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

Please Help to Secure Flu Jabs for Everyone

(80 Posts)
Freddy01 Sat 15-Jan-11 11:14:17


Please help by adding your agreement to this thread.

If we get enough people petitioning for the Swine Flu jab for everyone then the Government and NHS may do something about it but we have to try as I am beside myself with worry for my 7 year old. Here is my story so far.

Wednesay 12 January 2011 - I phoned my GP and neither my husband, my 7 year old daughter or myself are in the at risk category meaning we are not diabetic, asthmatic, pregnant or have any underlying health issues. They said that Asda and Boots were dispensing the flue jabs which contain the swin flu jab now.

Thursday 13 January 2011 - I phoned Asda in Derby Spondon and they are all sold out and not going to be getting anymore because they can't get hold of any vaccines and have no one at Asda Spondon to adminster them. They said they would only vaccine over 16 year olds because they are not licensed to vaccinate children under 16 years.

Friday 14 January 2011 - Phoned Asda Sinfin and they are all sold out and have tried to get the vaccines for 3 weeks and still trying. However, they are not vaccinating any children under 16 at the Pharmacies because they are not licensed to. Phoned Boots have sold out nationwide and cannot get hold of any.

I have told Asda and Boots that Glaxo Smithkline stated on ceefax and in the media last weekend that they had 13 million stockpile that would be available to GPS etc to order on Monday morning (that being 10 January).

Friday 14 January 2011 - phoned my GP in despair and asked yet again if they could help. They said Morrisons said that they had some left.

Friday 14 January 2011 - phoned Morrisons they had 10 left so booked myself and my husband in for vaccine. However, they are not vaccinating any children under 16 at the Pharmacies because they are not licensed to. They will dispense over the counter if you have a prescription for your child.

Friday 14 January 2011 - phoned my GP they said that the nurse will adminster the jab to my 7 year old but we would have to buy it from the pharmacy. When I said that the pharmacy said I would need a prescription from my GP they said we do not issue prescriptions for Flu Jabs. So I am stuck.

Friday 14 January 2011 - phoned Morrisons again and told them that GP would not give me a prescription as they do not give prescriptions for flu jab. Morrisons said that a lady bought in a prescription that morning for her 14 year old and they dispensed the flu jab to her to take to the doctors to have it administered. They said that the GPs are licensed to give out prescriptions for whatever drugs and vaccines they feel fit to prescribed so its the GP's choice.

Friday 14 January 2011 - after work I go to my doctors to see what they have to say to my face. The called the practice nurse and asked me to wait. Whilst waiting I broke down and had a panic attack which I have been having for the last three days. The Receptionist at the surgery gave me a number for the Public Health PCT who I am calling on Monday.

Everyone at Asda, Boots and Morrisons and my Doctors say that they agree with me and that the vaccine should be eligable for everyone. They even want to get their kids and theirselves vaccinated but can't.

I think it is disgraceful that we are being dictated to in a democratic society by the World Health Organisation, NHS and Government that we cannot protect our family even if we wish to pay for it. I'm all for paying for it but I can't get my daughter vaccinated!!!!

I think that all the Supermarket pharmacies, clinics, NHS, GPS, the pharmaceautical company who makes the vaccine and the government should get together quickly round a table have a discussion and make these available to everyone from 0 - 100 plus, either via the NHS for those who can't afford to pay and those who can pay via clinics and pharmacies.

Get rid of this red tape rubbish that is obviously killing people and ensure that everyone gets vaccinated.

They shouldn't play GOD with peoples lives.

I'm ashamed to be British right now. I feel let down by the NHS, Pharmacies and Government.

These organisations are seriously failing the British public who are trying to protect themselves and their children.

Shame on you Mr Cameron and your Government. I'll make sure I won't vote for you or Liberal Democrats next time. You are all the same say you are going to do something and then let us all down.

Now I feel the public and media should stand up and fight this and get the vaccine for everyone.

Please help by registering your vote and opionion on this thread and then Mumsnet will hopefully take this to the Government and lobby for this. But we need this quickly for everyones sake.

Thank you for reading my plight but the fight is not over yet!!! I'll keep you posted what the PCT Public Health have to say on Monday.

PassionKiss Sat 15-Jan-11 13:16:49

Hmmm - well I wish I could get my 8 month old vaccinated just for my own peace of mind but I am reluctantly prepared to accept official Government advice on this having read (a lot!) on the subject.

