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To not vaccinate my children against flu this winter?

(237 Posts)
Isseyesque Tue 30-Sep-14 23:09:03

We have been offered flu jabs for DDs age 2 and 4. Neither have any respiratory/asthma type issues, and generally very good health (have been very fortunate in that to date they have rarely gotten ill and never seriously, not been on antibiotics etc).

AIBU not to vaccinate them as they don't appear to be high risk? My understanding is that flu is most dangerous to people with weak immune and weak respiratory problems. If they do get it, they'll be unwell but ok, and develop some resistance/ resilience etc.

However, I'm now wavering as someone said they heard on the radio that it recommended small children DO get immunised as it will reduce the spread of flu and therefore be better for others who are more compromised. I hadn't considered that previously, not sure what to do now.

LadyLuck10 Tue 30-Sep-14 23:11:27

So you listened to some third hand info from someone off the radio? If you've survived so far then you and kids should be ok.

Bulbasaur Tue 30-Sep-14 23:16:00

Of the children that end up in the hospital, almost all of them weren't vaccinated.

Not to say your kids will end up in the hospital and die if you don't do it. But it is a risk. Personally, I think the benefits out weigh the risks and runny nose for a few days after the shot.

That said, I haven't had a flu shot at all growing up and never got the flu (except maybe once). Take that anecdotal evidence how you will.

Wolfiefan Tue 30-Sep-14 23:18:12

I've only had proper flu twice. Both times I was an adult but it wiped me out for days. I was just about conscious but not well enough to get my own food etc. I felt awful. Almost hallucinating. Out of it.
I'd vaccinate.

MildDrPepperAddiction Tue 30-Sep-14 23:19:21

Yanbu. If you are confident that whatever decision you make is right for your family that's fine. It's important to make an INFORMED decision either way.

vanillavelvet Tue 30-Sep-14 23:20:07

All pre-school children and primary school children in my area are being offered vaccines this year.

stargirl1701 Tue 30-Sep-14 23:20:25

Are you sure it's not the flu nasal spray you have been offered. The flu jab is only offered to specific groups based on clinical need. The flu nasal spray is being offered to every child aged 2-11 across the UK.

InaPuckle Tue 30-Sep-14 23:21:55

Neither myself nor DC have it although I apparently fall into two high risk categories. I've never heard a good enough explanation for the change in thinking on flu vaccine from it being completely unnecessary and discouraged unless elderly or high risk to commonly offered and widely promoted.

Isseyesque Tue 30-Sep-14 23:26:07

Text message from surgery just says they are entitled to receive the flu vaccine, so yes could well be the nasal spray. My wavering is because I am now questioning whether I had missed the 'bigger picture' implication of the national vaccination programme - it is not just about preventing flu in my kids, but reducing the spread of it to other more vulnerable people.

Thinking now I should get it - and potentially therefore prevent them from getting it to. Agree with Wolfie that real flu is really really awful. I have had it twice in my lifetime and have been unable to stand up, delirious, and taken a good 10 days to have its and recover.

steff13 Tue 30-Sep-14 23:29:13

We get our kids (ages 4, 13, and 15) flu shots every year. Our doctor recommends it for everyone, but my husband is afraid of needles, and I had a bad reaction the one and only time I ever had one. I've only had the flu once in 30-some years.

I like to get it for the kids because they're in school with a bunch of other kids all day, I think stuff tends to be passed around more.

Kiwirose Tue 30-Sep-14 23:34:36

There is a new campaign to start immunisation for flu, and having the nasal spray is a lot less invasive than the injection. If you google it then you can find the rationale for it on

As Bulbasor says most children who end up in hospital are not immunised. Also immunising the children significantly reduces the spread in communities thus protecting other vulnerable people - such as grand parents.

The flu virus changes from year to year so if they get flu this year they may get it again next year ie they will not build up resistance. Incidentally if you look at the great flu outbreaks in history it was the middle aged people who had surprisingly high mortality.

