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Pilot scheme at our school for flu vaccine, is it live?

(43 Posts)
quickchat Tue 01-Oct-13 23:19:31

The school my DS attends has started a pilot scheme to give all children a flu vaccine (sprayed up the nose). As usual most parents whom im sure do not lie awake at night worrying if their child will get a cold or flu are rushing head on to get it done hmm.

Im wondering if this will cause big increases in flu itself as I know when my parents get their yearly flu jab they always end up ill with flu!!

I love when I ask the parents keen to get the flu vaccine for their child if they have looked into the contents of the vaccine (done very matter of fact, non confrontational) they look at me like I've just dropped my pants and had a wee at school drop off.

"Why on earth would I do that" their face tells me!

sweetiepie1979 Wed 02-Oct-13 04:48:05

We'll why don't youngest US all the ingredients.. And what it means.

sweetiepie1979 Wed 02-Oct-13 05:34:22

I mean why dont you tell us the ingredients

Sunnysummer Wed 02-Oct-13 06:44:35

It's physically impossible to get the flu from the flu vaccine, adult or child. It is a dead vaccine.

It's a common misconception when people get a cold after the vaccine to attribute it to the jab, but in fact they are not connected - and often people also confuse a serious cold with the flu. A serious cold is very nasty but not life threatening, whereas the flu is extremely severe and can lead to pneumonia and hospitalisation in vulnerable groups like the elderly or pregnant. As a rule of thumb, they usually say that anyone who is able to get to a doctor to check if they have the flu, does not in fact have the flu!

Before you share your 'expertise' with parents at the school gate, please do make sure you are also up to date with the latest information. Children are common spreaders of illness, which is why they are looking at vaccinating them - people spreading any incorrect information could be risking the lives of these kids' grandparents or pregnant mums.

CPtart Wed 02-Oct-13 06:57:25

Fluenz, the nasal spray is actually a live vaccine.

CPtart Wed 02-Oct-13 06:59:26

....I should add, it still can't give you flu, but shouldn't be given to any child who has close contact with a severely immunocompromised person.

AuntieStella Wed 02-Oct-13 07:16:54

The flu jab her parents had would have contained deactivated strains only, though. So they would not have caught the flu (a 2-3 weeks, wipe you off your feet illness) from it.

What parts of fluenz concern you, OP?

CatherinaJTV Wed 02-Oct-13 07:20:03

what SunnySummer says (also, I am envious - I WANT the Fluenz for my son!)

arkestra Wed 02-Oct-13 07:22:05

I love when I ask the parents keen to get the flu vaccine for their child if they have looked into the contents of the vaccine (done very matter of fact, non confrontational) they look at me like I've just dropped my pants and had a wee at school drop off.

"Why on earth would I do that" their face tells me!

Or perhaps "Why are you asking that without being specific about where your concerns lie?" Eg they don't know if you're going to talk about live vaccines, egg cultures, or a more general anti-vaccine stance that they may not wish to get involved debating with you...

EMA Fluenz Page is a good general starting point for discussing contents etc.

arkestra Wed 02-Oct-13 07:45:28
sweetiepie1979 Wed 02-Oct-13 09:14:10

I'd look at you oddly too OP and expect you are about to give me a rather pretentious lecture without thinking for a second what the health situation is on my house and with my child..

sweetiepie1979 Wed 02-Oct-13 09:22:21

CPtart where did you read that the spray shouldn't be given to children in close proximity to someone with a weak immune system. That could be a problem and I hadn't realised that was the case.....

LifeofPo Wed 02-Oct-13 09:29:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MistyB Wed 02-Oct-13 09:39:07

More information on here.

Interesting points.

Point 4.4
Vaccine recipients should be informed that FLUENZ is an attenuated live virus vaccine and has the potential for transmission to immunocompromised contacts. ....... for 1-2 weeks following vaccination.

Also in this section,
Medical treatment and supervision should be available in case of an anaphylactic event.

should not be administered to children with severe asthma or active wheezing

increase in hospitalisation in children under 12 months (vaccine is not advised for under 24 months)
increase in rate of wheezing in children between 12 -24 months.

quickchat Wed 02-Oct-13 09:45:56


Flu jab's are a brilliant idea for people who may be badly effected by flu.

Do we really have to have our children add to their 36 vaccines?

I have looked into the ingredients. I was checking for the usual culprits like formaldehyde etc. Since the effects of injecting these carcinogenic and toxic materials en mass in vaccines have never been tested fully it makes me somewhat suspicious.