The jab takes around 2 weeks to be fully effective and experts believe that the flu season is now peaking/about to peak - so your child will not be protected at the height of this epidemic.

I'm sorry that you are having panic attacks about this - there is a lot of information about numbers on the BBC website that you may find reassuring. Statistically it's very unlikely that your seven year old will come to any harm.

I agree that the jab should be available to anyone who wants it (as in the US) - I understand that they are reviewing this for next winter.

I do feel that the Government has mis-handled the issue this year but on the other hand it really is being blown out of all proportion by the media (irresponsibly to my mind). I have been very worried too so I sympathise!

Good luck on Monday.

SammEC Sat 15-Jan-11 13:38:32

I STRONGLY agree with everything you say Freddy01, I too know that it is unlikely that myself or my family get swine flu, however that is what i thought about having an ectopic pregnancy and burst appendix, yet i have had them both, statistics are a pile of poo, every person is a statistic and the risk is still there. I have been lucky enough to get all of us done my DH gets the jab as he has asthma, my DS is 2 so all i could get him was the swine flu jab, and I got myslef and my DD 16 done at the supermarket, I know now that i have done all i can, but i also know that they arnt covered for a bout 2 weeks so i will be limiting the contact we have with people where i can.

Hopefully next year the government will be doing the right thing, I know I will be getting all the family done privately at the beginning of the flu season this year!

Problem is, flu vaccine has to be ordered months in advance and manufacturers are busy making it for the upcoming 'down under' season now. So if it has run out it has run out. I guess remaining stocks ought to be very tightly targeted.

Sirzy Sat 15-Jan-11 16:14:42

If everyone at risk had had it then open it up to others but until then keep it as it is.

Perhaps if more parents of under 5s had taken up the offer last year more vaccine would have been ordered this year and we wouldnt have a problem

wannaBe Sat 15-Jan-11 16:24:09

you need to chill. You haven't got swine flu, your child has not got swine flu, your husband has not got swine flu, and even if you get it the chances of dying from it are extremely remote. Only 104 people have died of swine flu so far this season. And it is interesting to note that of those seven had had the vaccination, which doesn't actually indicate that the vaccination is all that effective anyway. Compare that to the upwards of 10000 deaths we get from normal seasonal flu every year and the hype and scaremongering from the media is really unnecessary.

And what exactly would you suggest should be stopped in order for the nhs to be able to afford to vaccinate 60 million people?

mass vaccination is not a viable suggestion and is, in fact, completely unnecessary.

And having panic attacks over it is totally disproportionate. Might I gently suggest that you get a grip.

Lulumaam Sat 15-Jan-11 16:27:36

I agree with wannabe

the reason the vaccine , same as teh regular flu jab is not offered to everyone, is that some people have a much higher need ofr one

you say you and your family are not in a high risk category but you want the vaccine.. possibly depriving someone else in the high risk category of their vaccine

I don't wish to add my name in support of this, as I do not think it is a viable suggestion or indeed necessary

did you kick this fuss up about the regular flu jab? people die of seasonal flu every year and have done for a long time

sarah293 Sat 15-Jan-11 16:30:05

Message withdrawn

TheFoosa Sat 15-Jan-11 16:30:28

hmm, I think people are worrying because a lot of the people dying from swine flu are healthy and not in the usual age groups for flu

but I agree, try not to obsess about it smile

wannaBe Sat 15-Jan-11 16:35:09

no, very few people that are dying are healthy. Most have underlying health conditions. Seven had had the vaccination which in itself is not a good indication of its effectiveness. Only eight of the deceased were children which totally blows out of the water the argument for getting all under 5s vaccinated, in fact the most "at risk" group is considered to be those between 45/60.

But even so the number of deaths is way, way down on the seasonal norm.

Lulumaam Sat 15-Jan-11 16:37:14

I'd be interested where the OP thikns the money for all the extra vaccine would come from and extra clinics and HCPs to administer it and so on.....

joe3 Sat 15-Jan-11 17:43:17

I fully agree with Freedy01,and I think vaccines should be avaliable to all(healthy children and adults)if they want it,through the nhs or atleast through the highstreet pharmacies.

jellybeans Sat 15-Jan-11 18:47:06

I am not sure. It doesn't seem fair that people who can afford, and are able, to source it privately can travel to get it, yet others cannot. So, in that sense perhaps it should be available to everyone if they want it.