Talk things over with a health professional to be sure, but the benefits outweigh the risks in my opinion.

TraceyTrickster Tue 30-Sep-14 23:43:22

I have a little nephew who has health problems...whenever he gets ANY illness he ends up in hospital.

Kids like him also benefit, as they then don't catch bugs from others (ie when he is taken out to the shops/park)

And of course your child is not ill for days on end. I have not had flu for years- missed my shot and had the worst flu I can remember. Next year I will get my vaccination!

wobblyweebles Wed 01-Oct-14 00:16:45

By vaccinating your children you help protect elderly people who are at much higher risk.

It's a no-brainer IMO.

WannaBe Wed 01-Oct-14 00:24:50

it would never occur to me to vaccinate my child against a specific strain of flu every year.

I am not anti vaccination but IMO we are too quick to vaccinate against everything these days, and reality is that all you are doing in this instance is protecting against one strain which they will not remain immune to and could still catch at a later date or could catch a different strain of flu anyway.

I can see the reasoning behind vaccinating those who have specific respiratory disorders but not your average healthy child no.

And talk of the fact that most children who ended up in hospital not having been vaccinated is a tad scaremongering, fact is that most children who end up in hospital with flu also have underlying health conditions. people who died during the swine flu epidemic in 2009 also had underlying health conditions. It is extremely rare for healthy people to die or even be hospitalised with flu.

RubbishRobotFromTheDawnOfTime Wed 01-Oct-14 05:46:13

Yes you should immunise. This article explains it quite well. It protects the whole population as well as the person immunised. Also, the flu season is predicted to be a bad one this year.

I don't understand people saying we are too quick to immunise. What's wrong with it?

Hurr1cane Wed 01-Oct-14 05:56:07

I asked at the GP about this for DS (autism, LDs, seizures if he even gets too warm never mind if he actually has a fever, heart murmur, Reynauds)

And she said to ask the paediatrician if it was necessary first.

Now getting hold of the paediatrician is near impossible unless there's an emergency.

So now I don't know if I'm just being over protective

Workytypestuff Wed 01-Oct-14 06:11:57

For me, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Why would you not want them to have it?

Psychedelicrock Wed 01-Oct-14 06:15:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissYamabuki Wed 01-Oct-14 06:19:08

I'd never turn down the offer to get immunised. I have only had flu once - like pp I was in bed for 9 days of which I remember nothing apart from the odd fever-induced hallucination. This was plain flu - no complications and I'm not in a risk group. Why would you put tour DC through that if you could help it?

Hurr1cane Wed 01-Oct-14 06:26:21

What are the risks?

NormHonal Wed 01-Oct-14 06:26:29

I'd jump at the chance of getting the nasal spray done for my DCs on the NHS at my local GP surgery.

As it is, I'm dragging them several miles away to a private clinic and paying for them to have it done. Did the same last year. Worth every penny to prevent them catching flu!

NormHonal Wed 01-Oct-14 06:28:09

Neither of my DCs have been diagnosed as asthmatic yet, but it runs in our family (I am) hence I would rather be safe than sorry.

306235388 Wed 01-Oct-14 06:29:55

Yeah I used to think just like you and didn't vaccinate. Then we all got flu . I am obsessive about vaccinating now. The week with flu was the worst week of my life.

Hoviscats Wed 01-Oct-14 06:31:31

This is a well timed thread for me so I shall be watching with interest....

I am usually very pro vaccination (and in fact my DS is having his pre school boosters tomorrow) but I am yet to decide whether to give him the flu vaccination this year (nasal spray).

He had it last year and subsequently had a bad cold for about a week and a hacking cough for over a month which was really hard to shift. Could have been a coincidence, but nursery did note that lots of the children had similar reactions.

I am torn because although I don't feel like he, or our family, are high risk I do want to help protect others in the wider community....

I will keep thinking I guess!

sleepywombat Wed 01-Oct-14 06:33:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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