly wishes to understand immunity and how vaccines work (and is a bloody insomniac this is a long text) go here and read this

My question is this: In recent trials it was discovered that 30% of the people being tested already had antibodies which acted against swine flu. This was before the trial vaccines were given. Now while it is possible that another form of flu could give rise to antibodies which might fight against swine flu, it's likely at least some of these people had encountered it - perhaps having subclinical symptoms which were not raised with a general practitioner at the time and so remained 'under the radar' as it were.

Given that the govt is not testing extensively for swine flu and that in most it is a mild (if temporarily incapacitating illness) is it not a huge waste of time and resources to be vaccinating everyone. 140 odd deaths from a flu virus is pretty good going (although obviously a tragedy for those who have lost people).

There is no indication this virus has mutated or will mutate and I'd like to know why there is this urgency, other than the need to control the public's feelings of panic and ensure the election goes smoothly?

I'm guessing this question won't be picked but there you go. I asked. At least read it and think about it please. Some of us are losing faith in the medical community to stand up to political pressure to do something (anything it seems) hmm

MonstrousMerryHenry Wed 28-Oct-09 00:50:28

Prof Salisbury, thank you so much for agreeing to take part in this webchat.

MN Towers - you guys get cooler by the minute. Well done.

My questions are:

1) I have heard from several sources that the SF vaccines were developed over a period of months, as opposed to the years normally devoted to developing vaccines. I have heard many reports of medics in this country and others, who have serious doubts about the vaccine for this reason. Why should we feel confident about the safety of a vaccine which has been rushed through?

2) I have heard that if the virus mutates the vaccinations may be useless. Is it also possible that over-vaccination may contribute to the virus mutating, much as the over-prescription of ABs has done?

3) What non-medical action can people take to help protect themselves from swine flu?

stuffitllllama Wed 28-Oct-09 01:53:54

"The man's a public health official. FGS. Be polite."


more later grin

MonstrousMerryHenry Wed 28-Oct-09 02:11:37

I did not know that some people already have immunity to SF. I think pre-vaccination testing is an excellent idea - it would certainly demonstrate a genuine commitment to public health rather than a commitment to pushing vaccines.

stuffitllllama Wed 28-Oct-09 05:09:51

He doesn't want to engage with me, or you, or any of us, and I don't expect him to. This is a public relations exercise, and nobody is going to catch him out, or make him say something he doesn't want to, or extract from him any information which isn't already in the public domain. If there is an announcement, or a reveal, it will have been planned beforehand. So it may look like he's being fresh and open but sadly that won't be the case.

I am tremendously polite, Wilf: I think I'm more polite than you on these boards. But I'm no forelock tugger, and if there's one group of people who should be asked tough questions and put on the spot -- hectored even -- it's public officials in every field.

Coolbeans if you think I'm "attacking" Dr Salisbury for "daring" to be a doctor then you don't know much about how badly many families have been affected by vaccine damage: and how consistently their concerns have been ignored by government representatives once trusted with their children's lives.

tatt Wed 28-Oct-09 05:26:24

Not sure if I can be here - so

Why aren't more adjuvant free vaccines available since these would reduce local reactions in those whose immune system doesn't need adjuvants?

Background to question - I have a daughter who has had anaphylactic reaction to nuts and possibly lentils. They get bad local reactions to vaccines. Last time it took 3 days for their swollen arm to return to normal size. They have refused the cervical cancer vaccine but might have accepted an adjuvant free vaccine.

It is incredibly difficult to get anyone to record a minor vaccine reaction. This doesn't encourage people to vaccinate, it merely makes them think serious reactions are under-reported. Can you please encourage honesty in reporting all adverse events.

Beachcomber Wed 28-Oct-09 07:42:37

I'm going to more questions, I know we are only allowed one, but I'm asking a few and of course would only expect maximum 1 question to be considered.

Dr Salisbury, what do you make of the fact that Baxter, the maker of Celvapan, was responsible for shipping tainted vaccines contaminated with H5N1 avian flu virus to 18 different countries recently and what do you make of the fact that some scientists say the only logical explanation for the genetic make up of the swine flu virus is that it is lab generated and has reached the general population either through error or by intent, possibly by Baxter themselves?

Long question I know but a matter of serious concern to those of us who have family members already damaged by vaccination and who hope to avoid a repeat episode in light of the fact that the problems suffered by our family members are denied and declared coincidences by public health officials.

Many thanks for your consideration of this important wider issue, regardless of which vaccine is offered to the UK public.

Also Dr Salisbury what do you make of the fact that Baxter is currently involved in litigation over its overcharging Medicaid for H1N1 vaccines, can you reassure the UK public that we will not be swindled in the same way either by Baxter or by another manufacturer? Do you think this type of low down unethical behavior affects public confidence in vaccine programmes and reinforces the idea that such programmes with their heavy schedule, including some unnecessary vaccines, are more about money than public health?

Here is a link to the Observer online which raises this dreadful story.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Wed 28-Oct-09 08:04:50

Stuffit, I am indeed pretty rude sometimes. I save it for odious journalists and bigots on the whole. I am no apologist for arrogant medics either, or pharmaceutical companies. But 'how do you sleep at night' is a question to be put to people who actively do bad things.

As opposed to people who's job it is to make the best judgement possible on current scientific knowledge to protect the health of large populations. Even if some people don't accept that position, he's not individually culpable.

cocolepew Wed 28-Oct-09 08:24:57

I work in a Special school in Northern Ireland, the majority of our children were vaccinated last Friday. We are currently on half term and the local news has reported that all teachers and classroom assistants are to be offered it when we return. The majority that I know don't want to have it, including me (I had SF in the summer).

My question is if the children are now protected against it, why would we want to have it? Surely we couldn't pass it on?

I think the reporting of SF deaths is boarding on hysteria, our school had 7 deaths last winter due to colds and respiratory viruses, but this wasn't deemed important within the media. One of our children had SF and the local papers went mad, thankfully the child recovered without any problems.

stuffitllllama Wed 28-Oct-09 08:51:52


So he is only taking orders? I didn't think you were the sort of person who would buy that.

Wilf, I'm afraid there is no way you can convince me that this man and all who work above and below him should not be given a grilling. He is answerable to us.

However, he is not going to get one on Friday, or any time soon.

IndigoMonstA Wed 28-Oct-09 09:06:33

I would like answers to all the question that Lomorising has so eloquently raised.


thedollshouse Wed 28-Oct-09 10:26:49

Professor Salisbury

If the swine flu vaccine is considered safe why are many senior obstetricians having "off the record" conversations with expectant mums advising them not to have the vaccine?

Is the Department of Health crossing all fingers and toes hoping that there will not be any adverse effects in unborn babies or is there scientific proof that the vaccine is indeed safe?

JuliaGulia Wed 28-Oct-09 10:34:24


My midwife has said 'don't go near the vaccine because it's not been tested on pregnant women and you should avoid all medicines during pregnancy' but my obstetrician has said she is being told to recommend it to her patients.

With so much contradiction within the medical profession itself - how are we supposed to know who to believe?

I agree that the government had to take steps to address a possible pandemic of c65,000 dying this year - but now the figure has been reduced to c1000. So are we now just being convinced to have the vaccine because the government has paid for it and doesn't want to be seen to go back on their originial risk assessment of the situation or waste taxpayers money?

I also echo the comments regarding adjuvants in vaccines. My understanding of the ingredients is that this immune booster is used so that more vaccines can be made more cheaply. After finally getting pregnant with twins after 2 miscarriages, how do I know that this immune booster wont result in my body going into hyper immune response mode and then reject my babies?

Unless I'm offered Celvapan, I think I'll just be going without. At least I know the risks of NOT having the jab.

edam Wed 28-Oct-09 10:40:06

if the vaccine contains thiomersal, personally I wouldn't touch it with the proverbial bargepole. Who on earth would think it's a good idea for pregnant women to take mercury into their bodies? Good grief, it's finally been removed from the newborn baby jabs, I can't see ANY reason for introducing it at an even earlier stage!

pofacedandproud Wed 28-Oct-09 10:50:40

Edam thimerosal is still given in anti-D shots for pregnant rhesus negative women, unfortunately. It may be a small amount of thimerosal in the Pandemrix, but still. I am more concerned however, that squalene is used as an adjuvant in Europe in the SF vaccine but not licensed in the States, and would like to know why.

Beachcomber Wed 28-Oct-09 11:28:22

Edam the only reason I can think of for pushing mercury containing vaccines on pregnant women is so cynical that I can hardly bear to put it into words let alone try to formulate a reasonably polite question about it for public health officials.

Epidemiologists are very closely watching what happens in certain populations when mercury is removed from baby jabs. Adding mercury back into the picture via jabs on pregnant women could seriously skew results and allow conclusions to be drawn that would be convenient to a lot of powerful people and organizations.

With regards to squalene how does the DoH reconcile the use of this adjuvant considering that more and more evidence is coming to light (despite yet more denial on the behalf of our government) that it plays a role in the development of Gulf War Syndrome?

edam Wed 28-Oct-09 11:35:30

Interesting, even horrifying, theory, Beachcomber. Suspect it may be more about cost though - DH officials/ministers going for the cheaper option because hey, no-one's ever proved mercury is a problem... hmm

Same as with cervical cancer, all the researchers are convinced they went for the cheap option rather than protect girls against warts too (although DH is being very careful not to release information about the deal they got on pricing).

Beachcomber Wed 28-Oct-09 12:08:49

Horrifying is the word but I can't help myself from wondering about it. The whole mercury in vaccines crap has been so full of dishonesty, arse covering, outright negligence and stupidity that I find myself in a position where I believe there are few limits that are beyond the dubious ethics of public health organizations.

They have shown themselves to be ruthless, lacking in morals, devious and dishonest in the past so why not now?

Effectively if the DoH won't examine mercury damaged children then they are unlikely to find evidence of how mercury damages those children. At least the above allows them to draw the convenient conclusion that there is no evidence that mercury damages children and that they are superheroes for 'removing' it at all.

Beachcomber Wed 28-Oct-09 12:14:46

Forgot to say, if it were really about cost then they wouldn't be buying these swine flu or HPV vaccines in the first place.

Or perhaps public health policy is for Pharma to make shedloads of money but just not, er, too many shedloads of money or something?

I suppose it keeps things simple to concentrate on the bottom line rather than on the health of individuals.

stuffitllllama Wed 28-Oct-09 12:45:15

Beach I have many questions for later.

There is certainly a cosy relationship with GSK here.

It's always money.

AppleMark Wed 28-Oct-09 13:05:25

lots of people are trying to join to ask Salisbury, passing this on from a friend. BTW my child has autism AND bowel desease so guess Were I sit on this on ..

What sort of a world are we living in where the pharmaceutical companies are
now basically running the world. I do not trust the government any more
regarding the safety of vaccines. My son was vaccine damaged by the MMR at
14 months. He is 16 now and still has no language or quality of life. He
has seizures of the most worrying kind and he sleeps for 14 hours a day some
times. I need to drive him to school for a few hours every day as he has no
energy to go to school a full day. There is no way I will have him
administered with this Swine flu jab. Why has Professor Salisbury agreed to
have this jab and other jabs added to the immunization programme. More
money for the pharmaceutical companies and titles for the medical
profession. Shame on you all.


elmotaughtddtousethepotty Wed 28-Oct-09 14:33:16


I'm interested in your advice on two questions:

This one has already been eloquently raised by Grendle & Satansauruswrecks:

If I get vaccinated whilst pregnant, does this mean I am then able to offer protection to my vulnerable newborns through breastfeeding?

And this related question raised similarly by Belgianbun:

I'm 36 weeks pregnant and my GP doesn't yet have their stocks of vaccine, so there's every chance they won't get round to me before i have the babies. Will new mums be offered the vaccine (if they want it) in order to be able to protect very vulnerable newborns through breastfeeding (if indeed the it would do that - see previous question!).


BoredWithWork Wed 28-Oct-09 14:36:42

Professor Salisbury
I am 21 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child and have been asked to attend my doctor's surgery on 9th November for a swine flu vaccination. I am concerned about the adjuvants in the Pandemrix version that is being offered. Although the WHO are about the change their advice on it to say that adjuvants are safe for pregnant women (in July they said that they should not be used), I am still concerned about the unknown long term side effects on my unborn child. What is the government's policy on Celvapan? And can I demand this from my PCT? I would not hesitate to have the Celvapan vaccine if available, whereas I'm edging towards not having Pandemrix. Thank you.

