Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

petition for under 5's to have swine flu vaccination

(92 Posts)
loganberry12 Wed 12-Jan-11 18:58:41

does anyone know if there is a petition set up for this year? im really concerned that our children are not being offered this i may even start one myself if there isnt one

PassionKiss Wed 12-Jan-11 19:17:45

Just saw about that little girl on the news sad

Terrifying.

I really don't understand why they were offering it to under-fives last year and not now.

Department of Health are saying that they are not going to review this decision this year but will look at it for next year - is it a money saving thing ??

crazycolleen Wed 12-Jan-11 19:44:44

I have added this topic to campaign requests for all children

TCOB Wed 12-Jan-11 19:49:10

It's all politically-driven bullshit. The govt don't care about children because they don't vote. How they can defend giving it to the over 65's regardless of their health yet deny it to the young, especially the under 5s, is sick beyond comprehension. They are all middle-aged men who could not care less about children and families. The fool who came onto MN to talk about swine flu stated that the reason they were not vaccinating unhder 5s was because most of them had either had it (the flu) or the jab. What about the ones who have been born since last March? What about the ones who didn't have it?
I cna tell you one thing: if a flu jab available for the over 65s last year had been withdrawn ths year we would never hear the end of it. This country is run by the babyboomers for the babyboomers.

dikkertjedap Wed 12-Jan-11 20:31:28

Also, in the USA and Australia they do vaccinate definitely under fives, possibly even the older children. (info available on Centre for Disease Control website)

There are various threads where you can your children privately vaccinated, some GPs apparently do it, some travel vaccination clinics and private paediatricians (like Portland hospital London).

bubbleymummy Wed 12-Jan-11 20:38:30

You do realise by the time anything gets done about this, the vaccines get given and two weeks are allowed for them to take effect that it will be well past flu season? I think people need to calm down. The risk is still very small - it has just been over reported by the media.

I was called yesterday by our GP surgery and told that I should URGENTLY vaccinate DS who has asthma and a history of allergic induced breathing difficulties. I agreed to take him in tomorrow to do so.

Tonight he had a fever of 38. I called them to say in the circs can I come on Monday and they said 'you can but we probably won't have any more vaccine by then, and we aren't getting any more' hmm

I'm bloody annoyed. And I have just found out I can pay £30 and have it done privately at a hospital 30 miles away. Which is great (for me) but I am thinking not everyone can (a) get to a hospital 30 miles away and (b) afford it.

Memoo Wed 12-Jan-11 20:39:56

There isn't any vaccinations left anyway is there?

madamimadam Wed 12-Jan-11 20:50:29

Whomoved, my thoughts exactly. I really do think we're seeing the start of the privatisation of the NHS.

My DS is under 5 and has asthma and a prescription for the vaccine - but everywhere here is out of the vaccine. We couldn't have had him innoculated in the autumn, as he hadn't had a definite diagnosis by then.

As for that poor family on C4 News... absolutely heart-breaking.

bubbleymummy - I'm very calm about this - I think both of mine have had it - I know I have because I was tested positive - but it's the inequity of the situation which is making me cross.

I am not surprised that under 5's were not offered it when the take up was so poor last year.

Last year there was thread after thread of people up in arms that the Goverment were trying to use children as 'guinea pigs' for an un-tested vaccine.

This year everyone is desperate for it, it make no sense to me, children died last year too.

I do think it is very bad that there is not enough vaccine for the at risk groups.

To the op, there is no point petitioning now, the various flu viruses have peaked or are peaking and the vaccine takes around three weeks to take effect, shuting stable doors and bolting horses spring to mind.

Sirzy Thu 13-Jan-11 06:30:35

I have to agree with bubbley and werethewildthings.

Ds had his flu jab yesterday, he was confirmed asthmatic 2 months ago and this was the first point he was fit enough. He has got the last vaccines in the practise.

If he wasn't asthmatic I wouldn't have had it done. I don't think 50 deaths from flu nationally (5 in children) is enough to lead to panic like we are seeing tbh. Tragic for the families effected of course but so is any death.

dikkertjedap Thu 13-Jan-11 17:05:43

It is not just the deaths but also how seriously ill they get so quickly. DD (5) hadn't been well for most of December (fever close to 41 degrees many days in a row, then few days low fever, then high again) saw several GPs over this time. All said it wasn't flu. Last week she had severe breathing difficulties, needed oxygen and anti-biotics drip. X-ray showed severe chest infection. Now we have been contacted by GP saying that she had secondary infections due to flu ... She will not be in the statistics though. So the actual figures we hear about are most likely to be an underestimation of the true costs of this flu.