Also, I read somewhere that one of the childhood vaccinations was preventing a disease which didn't kill that many per year. So 8 deaths may be as much as that. 8 deaths of children, though, is tragic. If more deaths can be prevented then I am all for vaccination. I think alot more people would come forward this time personally.

TeaOneSugar Sat 15-Jan-11 18:54:19

The NHS funding gap = rationing of services for those at greatest need.

BelleDameSansMerci Sat 15-Jan-11 18:56:18

There was a thread about this yesterday where I was pretty roundly stamped on for suggesting this vaccination should be available if we want it or at least for those under 16.

I will say, though, that I had DD(3) vaccinated last year and asked our Practice Nurse if this would mean she would be protected this year or if she would need seasonal vaccinations as per normal flu jab. The nurse said she and the doctors had been discussing this. They actually don't know as it's such a new vaccine. This concerns me slightly as I'd rather hoped that there was some understanding of the longevity of the vaccine, etc.

I've no idea if this is possible but have you tried private GPs in your area and/or BUPA? Don't know if either could help you but if you are happy to pay they may be able to point you in the right direction.

TeaOneSugar Sat 15-Jan-11 18:57:31

The PCT Public Health department will tell you that if you aren't in an "at risk" group you don't need a flu jab, their advice will always be in line with their PCT/national policy.

Umm OP my asthmatic steroid inhaler dependent DS can't get the jab because it's run out. How do you think I'm going to react to the 'me, me, me' argument you are proposing? angry

I think you need some help for your panic attacks they sound as though they are very debilitating.

MainlyMaynie Sat 15-Jan-11 19:10:17

There isn't enough flu vaccine available for everyone this year. If there was, the government would be buying it, as they have already tried to do. You can campaign all you like, but that won't change those facts.

I don't you and your children who aren't in risk groups need it more than people in the at risk groups who haven't had it yet. TBH, I think you are getting over-anxious about it.

As experts have analysed the risk and decided the groups that need it, I think it would be unreasonable for scare NHS resources to used on offering it to everyone next year. As long as the risks are thoroughly reviewed and the categories revised if necessary (i.e. if there is more risk to children, then expand the risk groups to include them), then that is the maximum the NHS should do. I think we can safely assume given the high demand this year,places like Boots will order a lot more next year and that people who don't need it but still want the reassurance will be able to get it there.

BelleDameSansMerci Sat 15-Jan-11 19:13:01

Can anyone confirm why under 5s were considered "at risk" last year but not this?

I'm not trying to be contentious (it just comes naturally grin), just wondering.

Sirzy Sat 15-Jan-11 19:17:42 /Seasonal-Flu/Why-isnt-the-seasonal-flu-vaccinatio n-being-offered-to-all-under-5s-this-year.aspx

According to that it is because a lot have already got some immunity.

The lack of reported severe cases so far touch wood in children would back that up to. Thankfully only a small amount of the deaths have been in under 5s.

I also wonder if the poor uptake from parents of under 5s last year influenced the decision.

BelleDameSansMerci Sat 15-Jan-11 19:30:12

Wow, that was quick Sirzy! I wondered that too...

longlife Sat 15-Jan-11 20:07:33

I think that it should be offered if that's what parents want. I had my son vaccinated last January and understand that the swine flu vaccine should give immunity for at least 2 years. The government could have ordered enough vaccine so there's no point in blaming pharmacies for the shortages. Some GPS didn't offer the vaccine to pregnant women because they said they didn't know that they could have the seasonal vaccine as they aren't normally in the at risk group. Me and my husband paid for the jab as we were both nervous about getting ill and not being able to look after Tobias. In Southern Ireland you can e vaccinated if you pay which is normal as part of their Health System

PocketMouse Sat 15-Jan-11 20:09:46

I really don't understand why some GP's are offering the vaccine to under 5's as an 'at risk' group, and others aren't!

but yes, it should be available. Perhaps it's media perception, but it seems a lot worse this year.

Herecomesthesciencebint Sat 15-Jan-11 20:15:02

Im with wannabe

why the hysteria over this vs any other communicable disease? And Im not being rude honestly Im not but you need to understand you are being petitioned by the media. There is a risk to you and yours. but you have that risk from lots of other sources and honestly this one is on its way out.

stay calm and pls dont get anxious over hype that is in all honesty there to boost news figueres at present.

