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swine flu situation for under 5s worrying me BUT NO vaccine available for them.(226 Posts)
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?
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?
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).
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).
I had the vax last year though and have had flu since.
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..
Why won't Bupa do it? They were my last port of call!
'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.
Do you think it is over the top to keep children off school? Am so worried and 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
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you're near London this place will do children for £22. They did my workplace.
Could you just look for a private GP near you?
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 ...
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.
I have a huge choice to make: can anyone help me/give a perspective/experience?
I have the choice to give my dd (13-months) either the MMR or the H1N1 vaccination this aft at 3pm. My doc says normally he would advise the MMR, but in a flu epidemic he cannot advise me. We're flying on two long-haul flights in 4 weeks time so that increases the risk of catching everything.
Help! What do I do!! I have an hour and half to decide...
p.s. for anyone trying to get a vacc, this is left-over stock from earlier this year, not the seasonal flu jab. Worth asking your gps about that...
Is your ds in an 'at-risk' group?
Very hard decision, no idea what I'd do - possibly the MMR, if he's healthy and thriving??
More importantly, just know that whatever you decide is the right decision - there is no black/white here!
Shellie, I would go for the flu jab today and then mmr in two weeks time - they only need 2 weeks between jabs don't they, so you'd have both done before hols and the flu seems more likely to be prevalent on an airplane at the moment and it takes about 4 weeks to get immunity from the jab so that's why I'd go with that first.
Not of any practical help to you, but I just got the vaccine for my 22 month old, here in Switzerland, prior to a trip back to the UK because I was worried. Here you can get it on request at any GP, but they're not giving it to under 5's automatically - it's the parents' choice.
Hope you manage to find it. This is not fact of course, but according to the paediatrician, there is a Swine flu epidemic here in Switzerland where the population is only 7 million, so I guess it must be at least similar proportions in the UK.
No, she's not at risk apart from being under 5. We're now thinking about changing our flights to two weeks later to get both jabs in there... fingers crossed... last minute decision!
Sorry, sheflies, not shellie!
that's alright ;-)
my doc says 4 weeks between them... I wish it was 2! :-(
My daughter (3) had pneumonia before Christmas. I have kept her away from preschool this week because I'm frightened about her getting swine flu when her immune system is already weakened by the pneumonia. I'm not usually a worrywart when it comes to my children's health- I usually take a fairly robust approach- but I am concerned about this.
does anyone know if you can get Swine flu twice? DD had it last year...
Actually - just looked up the webchat advice about whether the pandemic swine flu jab from last year still offers protection.
Apparently it's unclear:-
"Dr David Salisbury Tue 21-Dec-10 12:12:58
Hello and welcome.
Last year my children both received the H1N1 vaccination - will they still be receiving any protection from this?
^Last year when swine 'flu emerged, it was clear that the under-fives were indeed a risk group. For that reason, we recommended that they should be vaccinated. However, we also saw that many of them got infected and will now be immune against H1N1 (swine 'flu). At the moment, we are sticking with our usual seasonal flu policy, that doesn't include routine vaccination for under-fives, although this is something that we're looking at for the future.
santamax, If your children were vaccinated last year, there's a good chance that they will still get some protection from the vaccination. At this stage, it's impossible to know but time will tell!"^
I am absolutley terrified, I am no longer sending my little one 2yrs to playgroup it is not worth it, i have looked into private but noone does it it is a scandal!!!angry
<waves to privetdancer>
My Surgery won't give it to my ds, 3yrs, who suffers from chronic croup, they suggested trying boots but didn't know if they were giving it to under 18's. I've tried phoning my local branch but can't get through, does anybody know? Also wondering if worth getting it myself, at least then they can't catch it from me?
Milliways - I don't understand this because the seasonal flu vaccines were provided by the manufacturers on a sale or return basis. So any GP practice who did over order would not lose money...
I had the jab in November, DS2 is bfing, I think that means he will have some antibodies/ immunity is that right?
None of the high st pharmacies will do it for under 18s or pg women - the latter can get it on the NHS so it's clear that the pharmacies are just being over cautious (= litigation-scared).
The current seasonal flu jab covers swine flu, yes? This is what I am trying to get for dd, I am engaged in a complicated and off-the-record negotiation with my GP - I think she has kind of agreed to do it for £15. I am playing the pregnancy card, saying I don't want it in the house when I have a tiny baby. As I am vaccinated and planning to bf I hope the new baby will have some protection anyway, but I just don't want dd (19 months) to get it.
My Health Visitor said today that the Deparemnt of Health may chnage their policy and she will keep me informed, said the surgery have been inundated with calls. She also said DH and I should get vaccinated at a supermarket pharmacy as it will mean we won't be able to catch it and give it to DC's
Postcode lottery here is dreadful! Our surgery did all 4 of us. DD is asthmatic (not on steroid inhalers tho whomovedmycheese) and under hospital chest clinic, so straightforward, as is DS who was prem. Bt nurse insisted on doing me and DH on spurious grounds we were mildly asthmatic as children! Nurse was taking matters into her own hands really - as she saw it, there wasn't much point vaccinating half the family, as our children were still at risk if DH or I brought flu into the house.
If any of you live in London I have heard they are offering at the medi centres in London train stations for under 18's
I am so scared of catching it and then my kids getting it,who the hell will take care of them? Surely it makes sense to vaccinate then their wouldnt be such panic and it wouldnt be spread so readily, I reckon that it all comes down to money once again. I am beyond panicking now, My little man will not be going out unneccesarily now and i have dettol galore in my house and am doing all I can to prevent this but my daughter is at college and this really scares me, especially in light of the news today!!
If you're scared of catching it and giving it to your children, you can get vaccinated yourself (although likely to have to pay).
Did they not get vaccinated last year? DS was given the swine flu jab (just one, no booster needed) last Jan when he was 1.3, and from what I've heard he's still protected by that which is why they're not doing it this year.
I am outraged by how difficult this is. If we want our child/children vaccinated and are happy to pay then there should be the facilities in place for us to do this.
I see Mumsnet is much quoted in press articles about this issue, is there no where we can put in a collective complaint too?
Rhian, I have just spoken to my HV about the jab, and she said that if they had a jab last year then they will need another one this year, it doesn't protect them for longer than 12 months, and if you had one when you are pregnant then immunity doesn't last for more than 6 months.
They are also combining the jab with a seasonal flu jab.
SammEC - I'm worried that you're so worried! For most people it's just a bug that lasts a week or so, unpleasant but not too bad. Quite a few people don't even know they've had it.
And whilst 800 people in intensive care/39 deaths is bad, it's not exactly a disaster out of a population of 60 million.
Also, it won't be over until about March I think, so you can't stay in solitary confinement unitl then!
so glad its not just me worried,i have had it cos pg,dh has had it cos copper and ds has had it cos kidney probs.dd8 is the only one not covered then and she has an allergy to most ant biotics and is also under ent for reccurrant nasal infections unknown cause as yet,as most cases that result in death are from pneumonia its worrying that she may not be able to be treated effectively for chest infection.Apparently this is not high risk,i have heard that maternity ward are banning everyone but partners from visits which upsets me cos i have to have a section and wont be able to see my dcs- altho obviously for the best.
I dont even know where to start re new born do you just ban visitors and not go out??
Can you still carry it if been vaccinated does anyone know?
I am extremely worried about this and have tried to get vaccinations for my children but do think we need to take a sensible approach. Keeping children off school will not stop them from getting it. Think about the hands that touch the handle of a supermarket trolley in Tesco or push on the door to a shop. You can pick up these germs absolutely anywhere and unless you put yourself in a bubble there are no guarantees.