I was asking if it was live as it was not clear. There are quite a few different types of flu vaccine.

I hide my suspicion of vaccines (caused by my cousin being paralysed from the neck down, blind then eventually dying from a rubella vaccine at 16, then actually looking into them following that) from parents as I know that it's taboo.
They were all talking about it and I asked as if I was genuinely asking what the ingredients were even though I knew. They didn't get annoyed, they just didn't see the relevance.

Thanks though, that was so helpful!!

sweetiepie1979 Wed 02-Oct-13 09:47:20

CPtart I've just read a bit about what you said. I see. What about someone with a weak immune system due to age and arthritis.? Does anybody know about that?

Sirzy Wed 02-Oct-13 09:50:08

should not be administered to children with severe asthma or active wheezing

I don't know about the schools scheme but it would seem for 2-3 year olds this has not been promoted at all. My severely asthmatic 3 year old got a letter inviting him to have the nasal spray - thankfully the asthma nurse realised before it was given it would be an issue and he has his proper jab next week instead.

quickchat Wed 02-Oct-13 09:50:11

Thanks mistyb, I just spotted your post.

Scary. I feel for the kids and I worry about the effects this could potentially have in the future.

I know people die from flu. I also know people die from vaccines.
It's a pity we have to put these healthy children at a potential risk. The immune system was doing a pretty good job up to now.

arkestra Wed 02-Oct-13 11:26:09

Good link mistyb - better than mine

I think the immunocompromised bit may refer to quite severe cases as in the passage following on from your quote? But obviously a good idea to consult a doctor in the case of any doubt.

Vaccine recipients should attempt to avoid, whenever possible, close association with severely immunocompromised individuals (e.g. bone marrow transplant recipients requiring isolation) for 1-2 weeks following vaccination. Peak incidence of vaccine virus recovery occurred 2-3 days post-vaccination in clinical studies. In circumstances where contact with severely immunocompromised individuals is unavoidable, the potential risk of transmission of the influenza vaccine virus should be weighed against the risk of acquiring and transmitting wild-type influenza virus.

Sunnysummer Wed 02-Oct-13 11:29:25

The immune system was doing a pretty good job up until now? Really?

It wasn't the immune system that conquered smallpox, or made death from whooping cough, crippling from polio or male infertility from mumps almost unheard of in developed countries, it was vaccination programmes. The recent measles outbreak was a reminder of just how dangerous and contagious these illnesses can be without protection in place.

CPTart, thank you for correcting me on the fluenz live vaccine!

CPtart Wed 02-Oct-13 14:18:04

Sweetie - Anyone with a weak immune system due to age and arthritis would be getting the inactivated jab.

As a practice nurse I've been at work jabbing and spraying all morning. Too many changes with the immunisation schedule this year in a very short space of time. Keep reading and re-reading the info, very confusing for healthcare professionals let alone parents to keep up to speed with it all!

Sidge Wed 02-Oct-13 14:31:49

It's a live vaccine - Fluenz. All 2 and 3 year olds are eligible and should be called in by your GP surgery. Your 3 year old may be offered it when they attend for their preschool boosters.

Can't be given to children on step 4 asthma treatment, and severely immunocompromised tends to refer to people undergoing chemo, radiotherapy, on high doses of steroids or immune suppressant drugs, who have HIV etc. It doesn't necessarily mean people who are just old, or a bit weak and frail. Adults aren't going to be offered Fluenz themselves, they will be offered the inactivated flu vaccine.

Flu jabs can't give you flu (not even live ones) but they can give you an immune response such as a temperature, aches, feeling off colour. Also there can be coincidental viral illnesses - whilst your immune system is busy dealing with the vaccine another virus can sneak in.

arkestra Wed 02-Oct-13 15:36:30

Flu jabs can't give you flu (not even live ones) but they can give you an immune response such as a temperature, aches, feeling off colour.

People might be wondering how that works. From section 5.1 in mistyb's link:

The influenza virus strains in FLUENZ are (a) cold-adapted (ca); (b) temperature-sensitive (ts); and (c) attenuated (att). As a result, they replicate in the nasopharynx and induce protective immunity

Eg the idea is that the virus causes only mild infection, and only at the cooler temperatures found within the nose. So it's "live" but not with the full potential of a wild flu virus.

sashh Thu 03-Oct-13 09:17:14

*I know people die from flu. I also know people die from vaccines.
It's a pity we have to put these healthy children at a potential risk. The immune system was doing a pretty good job up to now.*

Er.............. how was it doing a good job? If people die from flu then their immune system isn't doing a good job is it?

