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New Intranasal flu vaccine for Toddlers . Yes or no ?

(167 Posts)
IAmADonkeyOnTheEdge Thu 19-Sep-13 18:14:03

Just had a letter asking us to bring our 3.5 yr Dd for a flu vaccine ( up the nose !). No idea how they will persuade to sniff it up and also not sure if we should go for it or not.... Anyone else having it?

PennySillin Thu 19-Sep-13 18:15:13

My DCs aren't the right age but if they were I would accept.

Frontdoorstep Thu 19-Sep-13 18:33:20

My dc aren't the right age at the moment, when they qualify new year, I will refuse, on moral grounds, this is a vaccine given to children to stop them passing flu on to the elderly.

CatherinaJTV Thu 19-Sep-13 18:37:11

what is moral about giving flu to the elderly? hmm

My DCs are too old, I'll get them the shot as soon as I can, like every year (except when I didn't and both had the flu and were very poorly, no complications, but up to a 41 deg fever every day for 9 days straight). If DS could get the "up your nose" flu vaccine, I would totally get him it!

PennySillin Thu 19-Sep-13 18:39:51

I've not heard that argument before.

LaVolcan Thu 19-Sep-13 19:44:26

It seems a 'sledgehammer to crack a nut' way of going about it.

My MIL is 90. I don't know how many young children she comes into contact with these days, but I don't think it's many. It would be much better to encourage her to go for the jab herself.

tabitha8 Thu 19-Sep-13 20:02:31

When this was first talked about, the idea was to prevent passing flu to the middle-aged (that's me) rather than the elderly, who have their own flu jabs. Presumably, that hasn't changed? It is to protect the middle-aged?
Anyway, if the gov't wish to stop me getting the flu (I haven't had it yet), then they need to offer me the jab, not my children or any other children. Surely that makes sense?

PennySillin Thu 19-Sep-13 20:05:59

They are starting with society's most vulnerable.

Frontdoorstep Thu 19-Sep-13 20:06:24

Nothing moral or immoral about giving flu to the elderly Catherina but a lot immoral about spraying chemicals up my child's nose to protect the elderly. Why can't the elderly have th vaccine themselves?

LaVolcan Thu 19-Sep-13 20:12:19

to the middle-aged (that's me)

That's me too.

Are infants really the most vulnerable to flu? I would have thought that a fair few of us middle-aged ones would have health issues and be more susceptible. So why not offer it direct to us?

justabigdisco Thu 19-Sep-13 20:14:20

Did anyone consider it might be to stop passing flu to, er, the toddlers?

Frontdoorstep Thu 19-Sep-13 20:19:21

Same objection Justabigdisco.

LaVolcan Thu 19-Sep-13 20:21:18

I didn't think that toddlers were particularly vulnerable to flu?

It can and does hit the middle aged quite badly. My boss was off sick for the better part of a month when he caught it. (Fortunately, he didn't give it to the rest of us.)

SuffolkLatch Thu 19-Sep-13 20:23:55

My dds will be having it, as am i (as a jab though). It is groups most at risk of complications from flu that are offered the vaccine so questions like this

"A fair few of us middle-aged ones would have health issues and be more susceptible. So why not offer it direct to us?"

Don't make sense, as all adults with pre existing cardiac, respirarory etc conditions are offered it. Children are being offered it as they are at greater risk of complications, as are pregnant women and tge elderly. Any child given the vaccine will benefit from that cover themselves first, the herd immunity is a secondary benefit. Nothing immoral about it.

LaVolcan Thu 19-Sep-13 20:28:41

Don't make sense, as all adults with pre existing cardiac, respirarory etc conditions are offered it.

Well, pardon me, but as one of the middle-aged, I can tell you of a good few people who haven't been diagnosed with pre-existing anything, but will be the first to admit that their health isn't as good as it used to be/ought to be, so would be vulnerable.