LaTristesse Wed 28-Oct-09 15:05:26

Just to echo the question raised by ReneRusso really -

I was given Relenza when I was 5 weeks pregnant (I am now 20 weeks), although no tests have ever been done to confirm I actually had Swine Flu. Assuming I had, will I have any immunity and will this be passed to my baby?

Bearing in mind I'll be heavily pregnant through the 'most dangerous' winter months, I'd like to know, like everyone else, is there any proof this vaccine is safe for me and my baby. As it stands I won't be going anywhere near it - at least I know the risks associated with flu.

Thank you... x

Igglybuff Wed 28-Oct-09 15:06:51

I have a question. So much has been spent on this vaccine yet it seems little on the "bin it" campaign. Why isn't the government doing more to prevent the spread of swine flu, especially now when they themselves have said cases are increasing at this time of year? I lost count of the number of times people exhibit dirty habits on public transport...

claraquack Wed 28-Oct-09 16:25:18

We are on an overseas posting in the Caribbean, my husband is a Crown Civil Servant. There is probably a lower risk of us catching swine flu here, but should we get immunised anyway to prevent us from getting it in the future? My children are 1 and 4.

4everhopeful Wed 28-Oct-09 20:14:14

Im on my 5th pregnancy & 9wks on friday, Ive had 4 previous MMC within the last 2years, 3 at 9wk + a few days, one at 13wks.

What do you suggest for me? I do not want to do ANYTHING that puts my baby at risk. Im desperate for this pregnancy to work...

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 28-Oct-09 22:04:49

Do you expect the vaccinated generation to require MMR boosters during adulthood?

MummyToucan Wed 28-Oct-09 22:16:48

I would like to ask about the availability of Celvapan for pregnant women. Given that the USA and Australia are giving adjuvant free vaccines to their pregnant women and that previous (now retracted) WHO advice has been to vaccinate pregnant women with non-adjuvanted versions, why are we being told an adjuvanted version is better?
I understand that Celvapan needs 2 doses 3 weeks appart and the DoH has to consider possible non-attendance for the 2nd dose and the increased time for immunity to develop but in reality I think worried pregnant women (like myself) will refuse the GSK adjuvanted version anyway.

stuffitllllama Thu 29-Oct-09 06:53:52

Beach how much of you believes this? I too think there are few lows to which the vaccine industry cannot sink but what you describe is so revolting one baulks even at the thought.

Apart from swine flu, are there any other new vaccines that pregnant women are being encouraged to take? The anti-d must have been around for a while, no?

I am looking for reasons not to entertain the possibility you describe. Can you tell.

I always thought that a long way down the road, when it is in no more vaccines, there would be some admission about thiomersal. But it would be heavily qualified by protestations that it wasn't known at the time, that on the whole, given current medical developments, it was still best for the population, and so on.

However I suppose any unveiling of the real damage effected over the years would I suppose be so tremendously catastrophic. I just don't know.

olivo Thu 29-Oct-09 08:44:58

I just wanted to add my concerns about thiomersal and adjuvants in breast feeding women. I have been offered the vaccination but am concerned as breast feeding my 10 week old, and am unsure about passing on these nasties via my breastmilk. Will me having the vaccination be of any benefit to my bf daughter?

Beachcomber Thu 29-Oct-09 10:33:28

I really don't know stuffitllllama. I don't believe it as such, rather, I can't help myself from thinking it. I mean this more with regards to the US situation than the UK.

There have been many relieved declarations of how taking mercury out of childhood vaccines hasn't affected ASD rates in the US. The first few times I heard these relieved and almost triumphant declarations I didn't think much of it other than they were fools for not waiting until stocks of MCV had been used up before doing their sums. (And how shameful it was that they were just relieved that their vaccine programme was being let off the hook and to hell with the suffering of the sick children).

Then the pressure increased for pregnant women in the US to have regular flu vaccines (mercury containing). Babies and children are expected to have flu jabs in the US despite the withdrawal of the other MCV. It just doesn't make sense.

They have been vaccinating children for YEARS with a vaccine schedule that they know causes chronic health and neurological problems whilst lying about it. What I am suggesting is hardly worse than what they have already done, that is why I think it is within the realms of the possible.

They have dug themselves into a massive hole and there isn't really anyway out.

Just look at the craziness of it all; no single MMR jabs, the refusal to examine, help and acknowledge MMR damaged children, the attempts to discredit people and theories which help MMR damaged children, the dangerous and unproven HPV vaccines, Hep B in the US, the dangers of Men C and HIB by affecting ecosystems, the terrible history of the DTP, this badly tested full of crap swine flu vaccine being pushed on pregnant women....

It would appear that just about anything is possible.

stuffitllllama Thu 29-Oct-09 10:44:32

I can see it. I think at some level people like Salisbury act in good faith. For example, I'm sure he knows about these issues and knows that MMR does cause these problems: mercury too. but despite all that he (plus cohorts) have probably convinced themselves that it's for the overall good of the population anyway. I do know people (well one person) quite high up in the industry who does act in very good faith but at the same time has the most dismissive attitude you can imagine to the parents of damaged children. Still it seems he can conflate those attitudes into a genuine belief he is doing the right thing.

However I also know there are those who, like the tobacco giants, simply don't give a flying fucking fuck.


My DD had the single vaccines against measles and rubella as a baby. However she has not been vaccinated against mumps. She's 8 years old now, why is it important that she has mumps cover? I'm happy for her to have MMR now she's older but still unsure whether mumps is serious enough to do it. Everyone I knew, inc me had mumps as kids. Isn't the risk of becoming sterile very minimal?

Beachcomber Thu 29-Oct-09 11:23:39

ITA stuffit.

There are the ones who can't see further than the end of their noses and the ones who can't see further than their bank balance/position of power/add as applicable.

pofacedandproud Thu 29-Oct-09 11:41:31

Beachcomber WHO have stated categorically that Squalene was not used as an adjuvant in any of the gulf war vaccines. Why it is not licensed in the States though is a question I would like answered.
I don't believe that WHO or Professor Salisbury are in on some huge conspiracy to poison the world. I don't think either that they are deliberately putting thimerosal in jabs for pregnant women to skew the results of taking it out of baby jabs. I do however think it is a product of the disjointed thinking of the public health system where they just don't see the two as part of the same issue. It is a problem.

pofacedandproud Thu 29-Oct-09 11:43:19

I think a lot of the hostile stuff here is just going to alienate Prof Salisbury and enable him not to answer some of the very valid and pertinent questions by dismissing though with valid queries as coming from 'nutty anti-vaccinators'

pofacedandproud Thu 29-Oct-09 11:44:02

by dismissing them

Beachcomber Thu 29-Oct-09 12:00:43

Well pofaced you have your opinion and I have mine.

I don't believe I, or others, are being hostile as we are not directing comments at Dr Salisbury, nor are we expecting him to comment on anything he chooses not to.

Dr Salisbury has chosen to come on our forum and he must take us as he finds us. I am a parent of a vaccine damaged child who has experienced only hostility, denial and dismissal from public health authorities. I have experienced first hand the attitude that my child does not matter, at all, in the least. Not nice.

If he, or others, wish to dismiss valid ideas and concerns by painting the people who express them as nutters or conspiracy theorists then that is one way of dismissing us yet again. If he and others wish us to stop feeling the way they do the first step would be to acknowledge that our children exist and that they matter.

manfrom Thu 29-Oct-09 12:12:34

"They have been vaccinating children for YEARS with a vaccine schedule that they know causes chronic health and neurological problems whilst lying about it."

Your proof please?! I'll accept all double-blind, peer-reviewed clinical trials!

Here's some real statistics for you:

Measles kills.

pofacedandproud Thu 29-Oct-09 12:17:11

Beachcomber I wasn't have a go at you. But the hostility and the idea that Prof Salisbury and others in his field are willingly endangering the public is going to do the cause absolutely no favours. You have some good research and theories at hand. Stick to those and ask some specific scientifically backed questions. I can understand why you feel angry but he isn't going to sit down and read all this stuff, is he, and the general 'aren't they all evil and pharma companies are just one big conspiracy' is just going to deflect away from difficult questions and align us with the David Icke brigade I'm afraid. I mean really, do you think WHO are corrupt too? they are flawed, certainly, but just money making mafia? Please.

BobbingForPeachys Thu 29-Oct-09 12:18:48

Measles does kill manfrom and I am not arguing,but when you have a child who regressed and beleive that is MMR related it is pretty damned ahrd also, so peoplecan at least show empathy if not agreement- at best aprents like me are in a very challenging situation, and to beleive that your decisions caused it, well intentioned or not, is difficult.

I don't have any questions, my decisions are already made and we all have the luxury of having already had SF prior to vaccine introduction, but will read with deep interest.

Beachcomber Thu 29-Oct-09 13:30:59

Pofaced, Stuffit asked me a question and I answered it, I'll accept that we are off topic and having a personal exchange (as happens all the time on MN).

Do me a favour though and try not to paint me as a conspiracy theorist and attribute ideas about 'evil', 'mafia' and the WHO to me that I have never expressed please.

Ok, to get back on track and ask questions to Dr Salisbury, here are two which are very important to a lot of people at the moment.

Dr Salisbury, many parents have been asking for many years that a comprehensive analysis be done to compare the overall health outcomes of vaccinated and non vaccinated children. (Obviously it would be unethical to withhold vaccines in order to achieve this but there is a large enough group of non vaccinated by choice individuals who could be studied). Are you aware of any plans to conduct such a study and if not could you please outline why not when it is clear that such a study is long overdue in the light of the fact that the vaccine schedule, as a whole, as never been tested for safety?

Dr Salisbury, I have read many times that only around 10% of adverse vaccine reactions are reported. Thereby it is my understanding that the current safety statistics are 90% inaccurate. Are you aware of any plans to rectify this concerning situation and to change the system from a passive one to an active follow up one which would reassure the public that vaccine damage is seriously monitored and dealt with?

Many thanks.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Thu 29-Oct-09 13:40:32

Here's what I predict is going to happen though, beachcomber. You are going to keep asking a million questions that you think are the right ones. Salisbury won't possibly be able to answer them all. He will give you one or two responses and refer you to the scientific research he must use as his bread and butter. Which you will reject, because you already know what he is going to say. When he refuses to answer any more of your questions, you will be cross and assume he has something to hide. Which will then confirm your existing view of the DoH vaccination programme.

So I'm wondering what you're hoping to achieve by flouting the webchate guidelines that MNHQ set up for exactly this kind of eventuality, in order to continue to secure high profile guests so that everyone can have a chance to question them.

stuffitllllama Thu 29-Oct-09 14:05:01

Pofaced I think I understand you. I felt rather cross when about a month ago a lot of new posters came on MN and started TALKING IN CAPITALS about how PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES are trying to control the population and KILL US ALL. I think you feel that way now (correct me if I'm wrong).

But this is not like that. Neither I nor Beachcomber (excuse me if I speak for you BC) has the time or interest to search or even look at conspiracy theory websites. I avoid them like the plague, in fact: and to my certain knowledge on mn Beachcomber has only ever linked and referred to Pubmed pages and sound research. When this research leads you to think: how in the hell is this sanctioned? And what on God's earth motivates it? -- well so be it. Some questions and research do lead you to some very unpleasant places: as does following medical advice on occasion.

David Salisbury will read that part and will ignore, no doubt: tomorrow he may make reference to "understandably emotional" parents of "children they believe to be damaged by vaccines" or some such carefully worded comment.

I don't think anyone should worry that he is going to be put off answering certain questions. He will say what he was going to say anyway. All the questions will be looked at, and a number will be selected to allow him to wheel out the usual reassurances.

Beach's questions ARE the right ones. All the evidence points to the conclusion that a great deal more honest and independent research is needed into the adverse effects of the vaccination programme. Is this going to be done?

Excuse me if I second guess the good doctor, but no, it's not.

stuffitllllama Thu 29-Oct-09 14:08:07

And if anybody thinks my posts are inappropriate, or against the rules, or heavens to betsy disrespectful, they can report them sure enough and leave Towers to decide whether to take them out.

Beachcomber Thu 29-Oct-09 14:08:36

Don't worry I won't be around tomorrow to get cross, confirm views of anything, mind if Dr Salisbury chooses to answer questions other than mine or whatever.