And those healthy children ARE at a potential risk, all the time.

quickchat Thu 03-Oct-13 20:56:28

sashh People aren't dying from flu because we are all walking about with our inadequate immune systems relying only on vaccines to keep us alive!! smile.

Yes if someone is at high risk of dying from virus and flu then by all means, the vaccines could be of great benefit to them.

I notice you to ignore the fact i've lost my cousin to vaccine damage and only mention deaths from flu.
Who was the last family member you lost to flu? Do deaths from vaccines deserve only a shrug?

I don't know about anyone else but I can't remember the last time I lay in bed worrying about what virus's my children might catch or if chicken pox will kill them. Bring out a vaccine and we are all trampling each other to get them in case our child dies.

Leave them to the children at risk and leave otherwise healthy children to build a healthy immune system.

sunnysummer If this was QI with Stephen Fry then a buzzer would have sounded the minute you hailed the smallpox vaccine as successful!

It was Edward Jenner who first came up with vaccine. After it was tested on a relatively small number of people it became compulsory in the mid 1800's for all children or the parents were heavily fined. Uptake was good!

They quickly discovered that Jenner was wrong and it did not give life long protection and in fact around 8 vaccinations were needed.
Even after that there was outbreaks in different parts of the country and the biggest percentage of victims had been vaccinated.

The vaccines then were dirty and it was vaccine which first spread syphilis across Europe.

Born were the first anti-vaccine nuts like me grin! There was a large protest and eventually a new law made vaccines by choice (hallelujah).

Uptake with vaccine dropped dramatically but so did cases of small pox strangely, as did cases of measles and scarlet fever which there was no vaccine for at this point.

There then came a point where there was more deaths from vaccine than small pox.

It was the late 19th century that saw very few cases of small pox but very low uptake of the vaccine!

In the 60's there was around 30 deaths from small pox vaccine and one death from actual small pox.

The government then banned small pox vaccine in the 70's due to it being of greater threat than small pox.

Hey, just a thought, maybe people stopped dying like flies to all of these diseases when we stopped throwing our poo down the street and we could afford to eat healthier? Just saying.....

Deaths from Measles and whooping cough declined dramatically in the 19th century before the vaccine became available.

Diseases come and go and the severity of them changes from mild to severe then back again. Polio was once very mild. It depends on how we live, what we eat, hygiene etc and also the natural immune system.

If you went into the jungle and met a tribe who had never came across western civilisation with the common cold it would immediately kill them.

We are playing with fire with these flu vaccines and they have been making the same mistakes over and over again.

Vaccines could be wonderful things if they didn't insist on making money forcing en mass and used them carefully.

My final point. How come when ever there is an outbreak they are not mentioning the fact that most of the people effected have been vaccinated?

bumbleymummy Thu 03-Oct-13 21:01:55

"The immune system was doing a pretty good job up until now? Really?"

Well, yes, otherwise we wouldn't be here at all, would we? No one is saying it is perfect.

bumbleymummy Thu 03-Oct-13 21:03:03

Also worth noting (again) that 'there is no firm evidence that mumps causes sterility' (HPA)

arkestra Thu 03-Oct-13 23:12:14

Quickchat: do you think this describes your attitudes fairly?

?Trusting blindly can be the biggest risk of all?

It's hard for someone like me, who believes in the currently dominant view of vaccines as basically a good thing, to understand where you're coming from. Your opinions are obviously honestly held. Understand if you find it pointless or irrelevant or whatever.

arkestra Thu 03-Oct-13 23:24:02

(A lot of the time in threads like this it's like people have completely different views of reality (in particular around risks associated with vaccination and disease) and that paper is the best take on the difference I've seen so far.)

bruffin Sun 06-Oct-13 12:46:00

Hpa does not say that is no firm evidence that mumps causes sterility. It now says mumps seldom causes sterilityfor both men and women.

bumbleymummy Sun 06-Oct-13 20:40:30

They seem to have changed their wording slightly but it still says:

"Despite common belief there is no firm evidence that orchitis causes sterility."

Orchitis being a possible complication of mumps.

Frontdoorstep Sun 06-Oct-13 21:12:13

I know this thread is about the flu vaccine but if what they are saying is that mumps doesn't cause sterility (btw this is the impression I was also under) then this is an even greater reason to avoid the MMR, it is to protect against infertility from mumps but if mumps doescnt cause infertility, then you are are vaccinating to prevent damage to an unborn baby from rubella, to protect from infertility from mumps (which isn't an issue cos mumps doesn't cause infertility) so really the issue is if you want your child to have 3 vaccines to protect against the measles that for most children isn't serious.