I'm stressing about this too as would like my ds done asap. Have even looked into getting it privately too but am not having much joy at the mo.
I think the newborns will be protected via us Ledkr cos we had the jab a good few weeks before they are born so antibodies should be passing the placenta? Not sure but I think thats how it works. They reckon that only lasts for 6 months or so but by that point shouldn't the flu season be over?
Its my ds I am most concerned about - seems madness that I am willing to pay for my child to have something and I just can't get it!
I spoke to my MP yesterday and he is looking into the situation today.
Personally, the only choice I have is to get a private prescription written, collect it from Boots and then the local private hospital will administer it. I am waiting for a call to confirm this. I don't know what I'll do if the answer is no again.
I work at a GP surgery and today, the phones have not stopped ringing with calls from worried parents. We are doing it for £16 for kids, but the surgery I am registered with won't do it and say they have run out of the vaccine anyway.
I am so fed up and worried - I hardly slept last night. I feel this is quite serious.
I rang my doctor this afternoon and they have just had a meeting where they decided that they would now be offering the vaccine to under 5s. The receptionist wasn't sure whether this was new policy or just our surgery's decision but the nurse will call me later.
If not, I will go to a private doctor. There is a private clinic locally that will do it for £20 a shot.
LISTEN UP FOLKS!!!
Just spoken to the nurse who administers the vaccines at our doctors surgery and she has told me we can get the vaccine for our children for £15 each at another NHS surgery (their 'sister' surgery) as private patients, just not the surgery we are registered at (not sure why this is...) apparently it works like this across the country. Also if the surgery you contact is out of the vaccine you can get a prescription for it from them, get the vaccine from Boots Sainsburys or Tesco and take it back to the surgery to be administered. Phew!
They are also offering it at BMI clinics for anyone over the age of 4 years for £40 as between the ages of 4-13 they need two doses
It means me, DH and DD will be protected but not DS who is 2 years old, he will have less chance of getting it though if we aren't bringing it into the house
I called my BMI clinic and they won't do it for under 18s. Maybe it's a localised decision?
I found one private dr in London who will do it for £20 for anyone 6mnths upwards. North London if anyone interested.
I'm still waiting for a ring back from practice nurse, which doesnt look like its coming! but am also worried about my dc's they both had it last year as ds had almost died having pneumonia and dd having mild astma (no medication)
But as im pg, I the inj' in oct, but am unsure what vacc' i've had!? is there more than one type?
No, there's just one vaccine this year for seasonal flu and swine flu combined.
I've had myself and 2xdc done by a private GP in Sheffield this afternoon who charged £20 each, the dc have to have another shot in 4 weeks for another £20 each.
The GP said that as the H1N1 ie swine flu, has not mutated then as it stands we are vaccinated for life, the annual flu vaccine has different ingredients each time as flu keeps changing - when I heard this I felt pretty silly for not taking up the offer of a free vaccine on the NHS last year but it felt somehow more remote and also seemed to be only people with underlying health problems which does not seem to be the case so much this year.
So, we're done - at least partially until the kids get their top ups
My ds under 5 got it last yr but no offer this yr hmmm anyway i am posting becuse i was alarmed today my colleague who is 6 months pg has been trying to get it and not offered through gp when asked when told to by midwife - so gp told her to go to a walk in who dont have it for her as pg who sent her to tesco who wouldnt give it as she is pg and was told to go back to gp who said same thign as did the pct - crock of shit. I am debating paying to have it done at tesco for myself and am at docs for ds on monday to enquire whilst trying to get someinfo regards his reoccuring croupe. So has the conseravtives privatised the flu jab then?
anyone know of where we could get it for a 3 year old in the North West area? Chester/liverpool/manchester way... I really am not having any luck at all.. tried various private practices and all are not giving it out now privately as stocks are low and they are saving it for their regualar clients. Its really maddening as my own doctors surgery does have plenty of supplies yet they wont give it as it doesnt follow NHS guidelines. They also wont write a prescription for me to buy it privately as that also isnt in NHS guidelines. Besides most private places are also running out. Any ideas????
hillyhow did you find the private gp?Dont even know where to start.
in cheltenham here any suggestions??
LEDKR - I've had my children done via Independent General Practice (look them up on Google) - which have offices in Bristol, Cardiff and some other placese - cost £25 and got same day appointment, though they need a booster in four weeks time.
The best thing you can do is contact the practice nurse at your GP's surgery, they will be able to advise you better than anyone, also check out the private health clinics/hospitals in the area, google them.
If you have had the jab after giving birth and are breastfeeding - does that give some immunity to a newborn?
I did ask about it as the most vunerable in my house is dd but due to way her immune system works or in her case does not work she can not have it
I did see about then getting me and the other dc done as way of protecting her but places have run out
Bur after weighing it up she will carry on going to school going out as normal .The only thing that will be differnt us if it becomes issue within her school/class .Then everyone agrees that she will then need to be withdrawn
the main thing you can all do apart from not panicking is wash hands regulary and catch it and bin it
I don't know for sure (as I haven't actually looked into it yet) but the private GP service I use in London has a Manchester office - worth a call if nothing else as doesn't say on website specifically about children Doctor Call.
medicentre for London people.
Just been on NHS choices website, and the at risk groups include ' those who work with poultry' wtf?! i thought it was swine flu, not bird fu??? We have to pet chickens, so have I exposed my dc to swine flu?!GOD am more worried than ever!
220. Just think about that number.
Similar experience for us - our GP refused to vaccinate our 1 yr old, as did Boots/Tesco.
Our GP suggested we try private at the Portland Hospital.
I called two of the recommended doctors, both of whom quoted me the same fees:
£40 for the prescription / jab
£180 for the 'consultation'
I asked, and no, one could not have the jab without the consultation.
THAT'S A TOTAL OF £220 TO VACCINATE YOUR CHILD. Rip-off Britain strikes again - at your children.
Shameful indeed to allow price gouge during an epidemic.
£220 to protect your child against the flu epidemic is PATHETIC and we should all hold both this government and the medical establishment responsible.
By the way, £220 compares to £12.95 for adults at Boots.
Get mad people. 220.
highly strung thanks.
goingrtb my friends dd couldnt have it as has probs with allergies and reduced immune system but also asthma. Her dd was vacinated today and it was done as a day patient in case of reaction and she had some drugs to prevent a reaction.Would that be any good for your dd?
I know you're angry but I'd hardly call the Portland Hospital the medical establishment.
somehow I dont think the medical establishment was meant to be refering to the portland hospital... probably meant those people who make the NHS medical decisions.....
manicmummy - I think the issue is - if you have swine flu and your chickens got bird flu then that could equal a new flu strain. Which might make you quite famous, but I'm not sure you'd want it!
hilly- that doesnt make sense. The swine flu, like any other influenza a atrain will change with time.
I understand you're worried. However, as Patsy99 says, the situation is currently no worse than any usual winter.
It's a sad fact that every sort of flu - H1N1 or otherwise - claims lives each winter. Mostly, the victims have an underlying condition.
The media are irresponsible bastards for scaremongering the way they have been doing. Fraankly, they have caused mass panic, especially amongst carers and parents. No wonder everyone's so upset and stressed. They have a duty to report responsibly...but of course that doesn't sell papers.
I hope those of you who want it manage to get the vaccine locally or privately. In the meantime, impress upon your kids (if they're old enough) that clean hands are the best defence and teach them to 'catch it, kill it, bin it'.