Im not convinced the g'ment was right to reduce prophylaxis or advertising this year but it is as it is and in mid jan we are honestly over the peak so conserve your emotional energy and pls dont feel unduly concerned.

MainlyMaynie Sat 15-Jan-11 20:29:58

The reason there aren't enough vaccines is that last year's media scare story was about the 'untested' swine flu vaccine stuffed full of mercury and unpleasantness. So take up was low and orders were lower based on the expectation of lower take up. Then the media changed its scare story to being a vaccine shortage and now everyone wants a bloody vaccine whether they need one or not.

Freddy01 Sat 15-Jan-11 21:17:28

Thanks for all your messages.

For those of you who have stated that I am being over anxious then yes I probably am, but I have one daughter and had a miscarriage a few years ago and before I had my daughter the chances of me having a child was 50/50 so you can see why I am protective of my child.

I didn't say that those who could afford it take the vaccines away from those at risk and need it.

I said that it should be made available to everyone who wants it whether for those who cannot afford it or at risk via the NHS or for those who can afford it to buy it.

It wouldn't be difficult to organise if only there were people in the NHS and Government of being able to organise things!

The Government and NHS waste money on a daily basis but when it comes to saving peoples lives it should be about whether they can afford £8.00. Which equates to £480m for 60m people which is far far less than what the Government have funded bailing out the Banks!!

Also the Flu Vaccine this year contains the swine flue vaccine its all in one.

The chances of children cathing Measles or Mumps or Meningitis are slim these days too but Children are still vaccinated against them because if they catch it then it could kill them. Flu is more common yet they are not vaccinating children for it unless they are over 5 and at a higher risk.

Does this make sense to you?

Sirzy Sat 15-Jan-11 21:21:27

Have you been so desperate to get your child vaccinated every other year or is it just because of the media hype that you are all of a sudden so desperate?

MainlyMaynie Sat 15-Jan-11 21:39:36

No it doesn't make sense. The fact is there aren't any more vaccines to be bought, so it wouldn't matter how organised they were. And it's not lack of organisation anyway, expert medical advice is that not everyone needs the vaccine.

I can't believe you are comparing flu to meningitis, for the vast majority of people flu is simply nowhere near as serious. I really think you need to calm down and try to deal with your anxiety, rather than try and spend half a billion pounds of our money to deal with it.

wizardora Sat 15-Jan-11 21:40:32

I agree with you Freddy, I think it should be available to all who want it.

It is perfectly understandable for any parent to feel anxious about this when it is making headline news daily.

Although to a certain extent it's media scare mongering, it has clearly still managed to hit a raw nerve with a lot of parents.

Sirzy Sat 15-Jan-11 21:43:36

Where are all these vaccines coming from? Someone got magic powers to click there fingers and make them appear?

As it is there aren't enough for everyone who is at risk and they HAVE to be priority surely? DS is 14 months and at risk and got the last vaccines in the practise, others have been unable to get it.

MainlyMaynie Sat 15-Jan-11 21:54:18

There will be a petition and then it will make the feather bedded civil servants get organised and they will make the effort to call the pharmaceutical companies and the companies will... Oh, say they still haven't got any, just like when they called last week.

Freddy01 Sat 15-Jan-11 21:55:11

Exactly people have been unable to get the vaccine because not enough has been made by the Company that makes it.

People are missing the point here. I said it should be made available to everyone who wants it or who needs it.

Yes the media coverage is frightening and yes I tried to get us vaccinated last year but couldn't and it wasn't available in the pharmacies last year as far as I'm aware just via the Doctor.

My anxiety is easing but please don't tell me I am anxious for nothing because I don't think I am.

Try telling that to the little Children's parents who have lost their Children and the families of the adults who have lost their loved ones to Flu and Swine Flu that they are being anxious over nothing, they would be disgusted and to hear that.

Pharmaceutical companies earn billions of pounds a year so please don't tell me that they can't make enough vaccines. Its just that the Government haven't ordered enough! sad

For those in support thank you for your comments it is much appreciated.

For those not in support thank you for your comments which have been noted and you are like everyone else entitled to your opinion. wink

Sirzy Sat 15-Jan-11 21:59:58

The pharmaceutical companies will still want paying so I don't understand why how much they make is relevant?