Ghekogiddy Thu 13-Jan-11 18:56:07

It is now 112 deaths - doubled in one week. I can see why folk want their under fives vaccinated, its okay sitting there saying it is all hype but think about those families whose child has died from swine flu when i could have been prevented. Not everyone gets it mild!

bubbleymummy Thu 13-Jan-11 20:21:49

Only doubled because there has been delayed reporting over Christmas. Last year there were a lot more deaths from swine flu ( even though there were still relatively few in comparison to seasonal flu) and people were not running around the country trying to get their under 5s vaccinated. I think there was about a 20% uptake on the vaccine for under 5s last year. Nothing has changed except more of us are now have natural immunity to it.

madamimadam Thu 13-Jan-11 21:48:18

Well, you see, I'd like my son to have the vaccine in any case precisely to build up his immunity for next year/the next round of flu. And like you Sirzy, there's quite often a fairly narrow window when he can get it done for exactly the same reason (hence the 6-month delay in getting his MMR done).

And if the vaccine does build immunity for next year's flu season, doesn't it still make sense to petition the govt. to ensure that we're not in this situation again? Especially in view of their determination to cut costs.

Ghekogiddy Thu 13-Jan-11 22:16:50

ok so lets all say hey swine flu is bugger all, how about all the healthy people ending up dead or in intensive care, are we going to say oh well its nothing. This is not killing over 65s it is killing young people and half of them are healthy with no health probs. So far seven of them at least have had the jab. And if more of us have natural immunity to it why is there more people in intensive care than there was in the pandemic? Ireland is now in an epidemic. Hospitals are running short of intensive care beds and normal wards are having to shut to make room for swine flu patients, all ECMO machines are in use (that includes the extra ones bought in) and this was not the case in the pandemic. This is not the case in a normal flu season either.

But lets not forget hey its mild and nothing.

bubbleymummy Thu 13-Jan-11 22:23:59

Ok well let's all get hysterical even though cases are now decreasing or levelling out. Let's get completely hyped up over 100 flu deaths even though there can be thousands in other years that never get reported. Yes this flu may effect more younger people but overall it is killing fewer people and the majority of those who are dying are those that have been identified as at risk. Stop getting sucked in by the media hype.

Sirzy Thu 13-Jan-11 22:42:17

However you look at it most of the fatalities are in those who are at risk so of course they should be the ones being targeted.

some facts and figures from BBC website

Nobody is saying its mild, or its nothing what people are saying is there is no need to panic about it and get yourself wound up about something that most likely won't happen.

According to this 3000 - 4000 deaths are normally attributed to flu each year. makes the 100 look less scary of course!

Ghekogiddy Thu 13-Jan-11 23:10:32

Few folk keep saying its mild and nothing to worry about, thats what ticked me off, its not mild for everyone. Overall more folk in intensive care.

And cases are not decreasing in Scotland or Ireland, infact they are increasing.

Not saying we should get hysterical but understand why some are concerned and wanting to get vaccinated. As a mother of a daughter with asthma (who has been vaccinated), of course i am concerned.

dikkertjedap Fri 14-Jan-11 00:40:42

I think it matters rather a lot that this flu is killing young people. Elderly people will die of something, often things like flu, of course it is horrible to lose a loved one. But young children dying is a totally different thing IMO especially if it is preventable. I have seen how quickly my dd deteriorated and if I had listened to the GPs she would now most likely to have been dead ... they simply did not understand how ill she was. The hospital saved her and the hospital told me next time to go straight to A&E rather than GP as time runs out quickly with young children. The ward was full of little ones with secondary infections after flu. They were very very ill, nothing mild at all and not a few either, paediatric ward was struggling to find enough beds. I think that those in charge are underestimating this flu.

But young healthy people including children die every year from the flu, but they are a tiny minority, just as they are this year. In a country of 64 million people, just over a hundred deaths does not a crisis make.

In the winter of 1999/2000, 22000 people died of the flu, all strains of flu are serious and nobody is saying swine flu is 'nothing', however for the vast majority it is a mild. self limiting illness.

The media are making such a meal of this.

dikkertjedap Fri 14-Jan-11 10:57:35

I don't agree. My dd is just back from hospital and nearly died because of this flu. My dh had it in Summer 09 and was terribly ill. This is just my personal experience, but clearly my personal experience is a lot more important to me than what doctors or politicians say as they have misled us so often.

Sirzy Fri 14-Jan-11 11:30:44

But personal experience and official figures don't always agree but the official figures paint a much better overall pictures.

Bronchiolitis nearly killed Ds but that doesn't mean I argue the fact that it is, on the whole, a relatively mild virus that clears itself for most.