CatherinaJTV Mon 07-Oct-13 07:32:15

Frontdoor - is that satire?

Frontdoorstep Mon 07-Oct-13 07:41:03

Catherina, I could have worded it a bit better, however I think you can get the gist of it. We vaccinate against mumps to protect against adult male infertility but if mumps doesn't cause adult male infertility then why is the mumps vaccine needed, this is without even questioning why it would be needed at 13 months old and by girls, even if it did cause male infertility.

Quick chat, I am also concerned about the ingredients in the flu vaccine, and I will certainly avoid it.

bruffin Mon 07-Oct-13 08:03:26

They do not vaccinate against mumps purely to prevent male sterility, although not sure from who BM is now quoting from as the HPA (now know as the PHA) actually says

Orchitis (usually unilateral) in up to 25% of post-pubertal males. Sterility seldom occurs.Oophritis in 5% of post-pubertal females. Sterility seldom occurs.

Which clearly means that sterility can occur.

They vaccinate against mumps because of the risk of encephilitis and deafness, all of which have a far greater risk from the disease than the vaccine.

Back to the vaccine
what ingredients are you trying to avoid? You seem to rely on scaremongering websites for your information. Have you read the IOM adverse effects of vaccines and causation which looks at all the research on the complications of the disease and the vaccines

bruffin Mon 07-Oct-13 08:04:09

Back to the flu vaccine

Frontdoorstep Mon 07-Oct-13 08:21:58

As to avoiding ingredients in the flu vaccine, it contains pig gelatin which is a concern to Muslims. The vaccination programme in schools was temporarily suspended in Glasgow this week for that very reason. Now you might have thought that someone might have thought that that would be a concern to Muslims but obviously not.

arkestra Mon 07-Oct-13 12:00:02

Happy to reassure you

BBC News

"Parents should be reassured that the existing guidance issued in 2001 from the World Health Organisation, prepared by religious scholars, advises that gelatine of porcine origin used in vaccines and other medicines is judicially permissible as the gelatine in the final product is a completely changed substance.

Eg it was identified and cleared more than 10 years ago.

Frontdoorstep Mon 07-Oct-13 12:09:01

Thanks arkestra, I am aware of that statement and I am not Muslim so pig gelatine does n't concern me from that point of view. However it concerns some Muslims and the fact that pig gelatine was included should have been made clear and so should that statement.

Anyway, is that enough to reassure someone who objects to pig products?

arkestra Mon 07-Oct-13 12:18:08

When do you stop reassuring people explicitly over questions that have already been settled?

It sounds like the question was raised and settled more than 10 years ago. Your initial post gave the impression the question had never crossed people's minds.

It is possible that there is more than one interpretation under Islam here and that the people concerned are raising an objection according to a different interpretation from the WHO. Happy to see info on that if you have any.

Frontdoorstep Mon 07-Oct-13 12:49:05

Fair enough arkestra, but since the flu programme was suspended in Glasgow, it does n't seem to suggest that the question was answered and since the people who have concerns over the pig gelatine have been told they can have an injectable flu vaccine instead that would also indicate that question marks remain over the pig gelatine.

You are probably correct suggesting that there is more than one interpretation under Islamic law.

However I don't think this is the ingredient the OP was referring to and for me other ingredients concern me far more, more from a safety point of view than a religious objection.

arkestra Mon 07-Oct-13 13:11:35

The pig gelatine's not a bad example of where problems lie around vaccine communication. Questions are asked about a vaccine ingredient. They are settled (in the case of gelatin, I have been unable to find any disagreement with the religious position here).

Do you (1) include every such issue on every communication with the vaccine? (2) never mention any such issue? (3) be aware that the issues can arise and have a prepared response?

I think (3) is right. And I think that in the pig gelatin example people started at (2) instead and got wrong-footed as a consequence. Eg they did not have enough regard to local concerns. My guess is that we've had other vaccines with gelatin rolled out with no issues. This time the question arose, and people were caught on the hop.

This is a problem with centrally run programs of any description. I don't believe it necessarily implies a genuine underlying problem though.

arkestra Mon 07-Oct-13 13:22:22

I think UK MMR has gelatin for instance. If so would explain why flu vaccine distributors got caught on the hop by people protesting about Fluenz!

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