OhYouBadBadKitten if I wanted fame, would go on x factor and be shamed!lol, thanks for the link, dp works across from one medicentre, so am going to take the kids on a day trip to ldn I think, no prices on there site, but if I had to pay £220 for my childs health, It would be worth it (although It does seem unfair, £220/12.99!)
We are getting ours at our local travel clinic. Look up your local one on google, I think most are offering it and its only 15 pounds a vaccine.
The situation is a great deal worse than other recent winters, partly due to the lack of central planning following the damp sqib pandemic last year. H1N1 patients are being cared for theatre recovery areas and children travelling across the country to find the nearest intensive care bed. Operations are being cancelled to make space. I have made 63 phone calls over the last few weeks to try to get a vaccine for DS2. No luck and I'm really worried about him going to Nursery but DH and I are both frontline healthcare workers.
ProfessorLayton - they arent' necessary the seasonal and swine flu combined. I paid to have one done at Lloyds Pharmacy last week and the consent form I signed told me that it wouldn't protect me from swine flu and the pharmacist who administered it confirmed that this is the case.
As am I. Winter pressures which are compounded by people turning up at A&E for minor reasons (not swine flu-related) and clogging it up. Winter vomiting closing wards. Flu admissions. These are what exacerbate winter pressures.
To help this, always try minor injuries/walk-in centres/your own GP/NHS Direct first. A&E depts are not nice places to be. Yuk.
That's odd -- the NHS information states categorically "This year's flu jab (2010-2011): This winter, the H1N1 strain of the flu virus is one of three strains of flu that the seasonal flu jab protects against. H1N1 is the same strain of flu behind last year's swine flu pandemic. The other two strains of flu this year's jab protects against are H3N2 and B." and I had the impression that the WHO centrally decides what three strains of flu each year's seasonal jab protects against, so that there's only one kind of seasonal jab available each year. So what were Lloyds injecting you with?
luckbealady, the official figures seem to show that significantly more (as in several times more) critical care beds are occupied by people with flu-like illnesses this year than in a usual winter. Is that not the case?
The Boots website claims their seasonal flu jab won't protect against swine flu, but when I phoned they said it did....ummm
I know this wont help most of you, but for anyone in Aberdeenshire, a pharmacy is vaccinating children - Charles Michie on Union Street - we had our two boys there today.
Sorry, I haven't read the total thread but I'm really suprised at this. My GP was other way around - all children under 5, regardless of health, were called for this. It was about Feb last year, and there was a bit of an uproar in ds1 class (reception at that time) because some children were having it (ds1 birthday in May) and others (like his best friend) weren't because they had already turned 5.
I'm really quite shocked because there seems to have been a complete turnaround.
(Btw, I had the flu jab last October and was told it wpould give protection against swine flu. Nothing was mentioned about strains though)
lets hope someone is listening and does something to help....
http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/news/Pressure-moun ts-children-flu-vaccination/article-3066076-detail /article.html
Patsy99 - the advice re pregnant women has now changed and the advice is that irrespective of whether they were vaccinated last year or not, pregnant women should have the trivalent 'flu vaccine this year ie even if they did have H1N1/swine flu vaccine last year. This is a change to the initial advice and was changed in the week before Christmas. Hope that's helpful if it affects anyone who has been given the 'old' advice prior to the updated guidance.
Why are peopel so worried? It's just flu. People who are immune-compromised and pregnant womes should be worries, but no one else. Keeping healthy children off school because of it is seriously over reacting.
Seeker, the swine strain is not flu-as-normal. It has been shown to cause proportionally more fatalities and severe morbidity in younger age groups than most other strains of seasonal flu. I honestly don't understand why people keep on denying that the H1N1 strain is different. It really does seem to be.
I had my second child 2 weeks ago. I had the combined jab 4 days before that happened, so DS2 won't have got very much placental immunity. I'm now trying to find a way of getting DS1 vaccinated (he is nearly 3) and of course DH can get his in a chemist. It's not just to avoid DS1 getting ill, but to protect the baby, who can't be vaccinated. I'm really quite concerned, and I don't tend to get swept up in panics.
I have just had my flu jab as im asthmatic, but i want to get my 3 boys done also - aged 5,2 and 1. I feel if there is any risk at all to my children and this jab can take the risk away, its crazy not to have them done. I will keep trying to find somewhere private, we are in shropshire/cheshire borders if anyone knows of where we can go???
After the first couple of posts I thought 'Over reacting!'
Now perhaps I'm severely underreacting, DD1 is asthmatic, will see about taking her for a jab.
Sorry to all of you who are having a stressful time. Here's a success story that confounds the stereotypes about US healthcare.
We are visiting family in America at the moment. Having heard about the rise in flu cases in the UK, and found out from my GP's surgery in England that the situation there is the dog's breakfast that many of you have described, I decided to find out what could be done over here.
After a couple of phonecalls, my DCs (3 years and 9 months) and I walked into an office of Public Health today, and within an hour we had all been given the flu vaccination. For free!! Had we come in on a Monday we would not have had to wait as they have a special flu clinic. Very few questions asked (as it happens my kids are US citizens through their dad, but no-one asked for proof of citizenship, residence etc.)
America seems to have a massively better setup for dealing with seasonal flu. The local hospital holds big drop in clinics every autumn. It's quite convivial. And costs nothing, even if you don't have health insurance. Now why can't the NHS do the same??
telegraph report on the vaccine situation.
As I said earlier, what a mess. It is a complete failure of the system. The way it is supposed to work is that 'At risk' people are vaccinated October/November - not in the middle of an emerging epidemic and there should be enough vaccine to cover all at risk groups.
in that report one gp says that pregnant women were not initially included in the campaign. This is factually incorrect.
See The influenza immunisation programme 2010/2011
Note it says: "The national policy for seasonal influenza vaccine remains the same except for the inclusion of pregnant women who are not in a clinical at risk group and have not previously received the H1N1 swine influenza vaccine." This is dated 23rd June but if you look at this page you can infer that this advice was issued on the 28th May.
Right, Doctor Hillary on Lorraine just said not to worry, it's just flu but also that we should go to a high street pharmacy, get the vaccine prescribed and then take it to the doctor to administer. Errr - is this the official advice then?? To echo everyone else - what a mess!
Sorry, I meant is this now the official advice for otherwise healthy under-fives?
If anyone is from Aberdeen there is a pharmacy that immunises children and he is very good so if you would like details, give me a message.
For anyone who lives near Harrow - Harrow Health care centre(a private gp) does it for £25 for adults and children over 1.
I would just want to try and offer some reassurance in the media frenzy over this. I discussed it with my DS neonatologist yesterday. My DS was 11 weeks prem, and is probably going to be asthmatic (when he's old enough to diagnose) however she advised that he was not at increased risk and that she didn't believe that he needed or should be given the flu vaccine even though he may be considered a high risk as in relaity the risk was very low.
That's good enough for me, and personally I would rather the NHS concentrated resources on other vaccines which have more proven health benefits, but which they don't prescribe due to cost (For example RSV which he would previously have qualified for, but now doesn't due entirely to cost)
For those of you who live in or within reach of London the Medicentre at Victoria station is offering flu jabs to children over 1 for £20. I am taking my 4 year old to get the vaccine on Saturday.
I have just booked my two sons aged 8 and 11 in at a private clinic in the Midlands costing £50 each. I cannot get an appointment with a GP for a precription to get the vacine. Then wait for another appointment to have it done. When I called in at the surgery they were very off with me (always are)about this. I had mine done in October in tesco dh had his at the surgery.
hildathebuilder, I hear you on the RSV vaccine. I wish they'd fund that too - dd2 nearly died at 4 weeks.