I have had normal flu and swine flu (confirmed) and the normal flu was worse in my case but that doesn't mean it is always so.

tagliatellemonamour Fri 14-Jan-11 11:41:39

My dd was ill a lot at the time the vaccine was offered to under fives; by the time she was better the receptionist said they weren't doing any more flu jabs as they needed ten people at a time booked in for it to make it worth opening a batch.

Stupidly, I didn't push it, because it never occurred to me they'd never offer it to under fives again. At the time I remember thinking oh well no harm done, there are hardly any cases at the moment, it's probably better to have it closer to next winter than now, anyway. Then when I asked early this winter they said no, no more for under fives.

Maybe they should have advertised the jab for under fives last year as "LAST chance to be vaccinated for winter 2010-11, roll up roll up! One-time offer only!"

But they didn't do that - the Pandemrix jab was seen as something for then, not the future, so once cases started to drop people obviously stopped booking jabs. Only if that peak of cases had gone on for longer would there have been a higher uptake.

tagliatellemonamour Fri 14-Jan-11 11:50:16

And I think this may be where some of the anger is coming from. If they had never said under-fives needed vaccinating against SF, then there might be some concern now that perhaps they should be. But there wouldn't be the anger. That comes from them offering it for a short while and then withdrawing that offer, along with the lack of an alternative way of getting it for most children (chemists not doing under 16s for a tenner the way they're doing adults). So some parents of under fives are feeling worried, powerless and cheated - hence angry.

bubbleymummy Fri 14-Jan-11 13:10:32

A very small percentage of the under-5 group took up the offer of the vaccine last year anyway. The fatality figures were much higher and people still weren't getting their children vaccinated. This year, it is estimated that over 40% of children will already have natural immunity to swine flu after exposure last year (over 65% in london) and yet there seems to be a huge fuss about it this year - well among mumsnetters anyway!

1048CLAIRE Fri 14-Jan-11 13:23:09

Does anyone know where I can get the swine flu vaccine for my 15month old in South Wales?. We've been refused by the G.P, and have exhausted every other possible souce - Private practicews / clinics,...pharmacies....supermarkets...but there's none available!!! HELP!!

tagliatellemonamour Fri 14-Jan-11 13:33:46

Remember the vaccine wasn't available for the first wave of the pandemic in the spring, only in the autumn. And the SF peak last winter was much lower than the spring one.

The vaccine didn't actually coincide with the first, worst surge in cases.

The current outbreak is much closer to last spring than to last winter. There's a lot more flu like illness about and even if it's not all flu it makes people notice it much more.

tagliatellemonamour Fri 14-Jan-11 13:37:27

It is reassuring knowing that with every outbreak the herd immunity to SF gets better so chances of getting it go down. That's one reason it seems a bit surprising how much SF is about now, given that it hasn't really mutated.

bubbleymummy Fri 14-Jan-11 13:41:20

Even better that swine flu immunity apparently gives you 'super immunity' to other strains of flu - they're trying to base a new universal flu vaccine on it. Quite useful for those who have caught swine flu and recovered to have natural immunity to all flu strains!

ladylush Fri 14-Jan-11 21:16:38

My mum said she'd heard that some under 5s have had a severe adverse reaction to the swine flu jab. Has anyone else heard this and if so, does anyone know where I can get this info? I'd like to get dd vaccinated but only if I can be confident it's safe.

activate Fri 14-Jan-11 21:26:00

Don't get it

If you think the vaccine should be given to chilren,why under 5s? That wouldn't cover the 6 year olds who died

From BBC News in Dec "According to the GP data, produced by the Royal College of GPs, rates of flu are highest in children aged between five and 14, followed by children under four and then those aged between 15 and 44."

so surely your petition should be under 14s

activate Fri 14-Jan-11 21:28:47

here you go

(from Daily Mail I'm afraid)today
"The number of people in critical care in England has fallen from 783 last week to 661.
The majority of deaths hit adults of working age with 70 deaths among the 15-64 years olds. There were nine cases among five to 14 year olds and six deaths in children under the age of five. "

so adults should be vaccinated before children statistically

Ghekogiddy Fri 14-Jan-11 21:39:52

But the over 65s even less at risk so should they wait till last?

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 14-Jan-11 21:48:44

Surely it doesn't matter whether, as individuals, we think this is a serious threat or not, the point is that we should have the choice to immunise (as we had last year).

It is completely clear that this is down to cost and nothing more.