I don't have any more questions anyway. Didn't realize was flouting rules, I thought we were only allowed one question on the actual live webchat didn't realize that we can't ask more than one on the preparation thread. Haven't participated in one before. Sorry MNHQ if have asked more questions than meant to on this thread.

Beachcomber Thu 29-Oct-09 14:12:26

X posts with stuffit.

Yes, you may speak for me stuffit smile.

(and thanks)

stuffitllllama Thu 29-Oct-09 14:16:13

I hope you have a nice day without steam coming out of your ears Beach.

I will try to be here but it's a funny time for me. But my expectations are low anyway -- no surprise there.


pofacedandproud Thu 29-Oct-09 14:28:14

I don't want to upset either you or stuffit BC. i'm not saying you don't have good arguments, I'm just saying whatever is said has to be very carefully put otherwise it is easier to dismiss. smile

MGMidget Thu 29-Oct-09 14:50:56

My son falls into a high priority cateogory for vaccination but he is allergic to egg. His allergy clinic have told us he should have Celvapan not Pandremix but our GP's practice say they are only getting Pandremix. Can he get the Celvapan vaccine somewhere else?

2010Dad Thu 29-Oct-09 16:34:43

Dr Salisbury,

I am sure you are aware that the World Health Organisation recommends Celvapan for the vaccination of pregnant women, not Pandremix which contains an adjuvant and could be harmful to the fetus.

My wife is 15 weeks pregnant and we wish for her to be protected from the H1N1 virus.

Other countries have set aside the non-adjuvant vaccine especially for pregnant women. Can you ensure that you will do the same?

It is clear from the lengthy discussions on this forum that if you don't make Celvapan available, the majority of pregnant women will opt out of the vaccine and go unprotected and therefore risking the lives of both themselves and their unborn.


pofacedandproud Thu 29-Oct-09 17:03:00

2010Dad apparently WHO have amended their advice on Pandemrix and pregnant women. But agree they should be able to get Celvapan.

mumsrbest Thu 29-Oct-09 17:31:21

I am type 2 diabetic. Do you think I should have the swine flu vaccine. I am a grandma of 63 years.

stuffitllllama Thu 29-Oct-09 18:52:30

Not upset Pofaced smile (but I still think he needs to be griddled)

Thingiebob Thu 29-Oct-09 20:55:50

Is there any truth that it is possible for the vaccine to launch a harmful immune system response in some individuals?

As a sarcoidosis sufferer in the last trimester of pregnancy, I am uncertain as to whether I should definitely have the vaccine as I am in a 'high risk' category due to lung involvement, or if I am in more danger of having it and my immune system flaring up dangerously. None of my doctors can answer this question.

I should imagine this is a concern for all those women who have a history of autoimmune disease.

Tigerlady Thu 29-Oct-09 21:19:33

I am 7 weeks pregnant and have asthma. I imagine that puts me at high risk for swine flu, and therefore high priority for the vaccine. What i'd like to know is, can you guarantee no harm will come to my baby if I get the vaccination? That there will be no long or even short term damage?

Tigerlady Thu 29-Oct-09 21:38:26

I'm sorry, I just have one other thing to say to all the mumsnetters: how many of you had your children vaccinated as babies without a second thought to what was being pumped into them by the potentially detrimental bucket load - chemicals and poisons such as can be found in the swine flu vaccine - and yet you're now questioning this vaccine? I think you'll find that most of the harm has already been done.

tinks77 Fri 30-Oct-09 01:04:15

I have a 22month old child whom i have chosen not to give the MMR vaccine to until he is around 2and a half/3. I am concerned regarding some research that has shown occassionally part of the vaccine remains in the bowel and can be the cause of autism.As I understand it, autism is usually picked up around the age of 2 and it is for this reason i am postponing the vaccine so that any autisic tendencies after the vaccine can be linked to the vaccine. I am also hugely dissapointed that these vaccines are not available seperatley on the NHS.
many thanks for your time

stuffitllllama Fri 30-Oct-09 02:11:29

Hello and sorry all and do ignore everyone except Beach. Wrt to yesterday's conversation I find the thought almost unentertainable.

I think it's enough to remember that when the figures come out "showing" that the removal of mercury had no effect, they won't really show anything of the sort because it will have been given to pregnant women instead. At least we can know that, whatever the reasoning behind it.

cocothefrog Fri 30-Oct-09 07:24:37


The UK Government is going against the rest of the world and the WHO recommendation by giving Pandremrix instead of Celvapan to pregnant women.

It is not even possible to get Celvapan on private prescription.

Is it all about money again? I can't think of another reason.

Even my GP says that she can't guarantee that Pandremrix is 100% safe for my unborn baby.


Beachcomber Fri 30-Oct-09 08:15:18

(Stuffitllllama, I agree. Like I said I don't think it as such but the idea just popped in my head after reading a few things. As you say it doesn't bear thinking about. It will be interesting to see what reactions there will be if the flu shots come up with regards to future epidemiology and how transparent the debate is and whether it is clearly stated that MC flu vaccines must be factored in.)

waitingwaiting Fri 30-Oct-09 08:49:23

Hi... below are similar various concerns which other pregnant women have raised on the forum site. Please can you confirm whether or not their concerns are correct:

What concerns me the most is the use of adjuvants in Pandremix which boosts the effectiveness of the drug. The risk with this ingredient is that it promotes the body to fight all foreign bodies in the blood. Fine for a normal person but whilst pregnant, your immune system is surpressed specifically to support your unborn child.

The risk of hyper immune response has been raised which means that your body could go into overdrive and attack/reject your baby.

Its not the thermisal in the preg woman vaccine i'm concerned about its the adjuvant which can make your immune system overact and cause pre-emclampsia !!! shock

I have an auto-immune condition which is made better by pregnancy. If I were to have the Pandemix and it boosts my immune system would it cause a flare of my underlying medical condition? hmm

I think also that Celvapan would encourage more pregnant women to be vaccinated. I know that supplies are not as great as Pandremix however when will this situation change and what is being done to make it change. Will pregnant women evantually be offered Celvanpan and within what time scale.

Many thanks for taking the time to come and chat to us all.

chocolatecheesecake Fri 30-Oct-09 09:03:50

Dr Salisbury

Thank you for agreeing to this webchat! I would like to echo previous posts in asking:

1. Why Pandremix and not Celvepan?
2. Is it worth me being vaccinated when I am 32 weeks pregnant, haven't yet heard anything from my GP, so am unlikely to get the vaccine (should I take it) until I am almost due.

I appreciate you won't be able to answer all the questions posted in the time available, but if you/ DH could provide answers subsequently to all the questions it would be very much appreciated.

sphil Fri 30-Oct-09 09:06:04

I would also like to know the answer to Mylovelymonster's question about thimerosal. As the mother of an autistic child with asthma and many allergies I am in a complete dilemma about whether to give him the swine flu vaccination. I would also like to ask whether the vaccine is suitable for those who are allergic to eggs?
Thank you.

DrDavidSalisbury Fri 30-Oct-09 12:17:33


difficultdecision Fri 30-Oct-09 12:21:40

Dr Salisbury,

A request rather than a question as most of the questions have been asked already above but PLEASE don't say ask your GP about the swine flu vaccine - We're not getting anymore information than the general public, we have no idea when we are likely to get any supplies of either vaccine, if we get the 500 first promised of pandremix that is not even enough to do the first priority group in our practice so we can't offer it to the second group (pregnant women) yet anyway and we are getting calls all day asking when people can have the vaccine that the media says is available at GP practices from 26/10/09 and we don't know because no practices we know (we are in london) has got any yet!


EldonAve Fri 30-Oct-09 12:27:39

What percentage of pregnant women require hospital treatment for seasonal flu?

What percentage of pregnant women require hospital treatment for swine flu?

pugsandseals Fri 30-Oct-09 12:29:40

Dr Salisbury,

Why is it so difficult to find out what is in a vaccine offered to our children?
I have been told by GP's that it shouldn't matter, as if the child has an allergic reaction this can be treated!
As parents we would like to be told very clearly what we are injecting into our children and given the freedom to choose what is best for the individual.
Are we likely to ever get the information we would like? (including what a viccine is cultured on)

pofacedandproud Fri 30-Oct-09 12:57:26

sphil Pandemrix is not suitable for those with egg allergies. Celvapan is. If you can get it.

JustScreamMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 30-Oct-09 13:02:57

Hi all, David Salisbury is ensconced in front of his screen and ready to go. So without further ado, over to him.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 30-Oct-09 13:03:03

Here is the WHO web update on recommendations of the SAGE (Strategic Group of Experts on immunisation) concerning pandemic 2009 vaccines. Published today.

Upsydaisy83 Fri 30-Oct-09 13:03:16

Dr Salisbury

My sister lives in USA and anyone who thinks they have swine flu there gets swabbed to have it confirmed. Why is this not the case here, instead its all online or phone diagnosis so media saying cases are rising how would they know there only going by online and phone diagnosis !

DrDavidSalisbury Fri 30-Oct-09 13:04:14

Hello thank you for inviting me along to this webchat, I am very pleased to be here. There is a wide range of interesting questions and I'm really impressed by the care that people have taken regarding these issues. It is unlikely that I will be able to get through all of them in the time that we have. Where I can I will answer similar questions together, and I will come back to Mumsnet with responses to other queries next week.

I am really looking forward to reading your answers. I've been quite excited about this webchat!

pofacedandproud Fri 30-Oct-09 13:05:55

Yes I am concerned SF is not being tracked appropriately. Every time my children have a high fever it is diagnosed by GP as SF. Is it possible hat SF is more severe but [at moment] not as widespread as thought? Otherwise we've had it here about 3 times so far.

Grendle Fri 30-Oct-09 13:05:56

Hello & welcome smile

I am very heavily pregnant, yet may be offered the vaccine before my baby arrives. I am interested in the potential ramifications of me having the vaccine, but then having an unprotected newborn just as the risk of catching it is probably about to increase with wave 2.

My understanding is that pregnant women are being encouraged to have it for their own protection, as the complications can be especially serious in late pregnancy. This is all well and good for me, assuming that I am actually vaccinated and my body has time to mount the necessary response to the vaccine whilst I am still pregnant in order to confer immunity.

BUT, what about my baby? I do understand that by being protected myself I may reduce the risk of the baby catching it in the first place (although it will also be living with one adult and 2 other children who are unvaccinated and may well catch it and pass it on). As I'm so far on now, the period of risk to me is rapidly decreasing, so I'm wondering would my baby get better protection (should it catch swine flu) if I haven't had the vaccine? As I will be breastfeeding exclusively, if my baby catches it then my body should mount some sort of response, particularly if I catch it simultaneously? Would this response be lesser if I have already been vaccinated and thus by being vaccinated I may actually weaken the potential protection for my baby?

Basically I want to know what to know what evidence there is about the likely immune responses in a breastfeeding mother (vaccinated or unvaccinated) with an unprotected baby should the baby catch SF.

Thank you smile.

waitingwaiting Fri 30-Oct-09 13:06:13

Hello and welcome!
I guess you are going to be going through the questions already posted, so I'll sit here waiting to hear from you!

pofacedandproud Fri 30-Oct-09 13:06:53

And welcome!

JustScreamMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 30-Oct-09 13:10:27

Slight tech hitch - David Salisbury's computer has crashed just as he was hitting post - so bear with us!

VulpusinaWilfsuit Fri 30-Oct-09 13:10:29

Thanks for coming to MN.

I'd like to know what the position is (if any) for young children with 'as yet not formally diagnosed' asthma, and the SF vaccine. My 5 year old is in this position. I am not yet sure whether I want him to have it or not, but we are in limbo, as the GP is not yet prepared to formally provide a diagnosis. From my experience on MN this is the case for many people with persistent cough/wheeze etc.

My son is on the steroid prevented inhaler (Beclamethazone? 50mg x 2 pd) but we have just been told to 'wait and see' regarding his symptoms.

I am unsure whether - if he has asthma - to push for the vaccine (and whether he is entitled to have it in the first wave of 'vulnerable' people); or to assume he does not, and perhaps put him at further risk.


JustScreamMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 30-Oct-09 13:11:42

Ps for clarification David Salisbury is not at MN Towers - so we can't blame BigTech (for once) (or Gerry)

oh no!!! computers are so frustrating.