People die all the time, including children, its tragic but it doesn't mean its time to panic. DS came close to dying at 8 weeks old from bronchiolitis but it doesn't mean that every other parent needs to start panicking because of it.

There have been very few deaths from flu this year (just over a hundred out of the entire population) and even fewer in children yet all of a sudden people are in panic mode. Its nothing but daft I am afraid. More people will die in road accidents than of flu.

I am sure you could always buy some cotton wool and wrap yourselves all up?

Freddy01 Sat 15-Jan-11 22:16:23

Sirzy I think that you will find just over 100 have died from swine flu or suspected swine flu with complications however, flu itself kills up to 250,000 people a year and a paramedic told me that last year when my Mum contracted Pneumonia and they suspected it was swine flu.

I am sorry to hear about your DS and am pleased that he has recovered. Bronchiolitis is also a very nasty illness.

What I am fighting for is the principal of the issue. We should be able to protect our families. If you could have protected your 8 week old son from Bronchiolitis I am sure you would have done everything you could to have prevented it if you had the chance to.

As with Car accidents, drivers are and should be in control of their cars which can prevent accidents so its not really the same issue.

But nice debating with you. smile

Sirzy Sat 15-Jan-11 22:28:50

Your missing everyone points it seems and ignoring the facts and practicalities of the situation and getting caught in the media storm as so many are

MentalMickie Sat 15-Jan-11 22:35:52

Op, where do you want them to get the vaccine from when There isn't any left?

Freddy01 Sat 15-Jan-11 22:46:48

No I like millions of other parents want to protect my family or at least be able to be given the choice and chance to protect my family.

Media brings topics to peoples attention that's all. yes it gets hyped up but I would still like the chance to be able to protect my child, whether people like it or not its that plain and simple.

As a parent it is my human right to be able to protect my child?

Everyone bangs on about human rights so its my human right to protect my child and its my childs human right to be able to receive the vaccine every year whilst this type of flu is in circulation.

Some of you are with me and some of you aren't. Those who aren't do not need to post comments on this thread they can go and start their own thread and write comments on there.

Like I said everyone is entitled to their own opinion but you don't need to slate me for having mine.

Memoo Sat 15-Jan-11 22:53:50

But where do you want them to get the vaccine from? its a good question

MainlyMaynie Sat 15-Jan-11 23:06:24

Umm, people don't need to start their own threads. You post about something and we answer with our own thoughts, that's how forums work. And as you want to spend half a billion pounds of OUR money on something utterly unnecessary, we're all entitled to have a view. You have no human right to have the state supply items to try and deal with your anxiety. Once you get this vaccine, there will always be something else to worry about. Honestly, dealing with the anxiety would be more effective.

CupcakesHay Sat 15-Jan-11 23:07:26

Would you rather the government spent money put aside for Cancer treatment on giving out not 100% neccesary swine flu jabs?

Or would you rather they cut the education budget to spend the money on swine flu jabs for everyone?

As for Human Rights - have you actually been to a disaster zone or a war zone - or seen a refugee camp? Not wishing to go all high and mighty on you - but if you have you might not think you had it so bad.

I'd consider staying in your house or buying a mask and gloves when you go out - that might help prevent the swine flu being spread to you and your family.

WilfShelf Sat 15-Jan-11 23:13:06

Do you have the right to protect your child at some other child's expense? Which ill child would you choose to suffer instead of yours? The one with asthma who can't get jabbed because the worried well have bought all the vaccine? The child with kidney failure who can't get a transplant for lack of funds? The child overseas dying of flu in a poor country where there is NO healthcare and no vaccines at all because rich countries have demanded to be first in the list of global allocations?

It isn't all about you.

CupcakesHay Sat 15-Jan-11 23:14:32

Good point wifshelf - and much more eloquently put than i was able to!

onadietcokebreak Sat 15-Jan-11 23:19:43

I will you actually need to address your anxiety issues.

onadietcokebreak Sat 15-Jan-11 23:20:39

Will * think

wizardora Sun 16-Jan-11 10:13:12

I have been told by my GP that there are in fact plenty of vaccines stock piled, the shortage issue has been caused by poor organisation, not a national shortage.