Very patchy advice going on: our surgery was on the ball about vaccinating my dds (mild asthma in one, laryngomalacia in the other) back in October. BUT I've just met a mum at school who is 31 weeks pg, and had swine flu over Christmas - was hospitalised for ten days on the labour ward - and she was NEVER called for a vaccination. Same surgery. Thankfully, she is well again now. Very confusing.
i too am a very worried mum in fact probably neurotic absolutely love my kids. havent sent them back to school and nursery yet as scared of swine flu got them jabbed yesterday thank god ive had anxiety symptoms for weeks worrying about it!
Didnt realise DSS needed a flu jab, as he's asthmatic, only diagnosed in April. Have rung GP this morning and they have no vaccine left. Was told to take him to a pharmacist.
Have rung round 30 local pharmacies, only Boots has it left and they wont administer or dispense it to under 16's. Am now waiting for GP to ring back to see if they will do a prescription for me to collect and then administer it.
Or alternatively they can contact school and explain why DSS wont be going again before March.
He was hospitalised last year with a chest infection, four days of steroids and breathing mask. Really dont want to risk that again .
It is a worry, my son has laryngomalacia and all illnesses go straight to his chest, he has also had RSV twice, very seriously when he was 10 months old, but my surgery are refusing him the jab.
What are we to do though? Surely we can't stay in until the flu season's over???!
could you not stress the implications its having on your health and you need to be well for your kids and if by giving your kids a jab would make you feel better and reassured knowing your kids are ok?
ive been that stressed ive been online grocery shopping so dont have to go in public places!
I'm worried about dd (18 months old) especially as she was very premature. Rang the surgery and was told she won't be eligible for the jab as they are only vaccinating under 5's with asthma.
we should go to a high street pharmacy, get the vaccine prescribed and then take it to the doctor to administer. Errr - is this the official advice then??
how does this work if there are no supplies left though?
We've been told by our surgery that pharmacies are refusing to take prescriptions for under 16's so the doctor won't write them.... Spoke to two pharmacies and they said they would take them but unfortunately their stocks are pretty much gone and don't know when they will get more.... Argghh!
decaff, my dd2 was given the jab due to her laryngomalacia, although she's had surgery and has all but grown out if it. I'm shocked that your surgery won't - shows how patchy the system is
weren't all under 5's offered swine flu vaccination last year? (mine was, though we didn't take it.)
i believe i read that less than 25% took it up.
Talk of keeping children off school/nursery is rather an over-reaction.
The flu 'season' is pretty much until March, and with global travel people can carry flu viruses year-round. Life needs to go on!
The best way to keep your family healthy and flu-free is to encourage good, thorough handwashing with hot soapy water.
Use tissues and catch it, bin it, kill it.
Avoid obviously unwell people but most people with proper flu (seasonal and H1N1) are unlikely to be out and about in schools, nurseries, shops etc as they are ill and will most likely be at home in bed!
Flu vaccination is an important part of public health and illness prevention, especially for those with underlying medical conditions. However MOST of us (and our children) don't need a flu jab so please don't panic if you can't get the vaccine.
However I agree it's all a bit crap - we only have a few vaccines left as we've had a great take up here. We can't get any more - I'm not sure why there is a manufacturer/supply problem. We're having to turn away people that are eligible which is bad. However many people that were eligible didn't come and get it when we started the programme in October and now want it due to the media reports.
Ok, well I've spoken to my surgery now and they will not be offering the vac to under-fives unless government advice changes. So I'm still wondering why the media is urging us to vaccinate under-fives?
I am going to see if I can myself done on the high street today as I don't fancy all of us being ill at once . .
FWIW, my surgery does have vaccine in stock. I will find out later if there's any left on the high street.
Well for those that cant get hold of the vaccine, you may want to take comfort from learning what's actually in it:
Egg proteins: including avian contaminant viruses
Gelatin: a callogen derived from pigs bones -can cause allergic reactions and found in salmon mousse and a cocunut flummery. Trifle too.
Polysorbate 80 (Tween80): can cause severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Also associated with inferility in female mice.
Propane-1, 2-dial esters of fatty acids - found in Pot Noodle and Pop Tarts.
Formaldehyde: known carcinogen also used in Bailey Irish Cream.
Triton X100: a strong detergent
resin known to cause allergic reactions and nervous ticks and funny walks in mice.
Gentamycin: an antibiotic
Thimerosal: mercury (not Freddie)
princessdeb, thanks for the tip, i have booked my 2 year old in for saturday at medicentre.
maybe it's unnecessary for healthy little ones but DH and i already paid for our own vaccinations in October so it only seems fair we should protect our son too.
i had flu twice in one year a couple years back and it was so awful i am getting vaccinations every year until the memory fades! DH actually had it free at work.
Where did you get that list from ILPA? Not from this drug information leaflet: here which gives the ingredients as:
Anhydrous disodium phosphate
Sodium dihydrogen phosphate dihydrate
Potassium dihydrogen phosphate
Water for injection
Attribution, please, ILovePeterAndre.
i saw her sourcing on some scaremongering site, discussing generic vaccine ingredients
Our surgery vaccinates all under 5's. However, they have run out. The GP wrote a prescription and called round the pharmacies for us. So I picked it up for free yesterday and it's in the fridge - the GP will administer it tomorrow. There seems to be a lot of confusion, but pharmacies will definitely give it to you if they have some and you have a prescription.
I think it's worth remembering that you can acquire immunity naturally as well. 1/3 of cases of swine flu last year were completely asymptomatic and there were hundreds of thousands of mild cases/typical cases that did not make the headlines. Many of us may already be immune to swine flu without knowing it. We come into contact with different flu viruses every year and we don't always get sick. There have been fewer deaths this year than last year and last year's figures were lower than usual for seasonal flu. Of course the headlines report the worst- that is what sells the papers! We have to remember that for every serious case of flu there are thousands of cases where people have made a full recovery.
I tried to get it on the high street today and everywhere was sold out, so I've booked me and DH in at a private clinic tomorrow, but they won't do under 4s. I am at a loss as to where to try now. I am holding on to the hope that as she was vaccinated in March last year she may have some protection left.
Well - I went to my gp surgery yesterday responding to the call up she received LAST march advising DD SHOULD have it, only to be told now that she isn't, in fact at risk (the reason I took so long dithering about the decision is because there was so nuch conflicting info out there and I was worried)
Now that I want her to have it, she apparently cannot, even though the GP admits they've got loads in the fridge! - what a mess! - really worried!
BiscuitNibbler - yes she will still be immune as the swine flu virus hasn't mutated, it's only normal flu which needs to be given every year. Have a look at the Q&A on the live webchat mumsnet did the other day with a doctor from department of health.
I went to my Gps for flu jab at 35 wks pregnant, but was sent away as Id had the swine flu jab Dec 09. 2 days later i was back again with my son and asked the Gp how long the swine flu jab works for as it was over a yar ago, anyway she had just received an email saying ALL pregnant women should have it regardless of them having previous swine flu jab or not.(I have since seen a letter on notice board at midwives saying the same thing)So I had it straight away! Have had same problems finding anywhere to vaccinate my 2 children though, 3 & 7 years. They both have ventolin inhalers but only need them with hayfever, pet allergies etc and apparently that doesnt count as asthma!
