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swine flu situation for under 5s worrying me BUT NO vaccine available for them.

(226 Posts)
waitingwaiting Tue 04-Jan-11 12:28:11

Hi
I've got a one year old and a 3 year old. 3 year old going back to Nursery School tomorrow. I must admit that I am very worried about the swine flu situation for the under 5s.

According to the Daily Mirror (30th Jan)the Swine flu is at epidemic levels for children aged 1-5 and paedriatric hospitals are close to 'not coping' - and the Telegraph (31 dec) also reports the same - Critically ill include 42 children under 5 and flu levels have doubled with that age group.

Okay, I guess parents have very differing views on this but I must say that I am rather concerned...

I've tried absolutely loads of avenues to see if I can get the vaccine for my under 3 year old with No success what so ever.

Boots/supermarkets etc wont give it, they will however dispense it under prescription for GP to adminster But my GP wont do a prescription. Bupa wont do it. In fact everywhere I try wont.

All I want to do is try to protect my family but just dont know how. The flu jabs have traditionally been offered for the elderly as thats the age the flu has affected before, however now we have a different strain of flu which does target the young however no one seems to want to protect the young and offer the vaccine.

It was offered to pregnant women last year and in turn protected the unborn baby, which I had, however now my baby is one years old, its as if its no longer important as no one will be prepared to protect her from the flu, despite the fact that she could be very poorly if she had it. Is it worth risking even one childs life? no. I dont think so.

Anyway, I'm rambling on a bit here, point is I want to protect my children and get them vaccinated but just cant. Anyone else in the same situation? and how do you feel about it? Why is it that all adults can easily get protected, yet children cant?

Many thanks

Nicola

waitingwaiting Tue 04-Jan-11 13:17:51

btw... meant to add, everyone I spoke to have had loads of calls about this... bupa are bringing it up in their monthly meeting, my doctors surgery have answered calls on it all morning and so had the tesco and boots branch I spoke to..... obviously it is concerning a lot of parents. When is something going to be done??? anyone listening out there?

jamieoliverfan Tue 04-Jan-11 13:41:59

Private paediatricians will provide the vaccine. But it will take between 2 and 4 weeks until they are fully protected. 2 weeks if they have had previous flu vaccination, otherwise 4 weeks as they will need a booster 4 weeks after the initial vaccination. Also, protection will even then not be fully 100% but depending on child and age in region of 80% to 90%. That is why people who have been vaccinated can still get flu, even the flu against which they were vaccinated. You can contact your local hospital if they have private paediatricians or if they know a private paediatrician in your area. If you are in London then there is of course the Portland Hospital. As your child is only 4, and hence does not need to go to school yet, another option if you are very worried is to keep him off school, but he could still pick it up if you were to go out and about with him (although in your presence you can be more vigilant about hand washing and keeping him away from ill/sneezing people).

craziedaisy Tue 04-Jan-11 21:15:43

I feel exactly the same as you and my children are the same age. I am thinking of not sending my son to playgroup tomorrow because I am getting in a bit of a tiz about it. I know everyone thinks I am over the top and overprotective but my son was admitted to hospital just over 18 months ago with a viral infection and has made me more nervous about him getting really poorly again.

Has anyone else decided to stop their toddler going to nursery at the moment?

Ironically I can have one child vaccinated (asthmatic on steroids), but not the other (healthy). hmm

I had the vax last year though and have had flu since. hmm

redshinyshoes Tue 04-Jan-11 21:28:16

I feel the same, i can't believe there are so many warnings of young children being at rosk yet no protection available for them... I called my GP today and was told they can't offer it..

redshinyshoes Tue 04-Jan-11 21:30:37

Why won't Bupa do it? They were my last port of call!

TCOB Tue 04-Jan-11 21:31:50

'fraid it's pretty obvious why children and young people have slipped to the bottom of the pile under the current regime...they don't vote.

I'm pretty pissed off as well. In fact - effing furious - and scared. My 7 yo DS goes back to school tomorrow and we have been warned to expect an epidemic. So 6 mo DD better be ready.

Have we been told why old folk are such a priority for a younger person's vaccine?

I think they are going to have to change this policy sharpish - older people aren't dying. angry

redshinyshoes Tue 04-Jan-11 21:36:06

Do you think it is over the top to keep children off school? Am so worried and angry does anyone know of anywhere that offers the vaccine if you pay? I know of somewhere in London but not sure about elsewhere in the UK

TCOB Tue 04-Jan-11 21:39:56

No I don't think it's OTT to keep children off school. In fact - if we all did then got a summons, it could make the point perfectly.