LoveBeingAMummy Fri 30-Oct-09 13:12:26

[love the name justscream] wink

Starry14 Fri 30-Oct-09 13:13:05

Dear Dr. Salisbury,

I'm 24 weeks pregnant and healthy and I am in two minds about getting the SF jab. However I live and work in London and have a long commute on packed trains and tubes everyday. I feel I ought to have the jab more because of the other people around me passing on the virus than me catching it because I am run down.
Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Tigerlady Fri 30-Oct-09 13:15:30

pugsandseals, you can find out all the information you need on the internet. There are loads of websites telling the TRUTH about what's in vaccines, and the number is growing as more and more people begin to realise what they're really putting in to their children each time they vaccinate them. Here are a few that i have read that you may like to look at: ght-to-choose/
It's an impossible and frightening decision for parents and one I battle with every day.
Good luck.

JustScreamMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 30-Oct-09 13:15:45

Update on David Salisbury's computer - they are having server issues at the Dept of Health. They are trying very hard to fix it!

pofacedandproud Fri 30-Oct-09 13:16:48

well it is a bit of a luxury googling vaccine ingredients when life threatening childhood diseases are no longer rife.

LoveBeingAMummy Fri 30-Oct-09 13:16:56

Hope its not a virus......well i thought it was funny smile

Starry14 Fri 30-Oct-09 13:17:33

Who is currently online, pregnant and had the jab?
How did you feel?

stuffitllllama Fri 30-Oct-09 13:17:47


AppleMark Fri 30-Oct-09 13:17:47

Dr Salsbury
Do you think the Hannah poing case in the US , where a child recieved 5 vaccines in one day and regressed into an autistic like illness (and recieved compensation for her injuries) has any relevance on UK vaccination policy.

in july 1988 (as a member the JVCI) you introduced the Trivirix MMR into the UK.
why did it take 3 years for this to be withdrawn from the UK, and why weren't concerns over its safety ever discussed at the JVCI meetings ?
Trivirix MMR was the cheapest option, have the DOH chosen the cheapest swin flu vaccine and does this impact its risk/benifit model ?

pugsandseals Fri 30-Oct-09 13:18:11

I agree Tiger lily, but different brands are cultured on different things and this information is not provided!


pofacedandproud Fri 30-Oct-09 13:19:33

Not to say vaccine ingredients should not be made safer, they should, and there is a lot of complacency involved and not much accountability, but still, they are genuinely trying to do the best thing for public health.

AppleMark Fri 30-Oct-09 13:22:09

I will be less sceptical wen medicine expains the 1 in 40 boys with ASD and why every other child has a peanut allergy or an inhaler.

Campaspe Fri 30-Oct-09 13:22:24

Could I please raise a question?

My DD is 3 next month. We have been invited to participate in a trial of the swine flu vaccine at Bristol Children's Hospital. Would you recommend that we do this? Which is greater: the risks from the trial, or the risk from the vaccine?

Thank you

Thats how I see it too Pofaced. You know I think it is such a luxury that here in the developed world we can have these debates about vaccines, yet in other parts of the world, they would give anything to be able to protect their children like we can. h1n1 Flu is going to be a huge killer in those parts of the world.

waitingwaiting Fri 30-Oct-09 13:24:11

Mercury – Tiomersal – Do we need to worry? If not why not? Postings by other mumsnet ladies below on a discussion forum seem to offer some reassurance but are they correct?

hmmPandemrix contains 5 micrograms of Tiomersal which in turn contains 2.5mcg of mercury. The mercury is to prevent bacteria forming in the multidose vials. Single does vaccines don't contain mercury but they take a lot longer to produce. This vaccines was needed fast so it has been produced in batches.

hmm It's a tiny, tiny dose. The average pregnant women ingests more mercury than this weekly through food. A 10 stone woman on average consumes 6 micrograms of mercury a week in her diet. In addition, the form of mercury used in the injected vaccine is flushed out by the body much more easily and rapidly than the mercury form which occurs in food.

hmm It's not the mercury you need to worry about - see esp midnightsun's links on how much mercury is in the vaccine and how it compares with one week's ration of fresh tuna, and the fact that it's the same as used in the 28wk anti-D injection and you should be very reassured.


Tigerlady Fri 30-Oct-09 13:25:51

I can answer that for you, Campaspe. NO! Both are very high risk and you shouldn't have been asked to put your child in that position.

AppleMark Fri 30-Oct-09 13:27:22

why has it been withdrwn from animal vaccines then ?

LovelyDear Fri 30-Oct-09 13:29:48

I too would like to know why girls are not offered a chicken pox vaccination before adolescence, if they have not already had the virus.

JustScreamMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 30-Oct-09 13:30:52

Latest news... Department of Health server not looking good - apparently there are 4 Techs on the case but all scratching their heads.

Plan is to give it another 10 minutes and if no luck in fixing it, we'll move the chat to next Monday lunchtime and if so Professor Salisbury has said he'll come to Mumsnet Towers.

Many apologies to everyone who's here and itching to chat.
(BigTech looking v smug)

LoveBeingAMummy Fri 30-Oct-09 13:30:53

Maybe this should be re-scheduled?

Well, of course if you rather we had just a fraction of the flu jabs available, then yes of course they could have left thimerosal out.
You know, pandemic flu doesnt hang around for us to get an ideal solution out. Its not like companies have been hanging around creating the vaccine slowly, they have been working flat out to get as much out as possible.

waitingwaiting Fri 30-Oct-09 13:31:04

applemark.... has it thats interesting? Personally, I would prefer not to have any murcury at all, expecially as I have already had some amalgam fillings removed in this pregnancy! maybe Dr Salisbury can shed some light on this.......

LoveBeingAMummy Fri 30-Oct-09 13:31:50


<careful tech you know whats happens on monday if you're too smug>

VulpusinaWilfsuit Fri 30-Oct-09 13:32:22

Not sure BigTech can get away with smug for too long today though, huh, Justine?

awwww I'm busy monday. Put aside the time to enjoy this today. <pouts>

LoveBeingAMummy Fri 30-Oct-09 13:32:38

y waitingwaiting Fri 30-Oct-09 13:31:04
applemark.... has it thats interesting? Personally, I would prefer not to have any murcury at all, expecially as I have already had some amalgam fillings removed in this pregnancy! maybe Dr Salisbury can shed some light on this.......

I thought taking thme out was more dangous?

Tigerlady Fri 30-Oct-09 13:32:38

Ohyoubadbadkitten, that's all the more reason to give the vaccine to the third world countries who don't have the sanitation and health to help them like we do. We Westerners can survive without the vaccination purely because we drink clean water and eat healthily (well, most of us!)

VulpusinaWilfsuit Fri 30-Oct-09 13:34:56

Right tigerlady, so you're happy with what you consider a risk for all those poor Third World-ers but not your PFB? hmm That sounds like a well-thought through position.

waitingwaiting Fri 30-Oct-09 13:35:09

LoveBeingAMummy .....taking out the fillings?? I didnt have an option, they were under a crown which had gone bad and I incredible tooth ache!! yes, you should leave the fillings well alone... if you can!

You know, in some ways, I would rather see the vaccine go to the third world first. But at the same time, we had a really bad time with dds asthma and a virus recently. Knowing that this strain is particularly hard on asthmatics (with a relatively high proportion of people contracting it developing pneumonia) then selfishly I'd rather like her to have it asap.

JustScreamMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 30-Oct-09 13:38:09

Ok am so sorry guys but we're going to have to reschedule to Monday lunchtime. We'll confirm time as soon as we can.

Tigerlady Fri 30-Oct-09 13:39:09

VulpusinaWilfsuit, I think you'll find the things that are worrying westerners about what's in vaccines are not high on people in the Third world's list of priorities... most of them are lucky to reach their 10th birthday! They live day to day, because that's all they can do, so not dying from flu today is more important than whether they get asthma or cancer in 10 or 20 + years time!

thank you for trying so hard. (please can you make it at 12, that would be ever so kind (hastily reschedules diary))

Tigerlady Fri 30-Oct-09 13:40:55

FYI, I have asthma and am 7 weeks pregnant BUT I won't be having the vaccine.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Fri 30-Oct-09 13:41:23

I completely understand that tigerlady. I still don't think it's an ethical position, if you seriously think there is an additional healthrisk.

waitingwaiting Fri 30-Oct-09 13:43:24

oh dear, never mind....

pofacedandproud Fri 30-Oct-09 13:44:15

Bummer about Prof Salisbury. TigerLady, I am very keen that vaccines should be made safer and there should be more accountability in the industry, but really, saying we'd all be ok with clean water and sanitation and no vaccination is middle class rubbish.

tatt Fri 30-Oct-09 13:44:43

shame - I'd been hoping to catch the end.

Lots of people are asking about adjuvants and also about whether immunity in the mother will be passed to babies if they breastfeed. So PLEASE can we have some reply to both issues?

Grendle Fri 30-Oct-09 13:45:11

sad Get well soon DH computers!

stuffitllllama Fri 30-Oct-09 14:07:22

It's not really middle class rubbish. Clean water alone would clear up at least sixty to seventy per cent of the developing world's health issues. At least. A conversational figure given to me by a pharmaceutical head honcho. Sanitation played an enormous role in reducing infectious disease over the last 150 years, and (along with improved nutrition) in reducing morbidity and hence mortality.

FullMooniMarmite Fri 30-Oct-09 14:36:06

Stufitllllama and Tigerlily
I agree that sanitation and related issues make the biggest difference to morbidity and mortality in developing countries. This does not, however, justify carrying out clinical trials in these countries on the basis that they need a vaccine more than we do despite the risks involved.

Wherever a clinical trial is carried out it must be a well controlled study and all participants must be informed of and understand the risks involved and be able to give their informed consent.

Your assertion that Campaspe should not have been put in that position does not take into account the fact that it is a choice as to whether a clinical trial is entered into or not.

agylondon Fri 30-Oct-09 14:52:42

Has the vaccine been tested on pregnant women who have now given birth?

FullMooniMarmite Fri 30-Oct-09 14:59:46

There were women who participated in the clinical trials who became pregnant during the trial period.

Tigerlady Fri 30-Oct-09 17:01:32

There was no mention of carrying out clinical trials in third world countries, I'm not sure where you got that idea. We weren't discussing trials we were discussing administering the vaccine to the masses and who would benefit most.

pofacedandproud Fri 30-Oct-09 17:24:02

sanitation is of course extremely important. But even in the UK if there were no polio vaccination, polio would again return. An awful lot of untreated sewage is still released into the sea in the UK, and if polio were once again circulating children who swam in the sea would run the risk of becoming paralysed or dying. You just cannot get around that. And in the face of a measles epidemic, I think many who question vaccines now may change their minds pretty rapidly if they saw that even one child had died [and not only immuno-compromised children die in epidemics in the Western world]

It is criminal though that single vaccines are not offered on the NHS and that there is so much complacency about vaccine safety.

Tigerlady Fri 30-Oct-09 18:36:02

If anyone's interested, there are some recent articles on the swine flu vaccine from an American doctor (I know, but they seem to be slightly more on the ball in this case than any of the Brits). Ignore the ranting american voice on the videos (it's enough to put anyone off), just read what's written underneath... if you want to, no pressure!

FullMooniMarmite Fri 30-Oct-09 22:10:39

Sorry Tigerlady perhaps I misunderstood, I thought you were responding to the comment about Campaspe's child being offered to take part in a clinical trial. Your first comment was that it would be a risky trial and that Campaspe should not have been put in that position. I think I must have extrapolated that your next comment about administering the vaccine to developing world populations meant as part of a clinical trial.

I understand what you mean about immediate survival being a more immediate need but I do still stand by my point that I don't believe it appropriate to consider it unethical to carry out a trial in one population but fine to administer (as part of a trial or not) to another.

sophable Fri 30-Oct-09 22:17:59

Beachcomber. Well done for posting your question. You are on a hiding to nothing as you well know.

Prof Salisbury, I would be very happy for my ds to be part of the unvaccinated cohort should you be willing to commission the research.

How can you claim that the vaccination schedule is not harmful when the health of unvaccinated children has never been examined in comparison to their vaccinated peers?