This is what they said:
"Last year when swine 'flu emerged, it was clear that the under-fives were indeed a risk group. For that reason, we recommended that they should be vaccinated. However, we also saw that many of them got infected and will now be immune against H1N1 (swine 'flu). At the moment, we are sticking with our usual seasonal flu policy, that doesn't include routine vaccination for under-fives, although this is something that we're looking at for the future.
santamax, If your children were vaccinated last year, there's a good chance that they will still get some protection from the vaccination. At this stage, it's impossible to know but time will tell!"
kogsy children are only classed as "properly" asthmatic (in terms of eligibility for flu vaccine) if they have regular inhaled steroids, so just needing ventolin doesn't qualify them for a flu jab as they aren't at increased risk compared to any other child.
Having allergies and hayfever doesn't make you more likely to suffer complications with flu, you'll be relieved to hear
I am furious have just seen on the ITV news that the youngest and eldest in society are most at risk, older people have been offered the vaccine, me and DH had it today at Sainsbury's, DD who is 5 is getting it at private hospital tomorrow but DS who is two years old and most at risk cannot get it anywhere
I just wish everyone was honest about what is going on, I have problems coping with things like this and it is almost tipping me over the edge. I have arranged vaccines for both my Children but until they are administered I wont be able to settle!!!
The media have made this far worse for us parents and carers, but i think the most important thing to remember is this - your children are exactly that - YOUR children and you have the right to take whatever measures you feel good with to keep them safe, if that means keeping them home from school then that is fine, you are not hurting anyone, just doing the best you can, as least you can turn round and say I have done everything I can to protect my children!!
It is also very necessary to keep a sense of proportion.
Yes I agree, but people should do waht they think is right for them, freedom of choice and all that, otherwise what is it all about, no-one is in charge in this country, it is a mess!
Yes, freedom of choice is important - but choosing to keep a healthy child away from school would be a very foolish choice.
I would rather make a foolish choice an my child be safe and healthy, but it awful that parents put in this position and no mater what we do, some one somewhere will find it wrong
And a threat from the education dept would soon be on its way
f you have had the jab after giving birth and are breastfeeding - does that give some immunity to a newborn?
We used to live in Alaska, USA, and all Under 5s there got the flu jab (and last year the H1N1 as well).
Neither child qualified for one at our GP surgery here in the UK. My 4 year old is pretty healthy, but my 2 year old has a history of wheezing/bronchiolitis/chest infections, and has a steroid inhaler. I was a bit surprised she didn't qualify.
Instead I took them privately to Surrey GP in Guildford back in October. They could do children's flu shots, and I think I paid 25 pounds each.
I was quite surprised my wheezing/chesty 2 year old didn't qualify for an NHS one here. I wasn't sure (back in October) if I was overreacting by getting the jabs done privately instead. American does seem to do a lot more vaccines on children, and maybe it wasn't necessary. However obviously I am very glad now that I did, especially for the 2 year old.
If you are still looking for kid flu shots, try Surrey GP. I think they are out of stock at the moment, but expecting more shortly, and you can register your interest on their website. Can't remember the website address, but just google Surrey GP and you should find it.
Our children are at risk of things everyday. Swine flu is a relatively small risk if you actually look at it. A small proportion of people will get sick from swine flu and a very small number will get seriously ill. Chances are you and your family are already immune to it anyway - it's been around for over 18 months now! Not everyone gets sick when they are exposed to a virus.
biscuitbreaker - I don't believe so.
MedicalEd - We can only get 10% Sale or return, so have to be careful not to over order.
This year will be the first year EVER we will use them all!
Redshineyshoes - thank you.
I really can't see though why as a parent if you are happy to pay and take the responsibility you can't get a toddler immunised. It is madness.
Biscuitbreaker - no worries, we're all in the same boat! As for the breastfeeding I have found some reports to say it does provide immunity and others to say maybe (the webchat doctor said maybe). I am breastfeeding at the moment and had it done today, better than nothing I thought!
On BBC news it says that they are releasing the pandemic swine flu vaccine they had left over to cover the shortfall of winter flu vaccine. Other good news - they seem to be suggesting that it's peaked/ peaking now.
But still no mention of vaccinating under-fives! My surgery won't do it unless the Government changes it's policy - when will this be??
I am getting myself done tomorrow now (have bagged one of the few vacs left in my local pharmacy). I hope that will afford some protection to DD (8 months) as I am still BF-ing.
Oh right - just seen on Channel 4 News that they have decided to definitely NOT do healthy under-fives. So that's that I guess!
either they genuinely believe that most under 5's have been exposed all ready or there is such a critical shortage that they are really having to prioritise what 'at risk' groups to go for.
If children were genuinely at risk they would be prioritised. The media have blown the risk all out of proportion. 45 deaths since October across the whole UK does not warrant the hype it is getting.
It is not the number of deaths (which are in England, not the whole of the UK and are the ones that have been actually confirmed by the hpa as being flu. In normal flu years entirely different criteria are used to estimate flu deaths)
It is the number in critical care which is the concern, fortunately this number has dropped a bit through the week, hopefully it is a good sign rather than a pause in proceedings)
"I am breastfeeding at the moment and had it done today, better than nothing I thought!"
Redshineyshoes - exactly what I was thinking. My baby is 3 weeks...
My baby is 1 month. Sainsburys didn't ask whether I was breastfeeding so I didn't mention it as Boots had told me they wouldn't do it if I was breastfeeding... They said it was fine to get it but it would need to be given by a doctor - as with under 16's and pregnant women who they aren't licensed to do either, even though the vaccine is safe for these groups
hurray, after loads and loads of telephone calls and searching I managed to find somewhere that would vaccinate my 3 year old as well as myself! Its called DoctorCall based in Manchester (and London)
http://doctorcall.co.uk/ I went today and must say that it was very professional and so would recommend. The private doctor was very kind with my daughter and must say that I didnt feel the injection one little bit!
They are using the Glaxo Fluarix injection suitable for children from 6 months. My daughter has to go back in 4 weeks for a booster. and it only cost £12 per injection! so worth a trip if you can... we travelled an hour to get there, but now I feel so much happier. I know they do have supplies left if you are quick!
One thing I haven't heard mentioned at all this year is Tamiflu - whatever happened to that?
My guess is that they probably arent opening the jabs up to kids as none available! they are short of supplies for pregnant woman and those with other health conditions.....
I really don't mean to be flippant. I'm as concerned as the next parent about sf and I understand the mums wanting to keep their DCs home from school and nursery because of the swine flu risk. But until March?
In my case, the possible severe health risks posed to them by swine flu are dwarfed by the definite severe health risks posed to them by me as I go totally insane.
But didn't the Chief Medical Officer just say on C4 news there isn't a shortage as they've just opened up the stocks of swine flu only jab? I must be missing something...
I feel sorry for the medical profession. They told us last year that swine flu was potentially serious and everyone poo-poo'd them when it didn't reach epidemic proportions (despite it being obvious it would come back this year). On here virtually everyone scorned swine flu being a serious threat.
A few weeks ago, before all the flu news broke, I found out that you could get the flu jab privately (I tried to obtain them privately all last year, but no-one seemed able to do them)and that it included swine flu. We managed to find a local gp clinic that does them privately - but unfortunately my children haven't had their boosters yet. I recommend calling around different doctors.
Hmmm I registered an interest on the Surrey GP website mentioned above, and they just called me back to say the injections would be £40 each and each child would need two, which would be £160 for my two! Poster above said her injections were £25 each in October. Demand exceeded supply blah de blah, but I hate the sound of making money off people's fears!!
My younger dd and ds both had swine flu jabs last year.
My ds (19mths) has already had his first annual flu jab and has his second next Friday. He has a hole in his heart and a deformed valve so is considered high risk.