(Doing something about it, especially for men is a different kettle of fish. Still, they wouldn't take a vaccine if offered either.)

arkestra Thu 19-Sep-13 21:06:14

As far as I can gather overall the aim post-pilot is 2-17 year olds? I guess trying to block the main vectors of infection, so the ones who vaccination is less suitable for (infants, elderly) are protected.

www.ovg.ox.ac.uk/fluenz

Not totally sure though.

Anyone got better links on what's driving the group vaccinated, who gets it first, etc?

CPtart Thu 19-Sep-13 21:07:48

I'm a practice nurse and will be giving this nasal vaccine this year. Children don't need to sniff it, it's sprayed up each nostril. The thinking is that it will encourage "herd immunity" and prevent the spread of flu to the most vulnerable such as the elderly who are entitled to the flu jab themselves. Many elderly choose to refuse it however, and for this reason if I had a healthy 2 or 3 year old with no long term conditions I'm afraid they wouldn't be getting it.

arkestra Thu 19-Sep-13 21:08:43

Bloody mobiles blush

LaVolcan Thu 19-Sep-13 21:19:58

CPtart - it's this 'herd immunity' that I question.

It may well promote herd immunity in a younger age group, but if for example, you think of large workplaces with say 1000 + staff, few of whom have the vaccine, how much herd immunity is there going to be in practice?

Thinking back to my boss who had the nasty bout of flu - his daughter would have been in the target age range, but at the time, non of the rest of us had children in the target range. I don't know who he caught his flu from, but his daughter didn't get it.

Frontdoorstep Thu 19-Sep-13 21:33:09

CPtart, it's the herd immunity that I question, also, I don't want to vaccinate my child for herd immunity.

justabigdisco Thu 19-Sep-13 22:32:02

It's nothing to do with protecting the elderly/vulnerable as they already receive the jab. The aim of flu vaccination for toddlers is to protect toddlers from flu.

LaVolcan Thu 19-Sep-13 22:55:22

It's nothing to do with protecting the elderly/vulnerable as they already receive the jab. The aim of flu vaccination for toddlers is to protect toddlers from flu.

Er no - not according to NHS choices:

"The nasal spray flu vaccine will not only help to protect your child from getting flu, it also stops the disease spreading from them to their family, carers and the wider population. This is known as herd immunity."

"Children are good at spreading flu, because they tend to sneeze everywhere and don't use tissues properly or wash their hands. Vaccinating them may also protect others that are vulnerable to flu such as babies, older people, pregnant women and people with serious long-term illnesses."

So very much to do with herd immunity. Of course, we could try to teach children to wash their hands and use tissues properly.

CPtart Fri 20-Sep-13 06:47:36

For most toddlers flu can be very unpleasant but won't cause any long term problem (unless already have health issues for whom it is already advised). Yes, the elderly are entitled to a flu jab but many many don't accept it. I saw several today in clinic, almost half refused. Also, it's efficacy declines with age.

Flu in the elderly can lead to long periods of costly hospitalisation and this is partly the reason for encouraging herd immunity. Toddlers/young children are the biggest group of carriers of the virus but not the worst affected if normally fit and well.

arkestra Fri 20-Sep-13 07:10:47

If it's a question of being put off by being asked to jab one's child to help elderly strangers, one way to look at it is that the child will eventually become one of those elderly strangers. At which point they will be grateful if others vaccinate their children!

This argument is probably more convincing if the vaccine really is less effective on the elderly; I haven't been able to find any info on that.

But in any case it's not necessarily purely a matter of one group's interests being sacrificed for another's. The children and elderly could be viewed as being in the same group - just at different stages in time.

LaVolcan Fri 20-Sep-13 09:26:11

There does seem to be something of a moral issue here: half the elderly who are offered the flu jab refuse, presumably choosing to take the consequences. So instead we start offering the vaccine to children, not primarily for their own benefit, but because those awkward oldies won't co-operate with our vaccine programme.

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