Pixel Fri 30-Oct-09 22:54:06

Aren't our girls in effect being used in a 'trial' of sorts for the HPV vaccine? As I understand it, it wasn't tested on anyone under the age of 15 before it was given to 12 year olds en masse. There is a world of difference between the body of a pre-pubescent child (as most 12 year olds still are, certainly my dd is) and that of a 15 year old, IMO. Their bodies go through huge changes in those few years. Why is it safe to assume the vaccine will affect them in the same way?

Beachcomber Sat 31-Oct-09 01:24:33

Thank you sophable.

I too would be happy for my children to take part in a vaccinated/unvaccinated study. I have one vaccinated child and one unvaccinated.

I reckon it would be easy enough to find the numbers required to carry out this long overdue research.

NiceMama Sat 31-Oct-09 15:58:50

Swine flu jab - has everyone forgotten thalidimide?

LifeOfKate Sat 31-Oct-09 16:47:48

Ooh, was disappointed that I would miss this on Friday, but am now on ML, so can join in on Monday

My question is: I am approaching 37 weeks pregnant, and haven't been invited to GPs yet for a vaccination. Would you consider it 'worth it' at this late stage? Would I be offered it after the birth if I had not received it in pregnancy?

gandababies Sun 01-Nov-09 11:19:59


My family currently seem to have swine flu and we were prescribed tamiflu. However we were not tested. My eldest daughter and I are likely to be offered the vacination, should we have it?


Iggi999 Sun 01-Nov-09 13:39:02

My question would be:
I am not pregnant, but will be trying to conceive from December. Once pregnant I would be a priority for the vaccine - am I able to have this before I get pregnant, to prevent any potential risk to the foetus?

ruthie48 Sun 01-Nov-09 14:57:40

I am a front line health worker but I shan,t be having swine vaccination. I have read the literature!

ruthie48 Sun 01-Nov-09 15:17:22

My father was a GP when we had the measles epidemic. he didn't want to go through that again and neither do I as an RGN! MMR without hesitation!

Rebecca41 Sun 01-Nov-09 20:17:00

I am breastfeeding, and I'm a GP so I'll be offered the vaccination. I want to be vaccinated, but is the vaccine safe with breastfeeding?

so what time is the web chat going to be?

lol!!!! just noticed the header has changed.
1pm eh.

maria1212 Sun 01-Nov-09 22:21:50

How long has the GSK adjuvant AS03 been used in vaccines, and has it been approved previously for use in pregnant women in any other vaccine?

Whilst not jumping on the doomsday band-waggon which would have us think that all those vaccinated with Pandemrix will either develope an autoimmune disease or dammage their unborn child; I am however a little concerned that the Government mantra of 'The vaccine is safe' seems to contradict the opinions of several other governments which refuse to license its use in pregnant women.

AppleMark Sun 01-Nov-09 22:38:34

Polio is being caused by the vaccine in Nigeria this year , double the number of children have been paralysed and its the vaccine strain from the live oral vaccine that's mutating.

sillylily Mon 02-Nov-09 10:07:23

My daughter has various health problems and also egg-allergy. She has been offered an appointment for the GSK swine flu vaccine in hospital in a couple of weeks time but Celvapan via the GP would be a lot easier. I'm anxious to get her vaccination as soon as possible - how long will it be before GPs get supplies of Celvapan?

ColetteJ Mon 02-Nov-09 10:12:02

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to join the live webchat. I’m hoping this will be covered at some point…. As this information would help me put the risk of swine flu into perspective.

Every year around 4000 babies in the UK are stillborn and about the same number die soon after birth, often the cause of these deaths are not known*. This is a risk every one of us takes (whether we acknowledge it or not) when we chose to have a baby. We take this risk because life must go on, and because in reality whilst this number is very scary it is still a small percentage of the 600,000+ babies born in the UK each year. We can’t vaccinate against all eventualities.

With this in mind, I would like to understand the statistics/Government expectations on the following to enable me to better assess the risk:

1. How many pregnant women have/are expected to contract swine flu this year?
2. Of those women what percentage are expected to develop severe complications (& is this number any higher than those expected to develop severe complications with seasonal flu?)
3. How many miscarriages, stillbirths & newborn deaths are expected to be directly contributable to swine flu?

CJT - 30 weeks pregnant, fit & healthy and currently NOT planning to have the vaccine.

*NHS: The Pregnancy Book. Published by COI for the Department of Health

stickybun Mon 02-Nov-09 10:53:37

SQUALENE AND MERCURY in H1N1 vaccine - is it likely to cause problems with auto-immune or iflammatory conditions in later life?

US Inst. of Pathology 2000 report seems to suggest that this could be so from research with Gulf War I vets. We have squalene in our bodies (brain and joints)- when H1N1 vaccine is given antibodies are produced to the squalene in the jab but also to the sqaulene in your body.

Why would it be good to inject yourself with mercury, which is also contained in the vaccine.

Why have 2 of the major drug companies who have produced the stuff for use in the UK insisted on immunity from future legal action?

My children have had all their other vaccinations - I just think that there hasn't been proper testing and development done on these products. Is this why there seem to be significant no's of frontline health staff who are choosing not to have the vaccine?

LuckyC Mon 02-Nov-09 13:00:18

Prof S: Questions

1. How many pregnant women have had the vaccination and gone on to give birth to healthy babies?

2. How many pregnant women have had vaccination and subsequently contracted swine flu? How many not-pregnant people have had vaccination and still contracted swine flu?

3. How many pregnant women have had swine flu and as a result of the swine flu, have had complications with their pregnancies?

Is there a source of stats like this that I can look at?

JustScreamMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Nov-09 13:00:50

Professor Salisbury is in the building - we're just getting the computers all set up and then we'll be off.

Bubbaloo2 Mon 02-Nov-09 13:04:32

How different is swine flu compared to normal flu? The number of deaths does seem quite low?

I know we don't have any / much immunity to swine flu, but does having had other strains of flu give you any sort of immunity? Now that it's been around a bit, are people picking up immunity to it?

Please may I ask a question about the vaccine delivery schedule for at risk patients following this from MrsJohnDeere in another thread (hope you don't mind MrsJD):

"At my GP surgery they're not expecting to have the vaccine for 'at risk' people until late Dec, and into 2010 for others. "

I know I have already asked a question but this to me as a parent of an asthmatic who's gp practice doesn't know when they are getting the vaccine is rather alarming. So my question is, is the initial vaccine delivery to gp surgeries for patients 'at risk' on schedule and is the above information surprising or expected?

Thank you

JustScreamMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Nov-09 13:10:43

Ok so we're here and ready to go, so without further ado we'll hand over to David Salisbury

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 13:15:23

I am really sorry about last Friday but when we uploaded the first answer the Department wireless network gave up. I hope that did not cause any of you too much trouble.

There have been a multitude of questions about swine flu vaccine and adjuvants. Tatt asks why aren't there more adjuvant-free vaccines available, Boredwithwork brings up the point that she is concerned about adjuvants being in the pandemrix. MrsTC wonders whether or not to have the swine flu vaccine.

Lets start with why the adjuvant is in the vaccine: the adjuvant first allows much less
of the antigen to be used (the antigen is the bit that gives you immunity). Next the adjuvant in vaccine will probably protect for much longer and should protect you if the flu virus mutates as flu viruses do. People clearly want to know what is in the adjuvant; it contains a fish oil (squalene) and vitamin E - both naturally occurring products that we have in our bodies. There is also a substance called Polysorbate 80 that is a food additive and is in many medicines.

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 13:17:09

Everybody asks about the testing of the adjuvant. When we started to worry about a pandemic from H5N1 virus the manufacturers developed vaccines as close to the virus strain that might cause a pandemic as possible. The prototype vaccines with adjuvant were fully tested in adults and some children. The data on the production and results of the clinical trials were submitted to the European Medicines regulators and these vaccines were licensed. When H1N1 emerged the manufacturers simply switched the strain just as they do every year for seasonal flu vaccine. We know that the GSK adjuvant has been given to about 40,000 people and it has been approved for use in Europe. We are already seeing the results on the clinical trials of the GSK vaccine in adults and children for safety and immune responses and these are in line with the safety results from seasonal flu vaccine. We are also already getting the safety results from vaccination of health workers across Europe and these are not causing concern.

I have 2 children under 3, when will they have the vaccination?

tatt Mon 02-Nov-09 13:18:36

Squalene is included to boost the immune response, I believe - so I ask again why not more vaccines without it for those of us whose immune systems don't need a boost.

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 13:19:04

Lomorising and mummyzanne ask about vaccination and pregnancy. We do recommend that pregnant women with flu risk factors should be vaccinated every year and we know that seasonal flu vaccine is safe in pregnant women. With H1N1 swine flu virus it is clear that younger people are more likely to get the disease as opposed to seasonal flu that mostly affects older people. Some of those younger people are going to be pregnant. The latest WHO advice shows that between 7 & 10% of all hospitalised patients are pregnant women in their second or third trimesters and pregnant women are up to 10 times more likely to need admission into intensive care than the general population. The WHO data also shows that between 5 and 30% of the deaths are in pregnant women. This means that it is really clear that pregnant women are at risk from H1N1 swine flu and it is circulating now. We don’t test drugs or vaccines in pregnant women but we do test them on pregnant animals and this has been done with our swine flu vaccines. We also know that over 90 women became pregnant shortly after having the GSK vaccine and 50 of them have now completed their pregnancies and have normal babies. The others are still being followed up - which explains why it is so difficult to do clinical trials in pregnant women .

pugsandseals Mon 02-Nov-09 13:19:56

What kind of fish oils? My child has allergy to prawns would this cause a reaction?

Bubbaloo2 Mon 02-Nov-09 13:20:12

Over what period of time has this vaccine been tested on individuals?

RTKangaMummy Mon 02-Nov-09 13:22:34

Both myself and my son have ASTHMA and so have the regular flu vaccine

How long should be between regular flu vaccine and Swine flu vaccine should there be?

ie is there any problem with having both vaccines at same time?



HappySeven Mon 02-Nov-09 13:26:44

I am being offered both seasonal and swine flu jabs together as an NHS worker. When our children have their innoculations we are advised to wait until they are well, should I do the same and should I avoid having both jabs together?

waitingwaiting Mon 02-Nov-09 13:27:24

Hi... below are similar various concerns which other pregnant women have raised on the forum site. Please can you confirm whether or not their concerns are correct:

What concerns me the most is the use of adjuvants in Pandremix which boosts the effectiveness of the drug. The risk with this ingredient is that it promotes the body to fight all foreign bodies in the blood. Fine for a normal person but whilst pregnant, your immune system is surpressed specifically to support your unborn child.

The risk of hyper immune response has been raised which means that your body could go into overdrive and attack/reject your baby.

Its not the thermisal in the preg woman vaccine i'm concerned about its the adjuvant which can make your immune system overact and cause pre-emclampsia !!!

I have an auto-immune condition which is made better by pregnancy. If I were to have the Pandemix and it boosts my immune system would it cause a flare of my underlying medical condition?

I think also that Celvapan would encourage more pregnant women to be vaccinated. I know that supplies are not as great as Pandremix however when will this situation change and what is being done to make it change. Will pregnant women evantually be offered Celvanpan and within what time scale.

Many thanks for taking the time to come and chat to us all.

ColetteJ Mon 02-Nov-09 13:27:28

I posted this earlier as I didn't think I'd get to attend the webchat live....

Every year around 4000 babies in the UK are stillborn and about the same number die soon after birth, often the cause of these deaths are not known*. This is a risk every one of us takes (whether we acknowledge it or not) when we chose to have a baby. We take this risk because life must go on, and because in reality whilst this number is very scary it is still a small percentage of the 600,000+ babies born in the UK each year. We can’t vaccinate against all eventualities.

With this in mind, I would like to understand the statistics/Government expectations on the following to enable me to better assess the risk:

1. How many pregnant women have/are expected to contract swine flu this year?
2. Of those women what percentage are expected to develop severe complications (& is this number any higher than those expected to develop severe complications with seasonal flu?)
3. How many miscarriages, stillbirths & newborn deaths are expected to be directly contributable to swine flu?

Colette J - 30 weeks pregnant, fit & healthy and currently NOT planning to have the vaccine.

*NHS: The Pregnancy Book. Published by COI for the Department of Health

HappySeven Mon 02-Nov-09 13:28:07

Sorry, I should clarify, I'm in my second trimester.

tatt Mon 02-Nov-09 13:30:52

So far, Professor Salsibury, I haven't seen any information we don't already know. Could you answer some of the questions please.