He couldn't have the annual flu jab last year as they cannot give it to babies under 6 mths and he was too young when the surgery we were with were running their flu clinics.
My 5yr old had the jab last year following a notification from her surgery to get it. Every child at her nursery received it. Really didn't want to but due to hubby coming down bad with it felt it was the best option, the following week after the vaccine it all died away but despite having numerous stockpiles of the drug they wouldn't let anyone else in the family (such as myself) have it. Where have all these surplus vaccines gone?
If in the vicinity of London I managed to get my son vaccinated at a place called The Fleet Street Clinic, 29 Fleet Street. My son is 4, and a doctor administered it - cost £18. Would recomend.
DS is 14 months and having his flu jab next week because he is asthmatic. If he wasn't though I wouldn't be to worried about him having it. I do think a lot of this is media hype, 1000s of people die from normal flu every winter and we don't normally see such a media fuss about it.
Those in the higher risk groups should be vaccinated but others I think need to just try not to panic! (spoken as someone who has had swine flu and just managed to stay out of hospital)
Just to add that while of course the potential complications of swine flu are worrying, and vaccination should be available to those of all ages, for the vast majority of people swine flu is a self limiting illness which although very unpleasant, has no lasting effects. Me, my dh and my 2 year old have just recovered from swine flu, my 4 year old who was vaccinated Last year was fine. TBH I was the worst mainly because I had no chance to rest just had to get on with it. On plus side flu outbreaks usually last 7 weeks and we are 4 weeks in so hopefully will be over soon.
I'm also trying not to panic but it is worrying when you read scary headlines in newspapers. If anyone is still thinking of getting their children vaccinated privately and live in the London/Surrey area I got my four year old and 7 month old done at a clinic called The Richmond Practice in Richmond, Surrey. Very professional, would recommend. Although they have to go back for boosters in four weeks the doctor said they should be protected between one and two weeks time and that the reason they need a booster is to give them protection that will last a whole year.
My son had flu symptoms before Christmas and despite the goverment advise being that Tamiflu is more effective given in the first 48 hours of symptoms the GP still said "it's a virus come back if it gets worse".
FLU IS A VIRUS!!!
He is fully recovered thankfully and I hope all of your little ones avoid are safe and well too.
Well, its come a little closer to home as someone I know is in hospital seriously ill with flu. She does have asthma. Her husband has it as well and so a local business is now temporarily closed.
I suspected that only deaths from flu with a very specific criteria are being counted by the hpa. News report which if accurate would confirm my suspicions.
I have no idea if the media in the UK reported the adverse affects of the flu vaccine that occured in Western Australia last year?
I have no problem with vaccination, however I think it is important to have all the facts.
I have no idea if the vaccine batch was a problem, or the actual vaccine. It was never made clear, but I do know they stopped the free vaccine program for all children under 5.
Here's one of the reports:
www.perthnow.com.au/news/was-free-influenza-vaccin ation-program-has-been-suspended-for-children-unde r-five/story-e6frg12c-1225857140885
Your vaccine may be completely different.
No it is not the politicians but the civil servants that research and decide these things!!!! Did you ever see Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister? Well that is exactly how it is. the politicians take the flak and the civil servants get anonymity, awards in the Queen's Honours list when they retire and even, in recent years, give themselves annual bonuses. Of course the NHS civil servants are advised by doctors too. These guys sit there for years and pooliticians - particularly the newbies we have now - don't stand a chance.
My sympathies go out to all of you - mine have had this flu/been exposed to it last year but if it shows signs of mutating I would keep them at home no question. I have Home educated for 5 years though they are now in school again but it is not the only way.
"In my case, the possible severe health risks posed to them by swine flu are dwarfed by the definite severe health risks posed to them by me as I go totally insane."
LOL. Our household is currently dominated by phone calls from my mother asking if we have all had the jab yet.
I spoke to GP yesterday on the phone. He assured me that they have plenty of flu vaccines available. (North Tyneside PCT) As DS is healthy and took up jab last Christmas, he did not recommend him to have a jab at the minute. They'll give us a call, if they change their minds.
I've been to the private clinic today to get the combined vaccine for myself and DH, and despite what they said on the phone about not vaccinating under-4s they agreed to give it to my 21 month DD too! I am so relieved.
The doctor did say that as she had already been vaccinated for swine flu last year she was already protected against it as long as the virus did not mutate from H1N1 but they gave her the combined vaccine anyway to protect her from seasonal flu.
It was £150 for the 3 of us, so quite steep but for the peace of mind it is worth it.
New letter from Dept of Health out today
says GP surgeries can try getting Pandemrix from their PCT today or order direct from 10th Jan. For those with kids / relatives in at risk groups why not see if the surgery will be holding a clinic after that date when stock arrives?
Healthy under 5's remain not an at risk group.
My DD1 has been vaccinated (Kidney problems) and asked if DD2 could also be vaccinated, told no as she is healthy, makes me feel guilty, what if anything happens to DD2, i feel awful that one has had it done without the other, i have tried everywhere too, with no avail
I dont understand why surgeries have not ordered enough to cover the patients they have in at risk groups? Perhaps this is why they didnt bother coontacting DSS, saved them some money.
I dont think it's fair to expect an at risk CHILD to wait when there is vaccine available at other surgeries and on the high street.
Yes, I would like DS (12 months) to have it, but my GP won't do a private vaccine.
There's no point trying Boots because I knew they wouldn't do it, they wouldn't give me the standard flu vaccine last year when I was pregnant. I even had problems getting it at a Medicentre from the doctors there.
I think its appaling, because last year they were vaccinating under 5's so I think now the government is just trying to save money. What annoys me even more is not being able to get it privately. Its a safe vaccine, so either Boots should do it or the GP. I don't care which, I don't care how much it costs, I just think it should be available one way or another from somewhere.
Zebedee - where are you in the country? I have just got my DD done by a private GP. I found them by googling "travel clinic" as someone on this thread advised. The official line was no under 4s, but when I gently persisted they suggested asking the doctor for advice, so I did and he questioned me for a couple of minutes on my reasons, and was happy to do it. £50 but worth it.
Surgeries DID have enough to cover the at-risk groups, but lots of people didn't take up the offer of a vaccine. Then GPs vaccinated healthy people who wanted the vaccine.
Then this media storm broke, and then the demand went through the roof. Until the media decided it was a problem, GPs couldn't give the vaccines away! Now they're in the wrong for not ordering enough!
GPs are prohibited by law under their contracts with the Department of Health from offering private services to patients, like immunising the healthy under 5s.
I've booked my eldest son and I in for monday. We're off to a private clinic in Manchester, £12 each. It's the doctors mentioned a couple of pages back.
The GP there said it would be beneficial for me to have it as it would be passed through my breast milk to the baby. They said they had reduced their prices as demand was so high. Another practice in Didsbury wanted £60 EACH!
My eldest son has chest problems, otherwise he's a healthy boy but an upper respiratory infection hospitalised him last year, so I'm not prepared to take any risks with his health, last year he was called for the vaccination.
It is not OTT. I have had 2 pupils with swine flu. Both have been ventilated and one has been left permanantly damaged. Sorry to be blunt and give bad news but it has made me ever more determined to get information out there.
I am trying to get it for my DS 6, who has allergies due to it affecting the lungs and for me as I work with vunerable children and had it last year.
Nowhere has it left privatly and they won't do under 16's privatly at pharmacies either.