I did have DD immunised last year but when I asked if this meant that she would now be covered or if she needed an annual jab (as per seasonal flu) I was told that no-one actually knows as it's such a new vaccine. hmm

Ghekogiddy Fri 14-Jan-11 21:52:28

Totally Belle i think everyone should have the option of immunisation esp as it can be serious for those not in the at risk groups too.

activate Fri 14-Jan-11 21:59:33

doesn't work like that though does it?

It is an expensive vaccine to offer to the entire population

it will not necessarily protect you as viruses adapt

each year a different flu reaches us, each year people die - the difference here is the media coverage I suppose due to WHO putting us on pandemic status last year

activate Fri 14-Jan-11 22:07:02

so say 50% take up from 61million UK pop

at £6 cost per vaccine alone (ignoring staff and sundries)

£183,000,000

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 14-Jan-11 22:19:31

activate one might assume that if the country were purchasing that many vaccines we might be able to negotiate a better "per vaccine" price...

activate Fri 14-Jan-11 22:25:40

www.gsk.com/media/pressreleases/2010/2010_pressrel ease_10006.htm

Janury 2010
GSK today confirmed that approximately 130 million doses of its pandemic H1N1 adjuvanted vaccine were shipped to governments in the fourth quarter of 2009. These shipments, together with pandemic vaccine products supplied to the US and other governments in the quarter, amount to provisional, unaudited sales of £835 million.

£835 million divided by 130 million doses = £6.42 per dose

activate Fri 14-Jan-11 22:29:47

also recent media coverage quotes £6 to £8 cost to NHS per vaccine so I took th lowest

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 14-Jan-11 22:30:05

But it wasn't sold as one lot - it was sold to various governments and I doubt they worked together to get the best price!

That aside, I don't think £6.42 per citizen is particularly onerous. Probably less than we're allocated for "healthy living" or some other pointless campaign.

WilfShelf Fri 14-Jan-11 22:33:51

I have an under 5. I also have a 6yo who has had the jab because he's finally had an asthma diagnosis. But I'm not sure I support the campaign unless and until I see real evidence. Unless you can provide actual figures that show under 5s are particularly at risk compared to othe groups, I'm afraid you will just look like panic merchants.

I understood the main risk group by age is 45-60. If this is demonstrated by evidence, surely that would be a stronger campaign?

It may be sadder and more worrying for those not yet affected, but it doesn't make it a sane health policy decision in and of itself.

activate Fri 14-Jan-11 22:39:20

Belle
I think you are quibbling - of course I don't know the costs but it's pounds not pence

And viruses mutate

I just think that a panic call to vaccinate age groups based on no health stats is naive at best

WilfShelf Fri 14-Jan-11 22:41:52

ooh, I see activate has made similar point. You can usually look up the stats on the HPA and WHO websites IIRC...

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 14-Jan-11 22:43:28

And I disagree - I think we should be given the choice of whether we vaccinate our children or not.

I'm not actually advocating vaccinating the entire population but I do think we should have the choice of vaccinating the under 16s.

activate Fri 14-Jan-11 22:45:13

BUT WHY

it is not unde 16s that are most at risk - they are just the media-selling face of it

WilfShelf Fri 14-Jan-11 22:48:23

I agree with activate: for what reasons, as opposed to any other age group? If 45-60 yos are dying more than might be expected, that makes a whole load of under-5s parentless, perhaps. Is it an ethical decision, say, to deny the middle-aged the vaccine when they're at higher risk in such circumstances?

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 14-Jan-11 22:48:40

I suppose because we do everything we can to keep our children "safe", so far as we can?

I can see that I am not being logical. I am responding emotionally to a perceived risk to my child when, by the stats shown, I am, in fact, more at risk than she is (being 45).

WilfShelf Fri 14-Jan-11 22:51:07

But you see that health policy can't be made purely on emotional decisions?

activate Fri 14-Jan-11 22:53:01

good job it is not your (or my) responsibility to do the cost /benefit analysis isn't it?

but parents can have objectivity

imagine a child growing up without their parent because the wrong group is immunised? or a parent growing old without their child?
all death and disease is foul

wannaBe Fri 14-Jan-11 22:54:33

given that several of the people who died had actually been vaccinated, that is not good evidence that the vaccination is effective anyway is it?

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 14-Jan-11 22:55:52

Yes, it's a very good job.

WilfShelf Fri 14-Jan-11 22:59:03

The other issue is - if we spend millions vaccinating people who won't, in the end, need it - many more people who will lose other services in turn will suffer, and possibly die. The health policy people have to make really difficult decisions on a rational, evidence-based ground. It isn't always palatable but it does provide rational neutrality.