Suchee Mon 02-Nov-09 13:32:27

I am 25 weeks pregnants, can you clarify the following:
- what conditions are classed as 'underlying health conditions?'
- if someone in my workplace (an office environment) has been diagnosed with swine flu and has returned to work after a week off am i still at risk? should i ask to work from home?
- what is the main 'risk' to a normal healthy pregnant woman if they catch swine flu?

many thanks

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 13:32:58

I would like to answer Waitingwaiting and others who have asked about choice of vaccines. If choice is neutral we have no problem about people choosing what they want but when choice is not neutral we have to advise people to have what we believe to be the best protection. We know that in healthy adults one dose of Pandemrix protects almost everybody with very high levels of antibodies. With Celvapan the proportion of people who will be protected after one dose is considerably fewer. For this reason, the European commission still recommends two doses of Celvapan. At q time when H1N1 viruses are circulating it has to be better for everybody to be protected after one dose than fewer and with lower antibodies. The other side of the balance that we always think about when we make decisions, is whether there is risk as well as benefit. I have already answered on the adjuvant and it is correct that there is thiomersal in the GSK pandemrix. It is there for a good purpose, because it keeps the vaccine sterile after the vial has been opened. There are now numerous studies from many countries one indifferent ways that all come to the same conclusion that we cannot identify harm from thiomersal in vaccines. Indeed the US Courts threw out thiomersal as a cause of autism. One of the most compelling pieces of evidence was that when thiomersal was taken out of US childhood vaccines, autism rates continued to rise. Under those circumstances you really cant implicate thiomersal.

Of course mercury is toxic if you were exposed to a large quantity but so is water is you drink enough of it. The minute quantities of thiomersal in vaccines have been shown not to be harmful.

AppleMark Mon 02-Nov-09 13:33:13

I agree this is little more than PR statements, I'm giving up my lunch to attend this

StirlingSwooshBang Mon 02-Nov-09 13:35:05

Hi, I have been asked to bring in my DD (5) for a swine flu jab as she has asthma but I have found out that the Glaxo Smithkline jab has an aluminium based adjuncta (sp?) to speed up getting the vaccine around the body.

I can find no info about tests on children for this.

Do you have, or know where I can find, information about any research on giving children this aluminium based adjuncta??

tatt Mon 02-Nov-09 13:36:24

SSB aluminium is in DTP, your child will ahve been given it already.

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 13:37:35

MGMidget and others ask about allergies. if you or your child have such severe egg allergy that you have an anaphylactic reaction immediately after exposure to egg then you should not have Pandemrix but you should have Celvapan. The reason for this is that the viruses that go into Pandemrix have been grown on eggs whilst Celvapan is made using cell culture with no egg material. We have made supplies of Celvapan available to Primary Care Trusts so that arrangements can be made for people who have extreme egg allergies to get that vaccine If you or your child have more general allergies then there is no problem with having Pandemrix.

Bubbaloo2 Mon 02-Nov-09 13:38:26

In relation to your comment:
The minute quantities of thiomersal in vaccines have been shown not to be harmful.

Why then have companies cut down on the use of this?

Also why is the government not doing anything to find a single mumps vaccine but allowing us to have the choice of single vaccines. The company that used to make the single mumps vaccine continues to make the triple? It does not make any sense. I have been waiting for a year for a single mumps.
When is it coming?

tatt Mon 02-Nov-09 13:39:37

Will you comment on 2 things please - safety of the vaccine for those with varying types of allergy and the impact on breastfedding. Will a mother who is vaccinated pass any immunity to their child?

EldonAve Mon 02-Nov-09 13:40:21

Is Pandemrix significantly cheaper than Celvapan?

CarmelaDeAngelis Mon 02-Nov-09 13:41:07

Will under 5's be offered swine flu vaccine? Indeed will it be offered to over 5's?

Will they need vaccinating for several years in a row against all new and emerging strains until the disease is eradicated?

How soon is the vaccine going to be available and which groups of people will be offered it first?

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 13:41:38

ohyoubadbadkitten and others ask about vaccine deivery schedules.

Starting last week we have been shipping vaccines out to GPs as fast as we get it in from the manufacturers. We are sending one box of 500 doses to every practice in the country and as soon as we have completed that first wave of distribution, we will then allow practices to order more as they need it. A week before practices will get their delivery the information is posted onto a website that PCTs and practices can see the date of their delivery. We do depend on the practices actually registering onto the website but we have told them what they need to do.

pugsandseals Mon 02-Nov-09 13:42:20

How do we find out about possible allergic reactions to other vaccines then?

Arnica Mon 02-Nov-09 13:43:10

Czech Republic canceled its orders with Baxters (company who makes the Swine flu vaccine) when Baxters made serious errors in the Avian Flu vaccines. What assurances do we have in the UK that Baxters vaccines are not contaminated?

Deerfield, Illinois-based pharmaceutical company Baxter International Inc. was caught shipping LIVE avian flu viruses mixed with vaccine material to medical distributors in 18 countries earlier this year. The “mistake” was discovered by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Canada.

...The contamination incident, which is being investigated by four European countries, came to light when the subcontractor in the Czech Republic inoculated ferrets with the product and they died. Ferrets shouldn’t die...

Baxter International adheres to something called BSL3(Biosafety Level 3) – a set of laboratory safety protocols that prevent the cross-contamination of materials so how could this happen?

waitingwaiting Mon 02-Nov-09 13:43:35

Hi there,
Dr Salisbury, you mention that the choice of vaccines is not neutral, and that one of the reasons why we are being given pandemix is that only one dose is needed....
My question is why can't pregnant women be given the choice? why isnt it neutral? (other countries are giving pregnant women the vaccines without the adjuvants...) surely its up to us to decide whether to take the risk with the time scales involved with full protection from Celvapan? An awful lot of women are deciding not to have the vaccine because of the adjuvant, so isnt it better to give them Celvapan, so they have some protection?
what is the problem with us having Celvapan? if its short supply, then when are supplies being increased?

AppleMark Mon 02-Nov-09 13:44:42

on the recent "Measles is your child safe" campaign a booklet handed out to Me used the term "nutty antivaccinators" to describe those with safety concerns and those who beleive there child has been damage by vaccination. £400,000 of tax payers money was spent on this campaign. can you justify this?

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 13:45:54

Belgianbun and Olivio and others have asked about breast feeding.

There is no problem about breast feeding if you have been vaccinated. If you are vaccinated in the third trimester then we know from studies with seasonal vaccines that you will contribute to protecting your baby. We just don't know how much of the benefit comes from the vaccine in protecting the baby during the pregnancy and how much benefit comes from antibodies in breast milk. Either way the baby benefits.

svwt Mon 02-Nov-09 13:46:17

is it correct that women are still vulnerable after giving birth, and if so, are you able to say for how long? at 36 weeks, and with my GP surgery not expecting vaccine for 3 weeks there is every chance I will miss the vaccine before giving birth. what would be a sensible cut off (presumably not ideal to have it just before giving birth) and when would i be advised to have it afterwards (assuming i would still be on the list)? thanks.

tatt Mon 02-Nov-09 13:47:06

can you be specific about the benefits you say will come to the baby - how much protection is involved?

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 13:48:11

EldonAve asks about the price of the vaccines.

The prices we have paid are commercially confidential but can I reassure you that the recommendation for Pandemrix has nothing to do with the price.

Arnica Mon 02-Nov-09 13:49:32

Regarding your children, I hope this data from the States may reduce fear from the Swine Flu for your otherwise healthy children...

"So far we know that, of the 36 children who died from H1N1 between April and
August of this year in the US, 30 had some form of chronic health condition (mostly neurological), and all of
them had a co-occurring bacterial infection.

Clearly, having a robust, well-functioning immune system is the best way to
ensure your body's innate ability to fight off this mild flu virus, and not
succumb to secondary infections such as staphylococcus aureus.

I'd also like to know how many flu deaths might be attributed to
antibiotic-resistant staph infections."\
- Die-From-Swine-Flu-Have-Coexisting-Bacterial-Infections.aspx

Thank you for your answer, I hope there are fewer than 500 'at risk' patients in my gps rather large practice.

My follow up question is, are you still on schedule for the 500 doses/gp practice to be delivered within the 4 week time frame that was estimated?

elmotaughtddtousethepotty Mon 02-Nov-09 13:55:06

hello, repeating svwt's question about new mums and newborns. will we still be priority? i'm 37 weeks and GP hasn't yet received their supplies so i'm likely to be too late, but would have wanted to have the vaccine, mainly to protect my newborn twins...

lumpasmelly Mon 02-Nov-09 13:55:42

Why are GPs Midwives and consultants giving such mixed messages regarding the vaccine? How can we feel safe to take it as pregnant women when we are being told "off the record" not to touch it with a barge pole?

Also, is there any truth in the rumour that pushing the jab is a cost decision - i.e. its more cost effective for the government to cut down the number of people requiring hospitalisation from SF than it is for the government to deal with the potential impact of babies being born with damage that could be attributed to the vaccine. If this is the case, then perhaps it WILL save more lives, but I would prefer that we were honest about it.

I guess this is a business decision in the sense that if no-one has the vaccine then the potential impact on critical care services in hospitals is possibly unthinkable. Not only would this affect those people seeking treatment for SF but also people with other conditions too. You could infact argue that it is socially responsible to have the vaccine

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 14:00:17

PofacedandProud has asked about the licensing of squalene in the United States.

When we first started preparations for a flu pandemic, the US Regulators took a different route to Europe. In Europe, first of all we already had a vaccine in routine use that contained squalene and about 30 million doses of a squalene containing seasonal flu vaccine have been used in Europe and the safety profile is no different to that of seasonal flu vaccine.

Clinical trials were done with squalene containing H5N1 vaccine and this data was used for the European licensing. In the US, the strategy for dealing with a flu pandemic was built on the hope that unadjuvanted vaccine would work. At the time of H5N1 bird flu worries, the US studies looked as if their approach was not going to work. Seasonal flu vaccines require 15 micrograms of the antigen (the bit that gives you immunity) but the H5N1 vaccine needed six times as much ie. 90 micrograms to get an immune response.

As a consequence the US Government bought large quantities of adjuvant from Europe to keep in reserve to add to the vaccine just as we had already planned to do in Europe. When H1N1 came along, in a way the US got lucky because you can get an immune response without such a huge amount of antigen but we will be using only a quarter of the amount of antigen in out vaccines compared with the US.

janeb22 Mon 02-Nov-09 14:00:34

The fact that many doctors and nurses in Britain are refusing to be injected with the Swine Flu vaccines themselves shows that our health workers are voting with their feet.

There have been 30 peer reviewed papers documenting the crippling diseases induced in laboratory animals immunised with squalene. This is one of the adjuvants in GlaxoSmithKline’s Pandemrix vaccine.

Examination of rats injected with squalene showed severe lesions in the brain and nerves stripped of their insulation called the myelin sheath. Demyelization is a clinical hallmark of Multiple Sclerosis.

How much testing has been done on pregnant women with the GSK’s Pandemrix vaccine? How many and for how long? Has any testing been done on the foetus?

stuffitllllama Mon 02-Nov-09 14:02:02

How on earth are we supposed to trust you when you equate mercury to water.

"Of course mercury is toxic if you were exposed to a large quantity but so is water is you drink enough of it."

Mercury is toxic in very small quantities.

5mcg thiomersal in Pandemrix

Safe level: 1.5 mcg per kilo of bodyweight (FDA) -- am I right?

So unsafe for any baby under 3.3 kilo?

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 14:02:05

Arnica asks about contamination of flu vaccines. All of our vaccines have to be tested both by the manufacturers and by an independent expert agency before they can be released for human use.

Stuffit I think the point made was that if you drink large quantities of water it will kill you as demonstrated by the poor lady mentioned in the news last week. It was a topical reference.

ZephirineDrouhin Mon 02-Nov-09 14:03:48

Is there an advantage to health in having a reduced amount of antigen (ie in vaccines that contain squalene?), or is it purely a cost/availability advantage?

Sorry ignore me I misread your post blush

EldonAve Mon 02-Nov-09 14:04:36

What percentage of pregnant women require hospital treatment for seasonal flu?

What percentage of pregnant women require hospital treatment for swine flu?

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 14:04:42

HappySeven and RTKanga ask about having seasonal and swine flu vaccines together.