First ever post! So here goes. I'm a forces wife who's husband is soon to be going away. Normally not a problem except I've spent a week in bed over Christmas completely floored with the flu and totally incapable of anything except self pity! My worry is if this happens when hubby goes away I'm in trouble as I've no real support network. I've been trying to source vaccinations for both me and the kids but for me everywhere is running out and for the girls no hope in hell is what I've been told! So I turn to the women on Mumsnet for advice and I turn to Mumsnet and ask "Is it not time to start hassling the government and indeed the press on this subject and ask for a blanket vaccination of all school kids who, let's face it, are the biggest carrier group! And also point out that the current vaccination protocol seems as just and as fair as the child benefit cuts! " I look forward to your advice ladies!
Why can't everyone get the flu vaccine if they want it - is it particularly expensive does anyone know??
zebedee flu vaccine was ordered last summer based on anticipated numbers. I understand the manufacturers don't make it to excess so now there is a production/supply problem in that there is no more vaccine. Demand has outstripped supply, especially as so many people that don't normally receive it, or aren't eligible for the vaccine have had it this year.
For the first time ever we have used all our supply of flu vax up before the end of January. In addition it was difficult to calculate anticipated numbers of vaccine that would be required for pregnant women as most of them weren't pregnant when we placed our order.
Hi mums, I have an under five too and am concerned about the numbers of young children critically ill (and dead) due to swine flu, but I just want to say that keeping children away from school and playgroups and imprisoning them in the home isn't the answer - they could get into a serious in the kitchen instead, for example, out of boredom! Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but really keeping them off school for 2 months is not going to be healthy. Whether you choose to push for a vaccine or not, I think the most useful measure is for them to go to school, but to keep them at home and rested (bed rest, if needed, or just playing in their room), well fed, and lots of fluids, at the FIRST SIGN of flu symptoms or are unwell in any way (overtired, fever, listlessness), taking them to see a doctor is concerned. Keeping them away from school is not going to prevent swine flu being caught. Vaccinating parents is also not going to stop their kids catching it. (although it might help the parents - but that's a different matter). Swine flu isn't SARS, many cases are mild and you do get time to get better. The main danger is making kids endure a long school day or do sports when they are ill. Hang in there everyone, don't get too stressed, we have enough to worry about already.
P.S. I mean "serious accident in the kitchen" (line 3) and "see a doctor if concerned" (line 6). My first time posting and trying to edit!
cezzer1 - I sympathise, we moved fairly recently and support is minimal too. Just bear in mind if your husband got ill at the same time as you, you'll still need some support. Sounds like you need to be a bit pro-active (even a bit pragmatic) and look through your address book for one or two buddies who could be your "flu friend", like they recommended last winter. Could be a friend who doesn't live locally (but can drive or take public transport) or even someone who doesn't know about looking after kids. You don't need someone who's a close relation or a supernanny type, just a decent, reliable person who doesn't mind running a few errands and being a spare pair of hands. Even someone who could buy a takeaway if they don't cook is adequate, get you paper plates and cups, and bung your clothes into the washing machine (or laundry/drycleaners if gets too much). We forget that we can manage with lower "standards" or adapt if we don't have 2 pairs of hands available at time of illness.Also speak to another mum at school now to swap numbers to do car pool if you are too ill to drive your kids to school, even if you have to approach someone you don't know very well. Offer to return the favour if they themselves are ill whether or not they need you. I do hope the vaccine situation will improve (I suspect the push will come from NHS intensive care consultants rather than the public)but just to remind you vaccines aren't 100 per cent protective anyway. Hope you are recovered and hope all goes well for you all.
Two out of 3 of my dc routinely have a flu jab due to underlying conditions. DS2 because he has chronic asthma, and DD because she has cardiac problems. This year, the surgery didn't send out a letter asking for them to go an get a flu jab.
I was offered one for myself at an antenatal appointment in December, and took it (not only am I pg, but I am also asthmatic, an ha bad pneumonia less than a year ago). I asked then about jabs for the dc, got told they had none available until after Christmas.
Went back this week to get them appointments for the flu jab, only to be told that my GP surgery had ONE childs' vaccine left...and it was up to me to decide whih of my two 'at risk' dc to vaccinate. How awful a decision is that??
I decided to give it to DS2 as he is only 7yo, and DD is almost 13yo and is 5ft3 tall, so there is (maybe) more of a chance of me getting her vaccinated if I pay at a pharmacy/ supermarket as she is 'grown-up' size! So far though, my local Tescos have refused to vaccinate her, and so have my local Asda pharmacy. Today I am spending my day phoning around pharmacies to try to find somewhere willing to vaccinate her.
It's not even that I'm particularly worried about the swine-flu in particular, it's just that they are both in groups that are at greater risk even from 'normal' seasonal flu. I am willing to pay the £10-£12 it costs in the supermarket to get DD vaccinated, but I'm not being allowed to, and I can't afford to pay the extortionate prices on here to get a private doctor to do it, no matter how much I want her protected, as DP only brings home £250 a week...can't afford 90% of that for a blooming jab.
Loudlass - what a horrible choice for any parent to have to make, I'm shocked!!!! Could your DD pass for 16? If so Sainsburys and Boots will do it, I think Tesco will only do over 18's. Where do you live? There are quite a few places in LOndon offereing it, I have rung around a lot of place sin my area (South West) and found a travel clinic offering it as well as a private hospital. They are getting new stock in GP's surgeries next week though so you may be ok to get it at your doctors then, good luck
Unfortunately, I don't think she would pass for 16yo, she is quite 'young looking' in her face IYSWIM. I'm in the SE, about an hours' (expensive) train journey from London.
I have just found out that schools in my area have not had any guidance from the LEA or the NHS about H1N1 'Swine' 'Flu. This is staggering as I would have thought that they could take action to limit the spread e.g. giving out strong messages that staff and pupils who are unwell (and some only get this one mildly and yet are able to infect others) should stay at home.
Also the simple 'handwashing' message must be coupled with 'try not to touch your face' as it is this second step that conveys the virus picked up by touching surfaces to the preferred ways in to our bodies - nose and eyes! Frankly I am stumped to figure out why they omit this vital second part of the advice - the Red Cross website does mention it. It makes sense of the handwashing and the 'use a tissue' message.
Perhaps practical parentpower can take up the full message and make a difference here!
Let's hope that the civil servants get their act together on this at both NHS and LA levels...
DD's school sent home a message saying they were being extra careful about handwashing/using tissues and have brought in hand gel too. They also reminded us to keep children with any flu symptoms off school
Loudlass, how awful for you, they could have at least told you, when (or if!) they get more, that your daughter will be 1st in line. I have appointments for my 2 tommorow, in the medicentre in ldn, I know this to far for (I'm i n Milton Keynes and have had to borrow the extotionate train fare there) but there only charging £20 each, not to much more than boots, but maybe you could find a medicentre or travel clinic near to you? Hope you find a way of getting your d vacinated x
what has angered me the most is that my ds and dd where both in the at risk group last year and now there not my gp even had an argument with me about the lenth of time it was since they had the sf vac. In oct 2009! I felt so angry and felt very patronised. He was telling me this at the same time as writing a perscription for the wrong medication for myself that I had to point out would interfere with long term meds that am on ! Talk about instilling a sense of trust in there work !
I also was never called in for my jab as preg' but luckly for me , went along to ask in oct.
I called the surgery about getting my 3 year old vaccinated and was told that as she's not in a high risk group they wouldn't give it to her! She goes to nursery and I'm so worried I've kept her off. I feel especially guilty as I've had vaccine as 33 weeks pregnant! I know I can't keep her off forever, it's an awful situation! Was told by receptionist at surgery that as soon as we have a Swine flu pandemic my little one can have the flu jab, think this was supposed to comfort me
I'm trying to find anywhere that stocks the flu vaccine in the North east - specifically Newcastle/Northumberland.
i have been given private prescriptions for my two under five year olds, but can't find the vaccine anywhere!