Might be a plan if we all were very public about it. Mine aren't due to start till the 19th (new school).

TCOB Tue 04-Jan-11 21:44:52

My DS is back tomorrow - in theory. But whilst I am still on mat leave I really am tempted to keep him home with me and his sister.

I am exactly in the same situation. My GP won't give it (although I might insist for my toddler who is suspected asthmatic). The pharmacies who administer it won't go anywhere near an under 16. I have no idea where I could get my 5, 2.5 year old and 5 months old baby immunised. I am also really pissed off that we keep seeing headlines such as "parents must be vigilant as epidemic likely" but then you can't seem to be able to do anything to protect your children.

lifeistooshort - it's only available to asthmatics on a steroid inhaler.

hogshead Tue 04-Jan-11 22:22:43

this is really interesting as over the Christmas holidays I was contacted by our GP surgery and offered the vaccine for DS (16 months, no medical history)as they were putting extra clinics on.

My friend has been trying to get a flu vaccine for her child (under 2) but been unsuccessful (lives within 7 mile radius of us but different GP practice)

Sadly this is just an example of the return of the postcode lottery within the NHS

Whomovedmychocolate I think it is what DS has been prescribed when we went to the asthma clinic

Milliways Tue 04-Jan-11 22:32:17

GPs had to predict how many seasonal flu vacines to order last Summer, for delivery in September, before the Swine Flu broke out again.

No-one wanted the jab, we had trouble getting all our at-risk Patients in. Mainly because of all the palaver re Swine Flu last year that came to nothing, and that this is the first year the government did not run an advertising campaign (until last week!).

We bought a few special vaccines for the under 5s in risk groups - who typically have a low uptake rate.

Now the parents want it, we have used up our stocks and the manufacturers are not getting any more to sell to us.

Last year, we offered all under 5s the Pandemrix and had a low uptake. Having to order our vaccines in the Summer is part of the problem. If they are not used we lose the money.

WimpleOfTheBallet Tue 04-Jan-11 22:38:55

Gosh...I didn't realise there was such worry...now I am worried about seding DD (6) back to school tomorrow...it's certainly ade me think twice aboout taking DD (2)along n the school run! The other kids are always grabbing her and cuddling her.

Mabe I should think twice.

LeninGrad Tue 04-Jan-11 22:40:53

I wish children were offered the flu jab every year, is there any reason they couldn't be?

I have it via work or the GP (asthmatic), seems a simple way to try and prevent a pretty bad illness.

NewYearMoos Tue 04-Jan-11 22:43:38

how long are the children covered by the swine flu jab?

I only ask as my DSs (4 and 2) had it at the end of the cycle last year. I had horrendous flu last month (still got symptoms of it 6 weeks later) yet they didnt catch it, which is weird as they co-sleep most nights and I was severly ill for over a week.

phonix Wed 05-Jan-11 00:20:30

OK, I might get frowned upon for suggesting such a thing, but have you thought of going abroad (France would be an obvious choice) to get your DC vaccinated?

We're currently on the Continent and as soon as the news about vaccine shortage and under 5s broke in the UK, I started doing research into vaccinating my DC locally before our return to the UK. They had their first jabs today.

Patsy99 Wed 05-Jan-11 13:10:15

If you're near London this place will do children for £22. They did my workplace.

www.fleetstreetclinic.com/

Could you just look for a private GP near you?

london0hull4 Wed 05-Jan-11 13:13:36

I went into my GP surgery with my 3yo DS yesterday to ask if he could have the vaccine. It was all very hush-hush but I was told that although they weren't publicising it, they did have a few vaccines left and they gave me an appointment to take DS in on Friday for it. Whether they'll have any left by Friday is another question ...

Patsy99 Wed 05-Jan-11 13:21:35

NewYear Moos - I was wondering how long children are protected for too. DS had the swine flu jab last Jan 2010, so although he won't be proteced against the other 2 strains covered by the seasonal flu jab, as I understand it he is still protected against H1N1 swine flu. Also, the NHS advice is that pregnant women who are otherwise healthy don't need the seasonal flu jab if they've already had the swine flu one, so presumably they're still considered to be covered now.

To be fair to the NHS they struggled to give away the vaccine to under-5s last winter and the situaiton isn't that much worse now.

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