These are both inactivated vaccines and can be given at the same time or separately with no particular interval between them. Obviously they should be given into different sites or different limbs.

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 14:05:23


Yes we are on schedule.

Thank you

Josie22 Mon 02-Nov-09 14:07:04

Dr. Salisbury - does your quote below refer to the Swine flu GSK vaccine?

"We also know that over 90 women became pregnant shortly after having the GSK vaccine and 50 of them have now completed their pregnancies and have normal babies. The others are still being followed up - which explains why it is so difficult to do clinical trials in pregnant women ."

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 14:08:42

LeninGhoul and Elmo ask about timing and availability of vaccine for young children. Our priority right now is to vaccinate people with risk factors that would mean that they would be most severely affected if they caught swine flu. Once we have got that part of the programme out of the way e will be looking very carefully at what the next steps in the programme should be. This will be driven by what happening with the disease in different age groups including children and newborns. The best way to protect newborns is for the mother to be vaccinated.

Dr Salisbury can I repeat my question about whether the under 5's will be vaccinated soon? I have two under 3 and am rather concerned for them (and DH who has asthma).

Upsydaisy83 Mon 02-Nov-09 14:11:13

How can you be sure that swine flu is rising if gps will not swab test people and just tell them over the phone ?

tatt Mon 02-Nov-09 14:11:38

still haven't had an answer to the question of why we can't choose which vaccine to have. One of my children reacts to aluminium - so far only locally but increasing in severity. They have anaphylactic reactions to nuts and I don't want to risk an anaphylactic reaction to vaccine. Will I able to choose the vaccine without aluminium?

stuffitllllama Mon 02-Nov-09 14:12:55

I understood. Not easy to drink yourself to death with water. Too many vaccines -- quite possible to overload on mercury.

So is there any response about the safety of 5mcg thiomersal on a baby under 3.3 kilos?

elmotaughtddtousethepotty Mon 02-Nov-09 14:12:57

thanks for answering that. looks like anyone heavily pregnant now though has lost out on all fronts! too late to be vaccinated as a pregnant person, and too soon for the priorities to be done so that new mothers can be vaccinated to protect their newborns! any idea on the timescales involved? its worrying.

Serennos Mon 02-Nov-09 14:13:43

'The best way to protect newborns is for the mother to be vaccinated.'

So, bearing in mind the lack of clinical evidence regarding safety of this particular vaccincation to unborn children, you consider that the risk to the unborn child would be greater if the mother does not have the jab than if she does?

If so, you disagree with my midwife!

hotpotmama Mon 02-Nov-09 14:14:20

My little boy, 17 months recently was hospitalised with pneumonia and ended up with fluid on the lung and had to have surgery to have it drained. He was not tested for swine flu despite having the symptoms prior to being diagnosed with pneumonia. Why are they not swabbing for swine flu anymore as I would feel a lot less anxious if I knew he had already had it?

stuffitllllama Mon 02-Nov-09 14:16:17

Is this why you recommend newborns should be protected by maternal vaccination? Because of the mercury levels?

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 14:20:16

Lumpasmelly says that pregnant women are being told "off the reocrd" not to touch it with a barge pole. I can say that anyone who is giving that advice does not know the facts. The evidence that pregnant women are at risk of complications, admission to intensive care or dying is unfortunately wrong. The other side of that coin is to be vaccinated and for you and your baby to be protected.

Lumpasmelly also asks if there is any truth in the rumour that pushing the vaccine is a cost decision. The argument that she makes is that it is more cost effective for the Government to cut down the number of people requiring hospitalisation from swine flu that it is for the Government to deal with the potential impact of babies being born with damage attributed to the vaccine; this is bonkers. Of course there is an economic consideration. It is far better value to purchase vaccines, to prevent people becoming ill and even dying than letting unnecessary illness and death occur.

In our economic analyses we use the cost of gaining extra years of healthy life as our measurement and we all want healthy and long lives.

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 14:22:40

Tatt - None of the reasons that you have given cause me anxiety about allergic reactions for your child. There is no aluminum in our flu vaccines anyway.

tatt Mon 02-Nov-09 14:22:54

think you have a typo in your last reply (rong when you probably menat strong). I doubt you meant to say that pregnant women aren't at risk of complications!

LuckyC Mon 02-Nov-09 14:23:26

'The evidence that pregnant women are at risk of complications, admission to intensive care or dying is unfortunately wrong.'

Please clarify?

LuckyC Mon 02-Nov-09 14:25:21

X-post - Tatt, think you're right.

Will the vaccine be offered privately?

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 14:26:09

To Serennos: Yes - the best way to protect newborns is for the mother to be vaccinated.

Yes I do disagree with your midwife - she needs to get the facts. And we have sent out more material on immunisation and pregnancy for health professionals, there is a new leaflet for pregnant mothers going out now and these can be downloaded from the DH website -

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 14:27:32

Tat well spotted I meant strong not wrong its just a typo.

tatt Mon 02-Nov-09 14:28:29

thanks - but still not an answer to why we can't choose adjuvant free. I'd like to be able to get other vaccines without aluminium.

I sense that many of the problems stem from the problem of keeping HPs updated with the latest information. You only have to look at the number of complaints on MN about Hvs to see this!

extremelychocolateymilkroll Mon 02-Nov-09 14:29:05

Is there any evidence to link pregnant women having flu vaccines and birth defects?

Bubbaloo2 Mon 02-Nov-09 14:29:17

Dr Salisbury,

Please can you tell me when so many of us will get our single measles jabs as there is no place to get this info at all?

Sorry I should clarify will the Swine Flu vaccine be available privately?

DrDavidSalisbury Mon 02-Nov-09 14:32:39

Thank you so much for the time you have spent asking so many pertinent questions MN HQ will pass on any other queries and I promise to get back as soon as possible.

I cant believe nobody asked this, but my favourite biscuit is a good milk chocolate digestive and can kill a few chocolate finger biscuits. I do try to avoid them but have been known to fail.

Bubbaloo2 Mon 02-Nov-09 14:32:44

Sorry I meant mumps.....

Arnica Mon 02-Nov-09 14:34:06

I understand that the Government has to look at worse case scenarios and consider mass intervention, which must be a tricky call - as Dr Salisbury says - they will be 'looking very carefully' before planning the next steps.

However, for you and I looking very carefully involves different criteria, and that is why there are the differences between health professionals.

If you have underlying illness, like the paraplegic pregnant mum and the 17 year old pregnant mum with un named illness who died of swine flu in the UK, then you do have a risk of complications swine flu or indeed from from seasonal flu.

Natalie Aziz MD is a specialist in high risk OB and reproductive infectious diseases and states "Swine Flu does not present a higher risk than any other flu virus".

Hand washing is of course recommended, but consider natural antivirals like garlic and taking vitamin D3 which Sweden is looking into for Flu prevention.

JustScreamMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Nov-09 14:34:22

Thanks so much to all for joining in, and of course to Professor Salisbury for his time.

LOL@ Biscuit, we were all being sensible wink

thedollshouse Mon 02-Nov-09 14:34:55

Thanks for answering my question.

I am still very nervous about the vaccine and equally nervous about remaining unvaccinated.

Hope MN HQ provided you with suitable biscuits! smile

tatt Mon 02-Nov-09 14:36:00

think we've had enough of biscuit publicity, even if MN towers haven't. Hope you had a choice though grin

Serennos Mon 02-Nov-09 14:36:04

Thank you

Upsydaisy83 Mon 02-Nov-09 14:37:10

So after that who is having jab now that wasn't ?

waitingwaiting Mon 02-Nov-09 14:38:33

Dr Salisbury.
Many thanks for touching upon the question I asked earlier... please can I ask a follow up question, about the availability of Celvapan, I am asking this not only on behalf of myself but others.

Please can you spell out in black and white why Celvapan isnt being offered to pregnant women? when for many its their preferred choice and would encourge more women to be vaccinated.

Is it because of availability? If it was more available would it then be offered?

Please be so kind to expand on your reasons, saying 'that choice isnt neutral doesnt help…. More clarification is needed.

I'm sure that all those people who currently have signed a recently started petition (100+ people) asking for choice between the vaccines would like to have clear clarification about the exact reasons why it isnt being offered.

Many thanks and thanks for coming to chat to us all today. It is appreciated.

Bubbaloo2 Mon 02-Nov-09 14:38:51

It was great having him here but to be honest I got a lot out of other people's posts on here. Some interesting nuggets of info.. true or not true... makes one think even deeper!

HappySeven Mon 02-Nov-09 14:39:28

Just wanted to say thanks to Professor Salisbury for taking the time to answer some of these questions. Many of us just want the facts and sadly our midwives aren't always the best informed. I shall definitely be having the innoculations after reading his replies.

pugsandseals Mon 02-Nov-09 14:39:38

Still no answer to the ingredients which may cause an allergic reaction then sad
Hey ho, might get an answer someday!

stuffitllllama Mon 02-Nov-09 14:40:40


waitingwaiting Mon 02-Nov-09 14:43:15

oh is that the end...?
Dr Salisbury, thanks again for spending the time with us and I do hope that you will get back to us all again soon with answers to the unanswered questions.

JustScreamMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Nov-09 14:43:44

Please could you fill in our very quick swine flu survey if you haven't already - we're going to close it tonight.

EldonAve Mon 02-Nov-09 14:43:50

I can't say that I feel any more informed than before

extremelychocolateymilkroll asked: "Is there any evidence to link pregnant women having flu vaccines and birth defects?"

The US routinely vaccinates pg women against seasonal flu - however they use adjuvant-free vaccine

Thank you for coming here. We couldn't ask you a biscuit question as we are restricted to one question each and I don't think any of us wanted to waste our question on biscuits, interesting though they are

stuffitllllama Mon 02-Nov-09 14:46:40

Shame he wasted an answer on biscuits though.

How sweet and familiar of him.

JustScreamMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Nov-09 14:47:55

Btw sadly we didn't get round to non-swine flu questions this time but the good news is Professor Salisbury agreed that he would come back for another chat about vaccinations in general once swine flu fever has subsided, probably in the new year.

Bubbaloo2 Mon 02-Nov-09 14:55:39

Does the Professor know a place we can email questions in the meantime?

extremelychocolateymilkroll Mon 02-Nov-09 15:07:57

Thanks EldonAve. It seems as though there's a lot of fear of the vaccine - not supported by evidence while it is clear that swine flu can be very dangerous for pregnant women and other vulnerable groups - along with people with not even in these groups. I thought Professor Salisbury's answers were very interesting and have made me more inclined to have the vaccine.

Beachcomber Mon 02-Nov-09 15:43:16

So it would appear that there is nothing to be said about the lamentable system for reporting adverse reactions to vaccines, mercury is no more dangerous than water, and the US 'got lucky' cos they made the decision not to use squalene and it worked out.

As far as I'm concerned the most useful information was about the biscuits.

EVye Mon 02-Nov-09 16:19:36

Missed the actual webchat.

I can see why non-swine flu questions weren't answered but it's a bit disappointing. Makes the whole thing feel to me like a governmental PR exercise.

ColetteJ Mon 02-Nov-09 17:39:56

This was my first experience of the Mumsnet live webchat (& actually the first time I have ever posted a message on any website). Have to say I am very disappointed.

Like many of the mums I posted what I thought was a fairly simple request for actual statistics that I honestly expected the Doc. to be able to provide. At the very least I thought we would be told where we could find the stats on the internet.

I am shocked at how few answers were provided when so many took the time to attend.

As the decision for the US not to use squalene has exacerbated their vaccine shortage tremendously, I'm not sure they have 'got lucky'.

Flightattendant Mon 02-Nov-09 18:37:30

I'm amazed that the Squalene/ GB syndrome issue was not even touched upon

Still would be very interested to hear a response to Janeb22's excellent post.

MiniMarmite Mon 02-Nov-09 19:21:25

I (and others) posted these links on another thread previously. They might be useful to people wanting to read more detailed information about the data available for the vaccines: click on the product names and then look at the patient information leaflet or, if you want more information, the summary of product characteristics.

If you want even more detail about the studies carried out then see: /Humans/EPAR/celvapan/celvapan.htm

then click on scientific discussion - this is really useful as you can see how the vaccines were evaluated and the information on vulnerable groups as it stands at the moment.

