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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

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.

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 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 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.

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 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?

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 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.

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.

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.

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....

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.

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

Andalusianbay: who does hold the purse strings?

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

Which article, andalusianbay?

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"

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.

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn

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

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

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).

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??

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!

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

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

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