My view is that we should pay more tax to have more health services, but right now, there isn't enough money to go round.

winnybella Fri 14-Jan-11 23:04:26

Here in France I think out of 175 cases in ICU 16 had been vaccinated. Still, I guess the vaccine protects most that had it.

FWIW dc's paediatrician was against giving it last winter, I didn't ask her this time. I don't think we have a shortage here, but I haven't really thought it was necessary. OTOH reading about children dying makes you concerned.

I agree that a vaccine should be available to the under-5s. Why should they be at a disadvantage? The over 65 seem to be largely immune to swine flu-I know here there weren't any cases over 65 in ICU last week or a wek before that.

I'm happy to be corrected, though, if I got the over 65 immunity thing wrong.

Sirzy Sat 15-Jan-11 07:18:50

The swine flu jab is part of the normal flu jab though and there is no disputing the fact that over 65 are often badly hit by normal flu.

Most over 65s I know had there flu jab as normal months ago. Perhaps that's why there are so few cases amongst them!

Freddy01 Sat 15-Jan-11 11:19:35

Please read my thread about securing flu jabs for everyone and my plight over the last 3 days. I can't sit by and do nothing but I do need help to get this lobbied.

Please help by adding to the thread.

Mumsnet please help by lobbying this with the Government or whomever you think will be able to help.

This isn't going to go away folks.

activate Sat 15-Jan-11 13:58:32

can't see your other thread but if you're talking about mass vaccination then I have to say I'm opposed

activate Sat 15-Jan-11 14:06:03

OK I have now found your other thread and am concerned about your level of anxiety

Do you have anxiety issues in general - I think maybe you should talk to someone because that level of panic is extreme

every year approx 500 people die from flu - it is rare and sad for deaths to occur - extremely sad - the media coverage and panic makes you feel otherwise

take normal precautions - wash hands - use tissues.

but seriously talk to someone about quite how scared you are - it's not healthy to have that much adrenalin in your system

ghostlysilvershred Sat 15-Jan-11 15:10:13

I think it's a pity that having decided the SF vaccine was OK for children last year they later changed their minds, but without there being any easy alternative for parents. Having planted the idea firmly in people's minds that small children were more at risk (rightly or wrongly), they then withdrew the thing they had offered that would help to protect them.

It's also ironic that we actually went into this latest surge in flu cases with an existing stockpile of vaccines but in effect might as well not have had them because they've sat there unused.

I wonder if after this some pharmacies will decide it is worth investing in becoming licenced to vaccinate children?

The big difference between children and people aged 45-60 is that the latter can get themselves vaccinated quite cheaply almost anywhere. So even if the NHS makes a quite rational cost/benefit-driven decision not to vaccinate adults, they still have the option of a jab somewhere else, once they're aware of their risk. For children it's just not that easy.

So when the government decide which age groups to leave out of SF vaccination because the benefits don't justify the costs, it would be good if they factored in which age groups can get the jab an alternative way, and which can't.

I have an unvaccinated dc but I think it's too late to worry about that for this year. I wish I'd pushed harder when I was told no last year, because then at least she'd have the residual immunity from then, and I do think it's worth being immunised against a new flu in principle because any new flu is something to be very very wary of. It does seem likely we're past the peak for now though.

Fyoggy Sat 15-Jan-11 15:52:07

I dont think people are hysterical, I think parents are naturally concerned. Especially when you see a doctor and his wife, also a nurse, saying that swine flu killed their daughter who had absolutely no underlying health problems.

My son was due to be vaccinated last week before he uses an inhaler from time to time. he has not been diagnosed with asthma as they dont like to diagnose until a little later in life. He is 7 months. When I got to the surgery they told me he couldn't have it because the criteria had changed, literally overnight.

Every life is important, but I fail to see how over 65's can be more important than the under 5's who this year have been hit really hard by the vaccine. I was speaking to my boss about this only yesterday and he was saying how a lot of people over 55 have got immunity against it because they were vaccinated against asian flu as children. I could be wrong, but many of the cases I've seen have been children and people of the 30's and 40's age bracket.

I'm now trying to get it done privately because my GP's are still trying to decide if they will let me buy a private prescription and have the practice nurse administer it. This astounds me as although the flu has peaked, its by no means fizzled out.

I also have a friend who is an intensive care nurse at our local hospital and told me in no uncertain terms to get my son vaccinated because they were at breaking point with swine flu cases and didn't have enough ventilators to treat people. She's not a drama queen, but made a point of telling me to get it done. She's a health professional and I value her opionion. If she thinks its necessary then I'm taking her word for it.