EldonAve Mon 02-Nov-09 19:44:18

Times article

Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer for England, spoke out against protests aimed at deterring people from having the jab. “We have had a lot of unfair public criticism and attacks in an attempt to scare people about a vaccine that’s potentially life-saving,” he added.

“We have seen it before with vaccines like MMR [the combined jab for measles, mumps and rubella], and now extremists are doing the same thing again.”

Beachcomber Mon 02-Nov-09 21:07:36

Ohyoubadkitten, I was quoting Dr Salisbury with the 'got lucky' comment.

Who knows perhaps the US population has got lucky. Firstly if they aren't having squalene containing vaccines pushed on them. Secondly if they do have a 'shortage' then fewer people will be given an experimental vaccine for a disease, which so far, has proven itself to be considerably less virulent than your common or garden seasonal flu.

Chamomile Mon 02-Nov-09 21:50:19

Can anyone explain Dr Salisburuy's comment in his very first post re. justifying the choice of the adjuvanted vaccine:

''Next the adjuvant in vaccine will probably protect for much longer and should protect you if the flu virus mutates as flu viruses do''

If the virus mutates how will previously having an adjuvanted vaccine help the body launch an immune attack against an antigen it hasn't yet met?

Arnica Mon 02-Nov-09 23:07:41

Pregnant mums are no more likely to suffer complications with swine flu as with seasonal flu. The 2 deaths of pregnant mums in the UK were in otherwise ill mums detailed in my previous post.

And all the 36 children in the US who died during the period detailed in my earlier post had a pre-exsisting bacterial infection, which possibly was antibiotic resistant, and most had serious underlying immune issues of a neurological nature.

If you would have had the flu vaccine during your pregnancy, presumably you would be interested in the Swine flu vaccine.

If your child has a pre existing neurological condition then you may view the risk v benefit of the swine flu differently.

For the rest of us, there does not seem to be a valid reason to have the vaccine.

Indeed Germany especially is very wary with many health officials speaking out against it. Google and you will see how the rest of the world is viewing this vaccine.

e.g. German health expert warning: Does virus vaccine increase cancer risk? --German health expert Wolfgang Wodarg has given a shock warning about the swine flu virus vaccine - does it increase the risk of cancer? h-expert-issues-shock-swine-flu-vaccine-safety-warning&catid=41%3Ahighlighted-news&Itemid=105&#9001; =en

sorry for the crazy long address!

Really, the science for the swine flu vaccine is not water tight. Dr Salisbury is the UK Head of Immunization, respect of course, but he is not the only 'expert' in the world.

A bit of common sense and intuition is allowed here, don't forget that Mums!

Arnica Tue 03-Nov-09 10:22:31

Interview with Dr Russell Blaylock
Neurologist specialist for 30 years

Pregnant Women NOT at Special Risk from Swine Flu - PLEASE READ & LISTEN TO THIS LINK

Healthy non smokers are at such a low risk form flu complications!

"So, why did even 66 pregnant women end up in the ICU? As we shall see in the American study5, a significant number of these pregnant women were either obese or morbidly obese and most had underlying medical problems (and insulin dependence).

It is known that smoking greatly increases ones risk of severe complications from any flu virus.18,19 This is for several reasons. One, smokers eat a much poorer diet than non-smokers.

...Second, smoking destroys the cilia in the bronchial passageways that are essential for clearing mucus and debris -- thus increasing the risk of developing pneumonia.20

Finally, nicotine is a very powerful immune suppressant.21 The combined effect of all three is enough to land anyone in the ICU during even a mild flu season. Likewise, chronic smokers have low magnesium levels, which increase their risk of developing bronchiospasm that is resistant to normal drug treatments.22-24" arned-About-the-Great-Swine-Flu-Pandemic.aspx

Beachcomber Tue 03-Nov-09 10:31:56

Arnica I very much agree with what you are saying about examining info from outside the UK.

I live in France and although we are being subjected to much scarmongering, media hype and marketing, there are quite a few sensible professionals who clearly express their incredulity at the idea that the mass vaccination of populations against, a so far not very virulent disease, with an experimental vaccine, is in any way justified.

Here, for example, is an article from the National Nurses Trade Union. (I'm afraid it is in French).

Basically it is saying that it is the duty of nurses to inform the public that H1N1 has so far only proven dangerous in France for people with underlying conditions or who picked up antibiotic resistant infections.

They say that the use of new adjuvants (squalene and polysorbate) makes this vaccine experimental. They state that such an adjuvant is linked with autoimmune diseases and that the vaccine risks provoking Gullian Barre Syndrome.

Really they are saying that they want to have nothing to do with such a vaccine and they are saying it loud and clear with no beating about the bush.

There was a well known doctor saying exactly the same things on national French television last week. (And nobody was able to argue against him.)

MonstrousMerryHenry Tue 03-Nov-09 21:15:05

Arnica, if you're still on this thread I'd love to see where you got your facts on your post of Mon 02-Nov-09 23:07:41. I've consulted pregnant/ midwife friends in France and Germany, and both you and Beachcomber are saying pretty much what they've told me.

When I was preg with no1, nobody mentioned the flu vaccine, despite the fact that I gave birth during the flu season. Why should swine flu be any different? If it affects young people more, that counts me out (I'm 35!).

Also the statistics which Prof Salisbury provided on the percentage of people dying from SF being preg are potentially misleading as one tends to swallow the numbers (5-30%! Gulp!) and not think about what this means. For example, if up to 30% of (how many deaths in the UK? 100-ish? 120?) were pregnant, and the majority of them were 'young', how does that change the potential risk for me? And what about the other many pregnant SF sufferers who did not die? This number will far outweigh the number of pregnancy-related deaths, and it's imperative that statistics are balanced out in this way so that we can treat them intelligently. Sorry, Prof Salisbury, I genuinely don't mean to be offensive here, but presenting statistics in any other way is a form of trickery.

stuffitllllama Wed 04-Nov-09 04:39:07

With regard to GBS, we shouldn't forget that the government is treating the swine flu vaccine program as an experiment. They do not know how many cases of GBS it could cause and have instructed that monitoring :

"is essential for conducting robust epidemiological analyses capable of identifying whether there is an increased risk of GBS in defined time periods after vaccination, or after influenza itself, compared with the background risk."

That means that however many reassurances we get, Dr Salisbury simply doesn't know how many cases of GBS could be caused by the vaccine. That's why they are asking. They don't know. The reassurances are meaningless.

stuffitllllama Wed 04-Nov-09 04:41:57

Dr Salisbury as you are coming back with responses to all the questions you missed previously, could you respond to these:

Do you accept you have no idea of the impact of swine flu vaccine on the incidence of GBS?

Are you happy that the level of mercury in Pandemrix is around about or may exceed the safe level for a newborn baby? Is this why newborn babies are not recommended for vaccination?

Thingiebob Wed 04-Nov-09 18:43:52

Hmm still not sure if pregnant women with underlying health conditions, particularly autoimmune should be having this vaccine.

MiniMarmite Wed 04-Nov-09 18:49:58

Professor Salisbury,

I was unable to take part in the webchat on Monday but wanted to add a question related to an earlier question about women who are planning to become pregnant that I don't think has been answered yet (although I may have missed it in the long thread).

Are there any plans to extend the vaccination programme to women of childbearing potential once the already prioritised at-risk groups have received their vaccinations?

I accept that there is a favourable risk benefit profile for these vaccines being offered to pregnant women due to the exceptional circumstances of a pandemic and the risk of significant complications in pregnant women plus the fact that there is a certain amount of established use in that (different) seasonal flu vaccines have been safely given to women for a number of years.

It is not desirable, however, to give pregnant women vaccines and medications, especially ones for which there is little in the way of clinical or pharmacovigilance data.

Given that the government has already ordered enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone in the country, would it not make sense to extend the priority programme who may be planning to become pregnant so that we can avoid vaccinating pregnant women where possible (whilst continuing to vaccinate women who are already pregnant of course)?

My own situation is that I have not yet been vaccinated and have miscarried since the vaccination programme started but plan to become pregnant again as soon as possible. My GP has declined my request for vaccination because I am not pregnant. I do understand and accept the reasons for this but I do feel that this issue warrants further consideration and a publication of the decision and rationale.

It would also be useful to know if (and when) there are any plans to publish interim results from the planned registry studies in pregnant women in order to assist women in their decisions about whether to accept the offer of vaccination should the pandemic continue for an extended period of time.

I hope you will be able to respond to my question, thank you.

AppleMark Thu 05-Nov-09 11:36:17

its seems that the Frontline NHS staff are revoltion over this . take a look at this Pulse article, GPs are refusing on mass.
this quote pretty much sums it up .

Dr Liz Miller, a locum GP in London, said she would not recommend the vaccine to her patients because of safety concerns: ‘I do not intend to be vaccinated, nor will I recommend it to patients. It is untested and unnecessary. It’s time doctors started thinking for themselves instead of mindlessly obeying the Department of Health because they are terrified of missing out on free money.’

its a shame we did not have this info before Salisburys cosy chat.

pofacedandproud Thu 05-Nov-09 11:59:25

'And all the 36 children in the US who died during the period detailed in my earlier post had a pre-exsisting bacterial infection, which possibly was antibiotic resistant'

Where did you get that information Arnica? As far as I can see the evidence suggests those children died from bacterial pneumonia, triggered by SF. How do you know the bacterial infections were 'pre-existing'?

EldonAve Thu 05-Nov-09 17:12:04

Interesting about the GP revolt - mine said he would not be having it

MonstrousMerryHenry Mon 09-Nov-09 13:46:59

The New Scientist featured a recent poll of medics saying around half of them wouldn't be taking the vaccine. Can't find the link but it's on their website if anyone wants to look.

Arnica Mon 09-Nov-09 14:50:28

The pre-existing label I used is because a third of us carry this bacteria but for most it is not a problem. The relevance is the state of one's health and risk from Swine Flu complications.

The thing is to be aware of health and to feel empowered to do something about it. We all know about ciggies and alcohol, but not so many know about the dangers of medication in otherwise healthy folk. Also we are very much in the dark about the dangers of certain processed 'foods' and sugar and the amazing qualities of other real foods.

I founded a Natural Health Network for Parents and Health Care Practitioners called Arnica. I hope it is OK to mention it. We have a thriving Yahoo group and 40 UK local groups where we want to learn more about health naturally.

It is great to see such debate here and the Swine Flu has provided general interest. However, many other diseases are hyped and vaccines are given unnecessarily. Of the dozens of shots your toddler will be recommended are they all safe and effective and necessary? Lots of work is being done at the moment to find alternatives to aluminum in vaccines for example..

"The development of a vaccine with mutant A&#946; peptides that avoids the use of an adjuvant may result in an effective and safer human vaccine."

I hope that we can change the tide in this country where most of us give all vaccines, take all medications offered and use products to bring down a fever and suppress a rash. Keep on asking..

Here is some more from the Dr Mercola site. wine-Flu-Have-Coexisting-Bacterial-Infections.aspx

"I’d also like to know how many flu deaths might be attributed to antibiotic-resistant staph infections.

MiniMarmite Wed 03-Feb-10 13:04:46

MNHQ - Is Prof Salisbury coming back to answer our questions? confused

Ooh, just found that new emoticon!

Arnica Tue 02-Nov-10 00:05:27

Swine Flu has now been added to the Flu shot in the UK. The Flu vaccine has now been officially listed as a Category C drug (US).

What does this mean exactly?

Category C is for drugs that do not have enough human or animal studies to establish safety, OR adverse fetal effects have been seen in animal studies but there is little human data.

According to FDA:

"Category C drugs are drugs that are more likely to cause problems for the mother or fetus. Also includes drugs for which safety studies have not been finished. The majority of these drugs do not have safety studies in progress...Thimerasol-containing vaccines are considered hazardous waste and can't be thrown into a garbage can, poured down a sink or flushed down a toilet because of the mercury—they're considered environmentally toxic. Yet, they want to inject them into your baby? "

"Not only do flu shots weaken your immune system, expose you to toxins, and cause allergies and other adverse reactions, they don't work.... /2010/11/01/flu-vaccine-and-its-side-effects.aspx

madiuk Wed 12-Jun-13 15:59:51

Dr. Salisbury, I am pregnant and I am now in week 28. Would you recommend to do the whooping cough vaccination? I am from Switzerland and I know that in our country they don't recommend it at all. Does this vaccination harm the baby?
Thank you very much for your advice.

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