No one is debating that those with underlying health conditions shouldn't be first on the list with the NHS which they are simply that it should have been properly organised so that there is enough vaccine to go around for all children, which there would be - at no extra cost - if it had been properly organised.

Lulumaam Sun 16-Jan-11 12:00:41

totally agree wilf

to the OP, you cannot dictate that only people who agree with your can post

your idea is not workable or reasonable, it's not realistic or even necessary

wizardora Sun 16-Jan-11 12:33:16

The government recommended it for all under 5's last year, this year they aren't, and next year my GP said they likely will... so which year were they being unreasonable?

onimolap Sun 16-Jan-11 12:39:32

Wizadora: not exactly.

The seasonal flu jab has never been recommended on NHS for under 5s.

The 2009 single strain vax was a one-off because of the atypical nature and timing of the spread of a newly-emerged strain about which little was then known.

wizardora Sun 16-Jan-11 15:00:29

I realise the seasonal flu jab has never been recommended for healthy under 5's, but the swine flu jab has been, and according to my GP likely will be again next year, although I would imagine without the seasonal flu element.

onimolap Sun 16-Jan-11 15:04:33

I doubt the swine flu jab will be released again - after all, it wasn't in 2010. It's only because there were stocks left over from the 2009 stockpile that it could be released as second-best as the seasonal flu shot ran out. And when the stockpile goes out of date, there will be none.

Sirzy Sun 16-Jan-11 15:07:41

I can't see them vaccintating under 5s again. It will most likely be in the normal vaccine when it is seen as a threat for that year.

wizardora Sun 16-Jan-11 15:34:52

I think the fact that they sent letters out advising parents all under 5's should be vaccinated last year has lead to a lot of worry & confusion.

The media has fanned the flames of this year's swine flu cases making it is very difficult as a parent to know what is the best course of action to protect our children, which at the end of the day is all any of us want.

Freddy01 Sun 16-Jan-11 16:40:43

I think the difference between last year and this year is the fact that more people are dying from Swine Flu who have no underlying health problems.

I don't think that vaccines should be taken away from those at risk I just think that it should be made available to everyone.

I don't think everyone should get it on the NHS either ONLY those who cannot afford to buy it.

It costs £8.95 in Asda and Morrisons and £12.99 in Boots hardly alot of money to spend to protect each child. I would ensure that I go without to ensure that my Child is vaccinated and am willing to pay for it.

Glaxo Smithkline announced last weekend that they had a 13m stockpile of vaccines available for Doctors etc to order on Monday morning.

They can make more at a drop of a hat so its not like Gold dust that you can never get it because its ran out. They can make more you know, that is what they do.

And I'm with you Wizardora.

I don't think that little girl Lana's parent would agree with some people on this thread that it shouldn't be made available to all Children and those at high risk or anyone else because if they had the chance to get their little girl vaccinated then it may have been a different story. They were brave enough to be on TV the other day and brave enough to release Lana's picture to warn people and to try to ensure that people are vaccinated. Gemma Lana's mum has pleaded for all under fives to be give the swine flu jab but the Government are refusing to change their mind.

How many more Children and Adults are put at risk for the sake of a few quid?

But the greedy bankers can spend our tax money and the MP's can rip off the public by using tax money for their extortionate expenses! If they got the money back from the bankers (billions of it) then they may be able to afford to inoculate those who cannot afford to pay for the vaccine via NHS and those who can afford it can pay for it themselves.

Sirzy Sun 16-Jan-11 16:50:26

I agree Wizidora which is why as parents we need to pretty much ignore the media and find the facts for ourselves and those facts show that if you have a healthy child (or adult) the chances are much smaller, the risk is there of course (as it is every year) but it isn't enough to a) need mass panic or b) need mass vaccination.

onimolap Sun 16-Jan-11 16:55:21

Freddy01: link to GSK announcement? There was nothing when I googled it, nor could I find anything on GSK's own website.

Sirzy Sun 16-Jan-11 17:01:30

There is 13 million of last years flu vaccine left over I assume that is what freddie meant.

That is left over because so many parents didn't get there children vaccinated last year when they had the chance! Rather ironic really!

"its my childs human right to be able to receive the vaccine every year whilst this type of flu is in circulation."