BlackSwan Sat 15-Jan-11 16:02:28

You know what they'll do if they start administering the jab to under fives? They will use up their huge stocks of Pandemrix (which contains the mercury derivative, Thimerosal) which they overbought last year, rather than buy more of the latest trivalent vaccine which doesn't have thimerosal in it.

Something stinks.

ghostlysilvershred Sat 15-Jan-11 16:07:51

They can't buy more of the trivalent vaccine because it takes too long to manufacture.

BlackSwan Sat 15-Jan-11 16:31:15

Gotcha.

activate Sat 15-Jan-11 19:56:17

"I was speaking to my boss about this only yesterday and he was saying how a lot of people over 55 have got immunity against it because they were vaccinated against asian flu as children"

oh god where to start with this one?

1) vaccinations do not give life-long immunity

2) asian flu is not swine flu so how he can infer this is beyond me

Ghekogiddy Sat 15-Jan-11 20:53:20

well the over 65s have been previously exposed to a strain similar to the H1N1, thats why so few are catching it. Not immunised, but exposed to a virus quite similar.

ladylush Sat 15-Jan-11 21:09:34

So who has the trivalent vaccine? I don't want the dc having mercury based vaccines.

mamadiva Sat 15-Jan-11 21:32:50

Was'nt the swine flu jab made up and distriuted without full testing last year?

If so then I think it would be more dangerous to give a relatively un-tested vaccine than to risk them catching the virus itself.

Yes it is tragic that children are losing their lives but I would think that just as many, if not more, children die of normal flu or all sorts of other day to day virus' but the media can't sell on that can they?!

I never took up the offer for my son last year when he was because I did'nt trust the vaccine, this year I would'nt have taken it because a friend's daughter got it and then became violently ill for 2 days afterwards and 2 weeks later contracted swine flu!

andalusianbay Mon 17-Jan-11 14:06:49

H1N1 (2009) swine flu is a new virus, which is why in 2009 there was such concern as few if any of us would have immunity to it. Fortunately, the virus was not as deadly as they predicted. Whilst it has not changed or mutated much as yet, there can only be guess work as to how much it will mutate...and of course when it mutates to a large degree the immunity we have built up will no longer help us. What I am saying is that we should all be given the option to have the vaccine - every year as is the case with the seasonal flu vaccine.

They are currently giving the vaccine to under 5's at high risk, which is what they should be doing, however, data from last winters outbreak shows that of the deaths in children, 20% had no previous health conditions, I think this alone justifies ALL children receiving the vaccine.

There is currently no data to indicate how long the vaccine lasts in children and also, not all children will build up sufficient immunity after the vaccination to the virus and so can still get swine flu. Again, a very good reason for vaccinating them again this year!

When the powers that be say that this flu is generally 'mild'...I'd like to know their definition of mild?? I had (possibly) swine flu in October, which led to pneumonia...I'd never previously had a chest problem.

My opinion is that this is driven by financial considerations and not based on the actual evidence out there. If they felt under 5's should have been vaccinated last year...there is no evidence to suggest that they shouldn't be vaccinated this year.

How do we get a petition going??

onimolap Mon 17-Jan-11 14:17:31

Who would you be petitioning? Decisions on which vaccines are available from NHS are decided on the basis of advice from an expert committee, JCVI.

The link takes you to their official site, which includes minutes of their meetings in 2010 (and indeed all their meetings since 1963).

Sirzy Mon 17-Jan-11 14:26:55

So 80% did have an underlying condition so quite a high proportion. How many actually died though? Not a lot really certainly not enough to warrant mass vaccination

Rollmops Mon 17-Jan-11 15:43:35

"You know what they'll do if they start administering the jab to under fives? They will use up their huge stocks of Pandemrix (which contains the mercury derivative, Thimerosal) which they overbought last year, rather than buy more of the latest trivalent vaccine which doesn't have thimerosal in it."

WHO declared H1N1 a panademic 2009/10 and that prompted the mass orders of Pandermix by various governments.
As it turned out, the virus didn't cause anywhere near the predicted numbers of casualties; in fact, in most cases it was reported to have rather 'mild' symptoms.

Now, could the government's refusal to vaccinate under 5s be connected to the fact that the stockpiles of Pandemrix do contain Thimerosal?
The actual number of deaths - unbearably sad as they are - don't justify exposing millions of children to Thimerosal?

??? confused

sarah293 Mon 17-Jan-11 16:14:40

Message withdrawn

andalusianbay Mon 17-Jan-11 21:33:38

With regard to who to petition, I would suggest those holding the purse strings.

Regarding your other point (onimolap)...can I just say that it was independent experts who advised the government that eating beef was safe during the BSE days!