Does anyone know where I can get one??
Thanks very much
Does anyone know any private clinics in the SE that is offering flu jabs for children?
At the moment I think we will have to travel to London to get this done.
Fanjolina - there is A GP surgery in Guildford Surrey that is vaccinating children at a cost of $40 per vaccine and they may need two.
Its called Surrey GP.
our school seems to be doing absolutely nothing about it despite flu being in the school. No letters home to remind parents about not dosing children up to the eyeballs and sending them in, no boxes of tissues in case children havent got any, no nothing! (dd is vaccinated due to asthma but I know there are children with compromised immune systems there who are at substantial risk if they do catch it)
Thanks to Princess Deb and others who mentioned Medicentre at Victoria Station,
I have had my 2yo and 3yo vaccinated there and the only charge £20 each.
It was the only place I could find with vaccine still.
Journey was a nightmare but worth it for the peace of mind
Lexxity I am in lincolnshire but would be willing to travel to manchester, where did you get it done there?
Quick update: was hysterical by yesterday as mother in DS's best friend's school died from swine flu on Sunday. Drove 40 miles today to Asda, Coventry (just off M6), have now got private prescription so will be picking up my reserved jabs this afternoon and getting them done tomorrow by my GP. Totally knackered and strung out and cross with myself for being this crazy - but also relieved.
Does anyone know anywhere in Cornwall where I can get my 2.5 year old vaccinated. My husband had swine flu now and GP still won't vaccinate my son. Thank you.
Try an Asda!!! GOOD LUCK and be pushy.
Thanks TCOB. I have just looked online but only 2 Asdas down here and neither have a pharmacy
I was going to post the same!
My dd's are 11mo and 2.5yo. Asda said no, only over 16's. (could have been over 6 yo, I cant remember what dp said)
I was going to try my GP to see what they say.
Good morning, can anyone advise me on where I can get the swine flu jab for my two year old in the Cheshire/Manchester area please?
I am puzzled that the authorities go on about handwashing but only the Red Cross site mentions the real risky activity - touching the face with contaminated hands! It would be far more helpful if they said a)when out limit your children from touching surfaces - we all use 'don't touch' after all! It is near impossible to stop young children from touching their faces but woolly mittens when out in winter seem to have an effect. My 12 yr old DD is a terrible nose rubber and I am nagging her to change this habit - and she is trying!
Parents should trust their instincts on this - especially where you know their is evidence of a susceptibility as government has to stick to general advice on the side of reassuring. Decide on what you can live with and keep your ear to the ground...
Re chidlren's vaccines: Asda can only do over 18s without prescription. You need a doctor's prescription for children. This is where the pushy bit comes. I had a very reasonable conversation with my doctor about mny fears and they wrote a private i.e. paid-for prescription. All had it today. PLEASE push if you really want this and be prepared to drive a long way (160 miles in total but gee I feel better!).
i got a 6 month old daughter who is on a blue inhaler but not dignosed with asthma because she to young, but gp will not give her swine flu jab, we live in the merthyr tydfil area does anyone know where i can go to pay private around this area thanks
Anyone for the midlands area, birmingham?
My GP refused the SF vaccine to my 18-month old last week as he didn't fall in the strict criteria set by government.
But he had pneumonia last year and I saw in hospital how bad SF can be for little ones, so I contacted my MP and threatened to ring the media.
Had a call 2 hours later to say that the government's criteria had JUST changed and he could now be vaccinated as he had been hospitalised for lung infection.
They have lots of the single vaccine (stockpiled last year) but said they couldn't give the seasonal flu vaccine as it isn't licensed for under 18's.
They did say that loads of parents wanted the vaccine but were being turned down - even if children probably had asthma but were not formally diagnosed.
My MP's office said it was something the government were looking at so we all need to get onto MPs etc and make a fuss to get this policy changed.
Parents need to be able to make an informed choice but at the mo we have no information and no choice.
Stablelass if you need information go to the hpa website. They release weekly swine flu updates every Thursday. There is also a link on one of the other threads to one of the nhs websites that shows that the swine flu fatality rate for last year was 0.026%. The majority of deaths were in immunocompromised people and very few were children. The risk to your child is very very small. I agree that more information should be available to balance out all the media hype.
Had a debate about this at work today, A couple of collegues had flu last week and were very ill -both said NHS 24 were not clear if symptoms were ordinary flu or swine flu. Both collegues thought they were going to die - they felt very ill. If this is what it does to an adult - what chance does the under fives have. Under 5's should be vacinated asap just to be on the safe side, I am so worried my children are going to catch this flu that is going about.
Parkside Hospital in Wimbledon does the jab for children, and also does the jab for adults. the adult ones are pretty cheap (£20 I think) but the children ones more pricey as you see a paediatrican...not sure exactly how much and they use the one that is preservative free so they need two shots a month apart.
leopardbaby - that is because there is no difference between the symptoms! Flu is flu. Some people will have it badly, some won't show any symptoms at all. Your children may already have had it without you even realising.
When are people going to calm down about this? I can't wait until spring.
My 2 year old nephew has just had flu. 2 weeks later he is pretty much fine, he has asthma aswell and although he was poorly with it it was never panic stations poorly or hospital poorly.
As bubbleymummy said I really think people need to stop pancing about something that is really a tiny risk.
Thanks sirzy. Maybe we should start a thread with all the positive stories to try to counteract the negative ones that are being publicised!
we also have to be realistic. DD had flu, then pneumonia and nearly died. Flu a very mild illness????????????? This is a nasty flu and the real number of deaths is a huge underestimate as those who die from secondary infections following flu are not being counted and the likelihood of dying of a secondary infection once weakened from flu is much much greater than dying from flu itself. Dd does not have underlying illness, by the way. This is not hysteria, this is facing up to the fact that you are much more likely to die in the UK from flu or flu related illness then on the continent.
Oh dear dikker - I'm sorry that your DD was ill but you are seriously exaggerating the risks. This is not a 'nasty flu' in fact it has killed fewer people than seasonal flu and only a tiny proportion in comparison to more recent epidemics. Flu - any flu CAN be nasty for SOME people. 100 deaths across GB is not something to be fretting about. Do you usually worry about flu every year? You could just as easily get sick from that, catch pneumonia etc.
It is as Prof Hugh Pennington says, these deaths in children are preventable deaths. We don't know how many people normally die from flu because this information is not recorded. What we do know is that this flu disproportionately affect people under 65. I do believe that this is a big difference. Although awful when a loved one dies, older people ultimately have to die of something. With this flu we are talking about young people, whose deaths could be prevented. I get sick and tired with this attitude that it doesn't matter, it was this same attitude that left my dd gravely ill. What bothers me about the current climate in the UK is the lack of care, care about young people, care about disabled people (see Riven's threat). Nothing seems to matter any more.
To compare this to rivens case is nothing short of disgusting tbh.
Stats on deaths via flu are available for every year and most years more are reported than for this year.
dikker - 11 deaths in 5-14 year olds and 7 in under 5s. Of course every death is tragic but out of all the thousands of children who have caught swine flu this is a tiny minority. Many of these children were immunocompromised too so the risk to healthy children is even less. Does this really warrant all the panic buying of vaccines for healthy children? How many children die every year of complications from seasonal flu? No one rushes out to get their healthy child vaccinated against that every year so IMO people are over reacting to a very very small risk simply because the media are running away with scaremongering stories.
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