Umm what a load of bollocks. Chances of your child dying from swine flu.....ummm virtually zilch as it happens. Chances of your child dying of anthrax if exposed fucking massive. So I assume your child has the right for the pharma companies to stop working on cancer treatments to find a vax for that too. After all, it's found in the environment in England on a fairly regular basis? I assume you've also had your child immunised for Hepatitis, TB etc. hmm

You are making me very cross.

You are confusing the emotional value you place on your child on the needs of the community at large. And you are panicking unnecessarily.

Your child (or either of mine) could be struck down with cancer, a car accident, a fire, poisoning. Statistically almost all childhood deaths occur in developing countries with Africa topping the leagues, thanks for HIV and AIDs. So is it your human right to ban cars, oven cleaning fluid, matches? hmm Without wishing to be crass, you child is not a poor black African kid who lives 30+ miles from the nearest hospital and whose parents have to choose between food and treatment.

And it's not a few quid. Do you actually know how much it costs to fast manufacture vaccines - which by the way don't work terribly well in many people and don't last long even when they do work?

I suggest you get some perspective on this. If your child gets swine flu, you know what to do and live in a country where medical help is available and antivirals are available which if used early do help enormously. Even vaccinated your child will at some point probably be exposed to this virus. They might be in the 5% of the population with natural immunity, or the estimate 40% who have been previously exposed and have immunity. Or they might be one of those people who feels crappy for a few days and gets over it.

The likelihood of even being sick enough to warrant medical help is very, very small.


OldieButBaddie Sun 16-Jan-11 17:22:21

They have been available in pharmacies for months
If you were so concerned why wait til now?

Oldie - because her daughter is ineligible for paid for vax. Yet they have been available from private GPs for four months now.

belgo Sun 16-Jan-11 17:26:44

Because oldie it's only now that we are being confronted with headlines telling us what a deadly illness this is. A few months ago it seemed a far off possibility, now photos of dead children are staring at us from our computer screens and newspapers.

Of course that makes people more scared now then a few months ago.

OldieButBaddie Sun 16-Jan-11 17:29:10

Oh that is rubbish
there has been so much about swine flu in the media over the past couple of years - if you were concerned you could have got vaccinated last year when supplies are plentiful

Okay, let's hear some facts then - how many children are dead and how many have had swine flu and recovered? Lots of things are potentially very dangerous. Every kid under two routinely gives themselves a potentially life threatening head injury every few weeks.

OldieButBaddie Sun 16-Jan-11 17:30:49

my dd had swine flu the summer before last
She had a temp and was crap for a few days but recovered after a week.
She is not high risk and doesn't need vaccinating against it

belgo Sun 16-Jan-11 17:41:17

Oldie is your 'that is rubbish' comment directed at me?

If so, I think you are misunderstanding me. I am not saying that loads of children have died; my point is that due to sensationalist reporting in the media, our perception of it as a disease has changed. And that is why people are panicking now, and not a few months ago.

belgo Sun 16-Jan-11 17:43:50

In fact I think only one or two children have died, and those are the photos you see on the internet. The fact that it is just one or two out of how ever many millions suddenly seems irrelevant when faced with another family's tragedy.

onimolap Sun 16-Jan-11 17:50:36

Whomovedmychocolate: here's a link to the latest data on the outbreak. It doesn't cover how many have had it and recovered in full, as not everyone goes to their GP. But the difference between rates of deaths, hospitalisations and GP visits will give a very rough idea.

One thing that is clear is that the 99/00 had far more cases and deaths than we are seeing so far this time.

Abr1de Sun 16-Jan-11 17:50:48

Both my two have had it and it wasn't a big thing. I've seen them far sicker with other bugs.

onimolap - but last year people were actively encouraged not to seek medical help - the message was 'antivirals only work if obtained very quickly and may be dangerous.' So a lot of people assumed any bad cold was flu and a lot of people who got swine flu were not sure what they'd had so didn't bother reporting it.

What I am saying is the true picture is unclear. It is unlikely the statistics can be correct if 40% of the population has immunity. Not 40% of the population (or even 35% plus 5% for natural immunity) were known to be infected. These figures are pretty much the picture describing what GPs or hospital admitting doctors feel about flu in general - unless you die, you pretty much won't get tested so you could have any old viral infection and not die and be counted as swine flu.

onimolap Sun 16-Jan-11 18:17:02

I didn't look at a comparison with last year.

onimolap Sun 16-Jan-11 18:22:33

Have been back - the reported stats for the 09/10 season are broadly pretty similar to those reportedd so for for 10/11, though the 09/10 peak was in autumn, not New Year. Stats are updated every Thursday.