A recent article, in contradiction to the JCVI report states "medical experts, including the head of the British Medical Association (BMA) in Wales, condemned the policy of not offering vaccines to children unless they are in at-risk groups. Dr Andrew Dearden, chairman of the BMA’s Welsh Council, said there was a “body of evidence” supporting jabs for under-fives.

Surzy - to reply to your msg - 70 children died during last flu season - I think that is a statistic on its own, regardless of whether the child had an underlying condition. And from reports this year the flu outbreak is a lot worse.

Also, to mention about Thiomesal. The WHO have declared it a safe compound after many years of use. Actually, many vaccines that our children have already had contain Thiomersal including :vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP), diphtheria and tetanus toxoids (DT), tetanus toxoid (TT), hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and influenza.

"The evidence is that swine flu seems to focus on, or cause more problems in, the very young, the elderly and pregnant women." - but only the very young have been excluded from receiving the vaccine this year?
I think that parents should be given the choice of whether they want their children vaccinated - on an evidence-based decision.

WilfShelf Mon 17-Jan-11 21:39:22

"The evidence is that swine flu seems to focus on, or cause more problems in, the very young, the elderly and pregnant women."

Where does it say this, andulusianbay? Because everything I've read says it is the 'young' (defined in this case as 16-65) who are most at risk of complications, with the 45-60 group with underlying health conditions most represented in fatalities.

So I'd be interested to know your source.

Sirzy Mon 17-Jan-11 22:16:53

Some interesting reading about the last outbreak

www.nhs.uk/news/2009/12December/Pages/H1N1-swine-f lu-virus-death-rate.aspx

Out of everyone infected only 0.026% of them died. Only 1% of the population are estimated to have been infected.

andalusianbay Mon 17-Jan-11 22:28:58

That said, the article also goes on to say "However, vigilance and the prompt use of antivirals when indicated, in addition to vaccination, remain highly important"

WilfShelf Mon 17-Jan-11 22:30:40

Which article, andalusianbay?

onimolap Mon 17-Jan-11 22:33:07

Andalusianbay: who does hold the purse strings?

Ghekogiddy Tue 18-Jan-11 12:03:05

It doesnt affect the elderly as bad as everyone else as most have them have some sort of immunity to it.

tholeon Tue 18-Jan-11 15:11:38

Sirzy thank you for that link - assuming that this season's outbreak is similar, it has made me feel a lot better about things. It is so hard sometimes to see beyond the media hype and find hard evidence to make rational decisions against.

I might even start letting my little boy out of the house again....

andalusianbay Fri 21-Jan-11 21:42:26

onimolap - in Wales it is the Welsh Assembly Government who control finances and decision making within the NHS. And following this years flu outbreak they have been forced to re-assess their policy with regard to who is eligible for the vaccine.

Wilfshelf - to answer your question the quote came from Dr Andrew Dearden, chairman of the BMA’s Welsh Council.

MichaelDubitante Sat 22-Jan-11 11:17:17

There is a hidden problem here. I wanted my 10 year old daughter vaccinated. GP said no. I went to boots, they said yes we will vaccinate an over 16 year old for 12.99. I asked two other gps practices, they said we will give you a private prescription, you ge the vaccine, eg from boot and we will administer it.
But my GP wouldn't.
For me o ge it ine privately will cost £102 here.

So there is a gap. The government refuses to vaccinate children. Adults can receive I privately from chemists at a modest cost.

Children are inadequately cared for except at a prohibitive price. Gps act unevenly, mine refused even to provide a private prescription or to administer it.

onimolap Sat 22-Jan-11 11:30:18

Andalusianbay: that is true at the top level. But if jabs are organised by GPs, does the funding come out of the GP budget (ie is it covered by the main GP contract? (which I think it is)). That would mean petitioning every practice, because as far as the top level budget is concerned, it's already covered there, and the directive was issued to supply to specified groups. If you want to take it out of GPs hands to a ring-fenced budget administered elsewhere, then that could be done, but it's quite a shift.

andalusianbay Sat 22-Jan-11 22:53:20

I think you have answered your original question Onimolap – ‘who do you petition’? - the policy makers – in Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government!

As part of the GP contract Practices are expected to provide additional services, one of which is vaccination and immunisation. Under the contract practices are paid according to their patient population, they also receive points for achieving specific standards and levels of care. If the Government issue guidelines to the practices, as was the case when the pandemic broke out, it is for the General practitioners committee to come to an agreement with regard to payments with the Government.

onimolap Sun 23-Jan-11 12:43:20

No, I'm possibly being dense, but I'm still not clear who would be petitioned and what would be asked for.

At the moment, there have been descriptions of the status quo in Wales and a vague suggestion about petitioning those who hold the purse strings (which seems to be individual GP practices for the seasonal flu jab).

From the clinical governance point of view, it is JCVI advice which matters at present. I noted the denjgratory comments above. Is this petitioning going to be directed also at them, or is it to call for them to be excluded from the process?

bubbleymummy Sun 23-Jan-11 14:26:08

Ominolap - the JCVI advise the government on vaccinations and the government are now legally obliged to implement what they recommend.

onimolap Sun 23-Jan-11 14:50:55

I know - I posted a link to their site (which includes the minutes of their meetings).

This thread is about starting a petition - I'm trying to find out who is to be petitioned and what will be asked for. I might have missed something mid-thread, but it's not clear to me what the answer is to either.

andalusianbay Tue 25-Jan-11 17:41:59

I’m not sure why its not clear either and I didn’t think it was a vague suggestion re petitioning the government, maybe the following will help:

It is not the individual practices you would petition – they may hold their own budget but as I say if the guidelines change (implemented by the government) then they have to abide by these changes and negotiate if necessary with the government with regard to financial reimbursement. So of course it is the government who you would petition, if you so wished. As I mentioned earlier the Welsh Assembly Government have already announce that they will re-think the policy of vaccinating the under 5’s – this change of policy has come about due to pressure from the public and authorities in the field who feel that the current policy is not the correct one.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/ 01/15/wales-to-review-flu-jabs-for-our-children-91 466-27989690/#ixzz1C49QHYK3

Martin Semple, assistant director of professional practice at the Royal College of Nursing, urged the Assembly Government to “review the evidence” over risks to children under five. “We must continue to review the evidence and if it does point to a higher risk for under fives we must respond to it.”
Also, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/8228455/Flu-jab- for-under-fives-decision-to-be-reviewed.html: ‘Yesterday, the Department of Health disclosed that the issue of whether healthy under fives should be vaccinated would now be subject to a lengthy review, which could lead to them receiving the seasonal flu vaccine on the NHS next year. A recommendation will be made by the Government's Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI), following advice from its flu sub committee. This sub committee met earlier this month (Jan 2011) to discuss new evidence which supported the conclusion that all healthy infants should be vaccinated.
In January (2010), the majority of members on the JCVI's flu sub-group agreed "that it would be prudent to include children aged between six months and under five years in the 2010/2011 seasonal influenza programme", possibly with the H1N1 vaccine.
But in July, this advice was not taken up by the full committee, which draws up the Government’s vaccination programme. It recommended that under fives should not be offered the seasonal flu jab this winter, even though swine flu (H1N1) is a major strain in the current flu wave.’ One has to wonder why the views of the majority were

onimolap Wed 26-Jan-11 21:47:37

The title of the thread was asking about whether there were any known existing petitions, or if OP should start one.

I have been seeking to find out to whom that petition would be addressed.

There is still no answer to that question, hence it reamins vague.

I'm leaving this thread now, as reiterations of the responsibilities of JCVI (something I've already posted twice) does not address the question I'd been hoping a wise MNer would be able to answer.

andalusianbay Fri 28-Jan-11 13:45:44

The original question was is there an existing petition and if not the member might start one – would love to know if you did start one loganberry?

I didn’t realise onimolap that this was about point scoring. The point is that there are parents out there who would like to have the option of vaccinating their children against swine flu and in order for that to happen, logically you would petition those responsible for authorising the process…which would be the GOVERNMENT!

Maybe you didn’t read the links I posted….obviously the Director of nursing felt the appropriate authority to contact was the WAG (not individual GP practices).

JCVI gives advice to Ministers based on the best evidence reflecting current good practice and/or expert opinion (the government are obliged to listen to their recommendations subject to them fulfilling certain criteria).

The point is that you would be petitioning the government to ensure that funds are made available to clinicians and researchers in order for them to carry out robust controlled studies from which the JCVI can then draw their conclusions from. If there is enough public opinion/pressure then it is more likely that the government will do this and may add to the existing strong evidence for vaccination. As I wrote previously, the majority of the members on the JCVI sub-committee were in favour of including this age group in the vaccination programme – but somehow, this was ignored….which does make the whole advisory process seem a bit of a sham.

I think I’ve addressed your question very well…it seems to me that for some reason (though you’ve given no valid alternative, other than writing to every GP) you do not want to listen to my reasoning. I’d just like to add that with three degrees, one in clinical research to my name I’m not inadequately equipped to answer your question….I’d say that categorises me as being pretty wise.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now