So far it's a way, way smaller outbreak than 99/00.

Ghekogiddy Sun 16-Jan-11 18:28:33

There have been more people in intensive care with it this time than in the pandemic. I can totally understand why people are worried (myself included). Its not mild for everyone, if you have had it mild you are very lucky. Many are bedded for weeks with taking months to fully recover.

Normal seasonal flu does not usually kill as many young or healthy people.

Sirzy Sun 16-Jan-11 18:34:07

They do test people in hopsitals and they are the cases severe enough to be reported iyswim.

People are bedded for weeks every year recovering from flu that is nothing new.

What proportion of the deaths were from previously healthy people? I thought it was only a tiny proportion.

Sirzy Sun 16-Jan-11 18:35:03

And if you have had it mild you are like most. I would say those who end up seriously ill are unlucky rather than those who get it mild being lucky

I know you didn't look at a comparison with last year but I'm saying you can't compare any stats because they are all fundamentally flawed by only creating a partial picture. They show 'of those people who sought medical help and were assumed because of their (self reported) symptoms to have swine flu, what were their outcomes'.

Sirzy - they do test in hospital. However whether you caught the virus in hospital is another case in point - you could have gone in with a D&V virus, been laid low and flu taken hold etc. But I agree it's those who are seriously ill that are unlucky rather than those of us who just get a week in bed who are lucky.

FWIW I have had it, confirmed once (swabs) and probably twice - the children got something a second time and the GP said 'swine flu' and I said 'nahhhhh' and then went down with it myself (serves me right for being arrogant!)

Either time it was pretty horrid for a while, first time seven days, second time, three days. Post viral recovery period of four weeks with both.

I think what's killing people is getting it on top of the usual shit that's flying around this time of year (pneumovirus for example). Flu will give your immune system a severe kicking, flu closely followed by or preceded by another RSV is more likely to be deadly.

And maybe we need to get sick because then we build up immunity. I don't want to live in a sterile colony where everyone is frightened to get a cold. The vast majority of such infections do not kill. They merely temporarily incapacitate and while it's bloody scary when it happens to your child, by and large, it lasts a week then gets better.

Ghekogiddy Sun 16-Jan-11 19:36:02

I am sure many parents would pay for the vaccine for their children if they could. Perhaps next year the NHS will take this into account and the GPs could charge for it for healthy folk.

They already do! You can find a private GP anywhere in the country who will do it for you (and stocks are available through private GPs). I can drive 30 miles down the road, pay £30 per child (2 jabs, 2 weeks apart) and have them done.

Sirzy Sun 16-Jan-11 19:43:29

NHS GPs aren't allowed to charge, and rightly so.

tholeon Sun 16-Jan-11 20:04:28


OP to an extent I do understand where you are coming from. I also have on only child, conceived via ivf. He became very ill with a viral infection at four months and spent a week on a ventilator. It then emerged that he had a birth defect (his windpipe was compressed by his aorta.) He had to have a major operation to correct this, but he is now a very well toddler. He has had a few colds since with no bother. Still, viral infections in general terrify me and in particular the flu. He has been vaccinated, which makes me feel better, but it is not 100% effective by any means. It may comfort you to know that (because of my son's history) I am in touch with some parents of sick children and I know of one little baby who has a tracheostomy because of serious breathing issues, who has recovered from swine flu after a few days in hospital (not in intensive care.) The chances of your healthy seven year old dying from this are very, very remote.

Still, the thought of anything happening to our children is a horrific one and yet living with risk is something we have to learn to do.

Having said that, I am, for the moment, avoiding toddler groups and other large gatherings of small children with my son. It is quite dull but better for me than the worry. I have posted this question on another thread, but if anyone has information on the likelyhood of an average person getting swine flu, it would help me make decisions as to the way we are living our life. I am also interested in when we might normally expect the peak flu season to end..

onimolap Sun 16-Jan-11 20:16:18

The NHS acts on the advice of the JCVI in deciding vaccination policy.

The link above takes you to their official page, where you will find information about NHS vaccination policy and minutes if its meetings in 2010 (and, indeed, minutes if its meetings gong back to 1963).

It of course has no role in what is available privately.

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