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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Trying to decide whether to say yes to the Flu Vaccine or not...?

(25 Posts)
Spearshake Wed 28-Sep-16 09:53:55

My DS is being offered the flu nasal spray, and I am trying to decide whether I do it or not. He has had all the other jabs and I am pro-vaccination. Just this time, I feel that his immune system can cope with the flu. Maybe though I am being naïve by thinking 'we all coped with the flu when we were kids so my kids will be ok', because the strains of flu are more virulent now. IS that true? I understand that part of the flu vax protects against the swine flu, or one strain of it. How prevalent is swine flu anyway? Am I being scared into saying yes to the vaccine?

I am concerned with some of the negative press I am reading, for example www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/6-reasons-i-wont-give-my-kids-nasal-flu-vaccine

I am open, I want to know more, but I am struggling at the moment.

elfonshelf Wed 28-Sep-16 21:36:11

I think what a lot of people call 'flu' isn't really flu at all, but a very nasty cold, sore throat etc and so we underestimate the real thing. True influenza is very nasty indeed and can kill - the flu of 1918 killed more people than WWI and it tends to hit younger, healthier people harder.

We all got swine flu a few years ago and it was miserable, especially as DD was only 2 and DH has no spleen and is immunocompromised. Since then, we all get the flu vaccine every year.

DD's at school in London and the local council come and vaccinate the lot of them in one go. She had zero ill effects - didn't even remember to tell me about it so can't have been traumatic - and didn't catch flu. She'll be having it again this year.

ThisIsNotARealAvo Wed 28-Sep-16 21:47:48

DD had it last year in year 1 and it was fine. My dad was so ill with flu one Christmas he was nearly admitted to hospital and was so ill. It's not like a cold and it lasted ages. I had the flu vaccine injection once and I felt very flu like for an evening and it was horrible. I couldn't stop shaking and I couldn't warm up even with 3 hot water bottles under my pjs. I can't imagine what having actual flu for a couple of weeks would be like. If I can protect DD from that I will.

gandalf456 Wed 28-Sep-16 21:51:02

My DS has been offered it and we are taking it. The last time he had flu, he was really ill, with high temperature, vomiting etc. He has asthma and suffers a bit with his chest so I don't want to risk it. Being the youngest, he is the most likely to get it so will offer the rest of the house some protection.

Last year, three of us were really unwell with what I thought was a bad cold but DS didn't have it so I think it was the flu. I was surprised because I always thought that flu kept you in bed.I guess it depends on how your body deals with it.

NormHonal Wed 28-Sep-16 21:53:23

I had proper flu about 12 years ago and was bedridden for a week. It was horrendous.

We all have the vaccine now, every year. DCs have been having it since old enough and no side effects.

OnlyHereForTheCamping Wed 28-Sep-16 21:56:47

Flu is horrible , dd still talks about the horrible Xmas when she and I had it 4 years ago. Dh had vaccine through work and escaped, we have vaxed ever since

dylexicdementor11 Wed 28-Sep-16 22:14:28

I'm in a similar position. Pro- vaccinations, but I thought DS might be able to skip it this year.

But in second thought we have decided to go head with the vaccination.

DH had the flu a couple of years ago and he was so unwell it scared me. DS has viral induced breathing difficulties and I just can't risk it.

Meadows76 Wed 28-Sep-16 22:19:47

we all coped with the flu when we were kids. I never had to, my siblings never had to, my cousins never had to and not one person i know in real life has actually had FLU. Mine don't get the vaccine

Shurelyshomemistake Wed 28-Sep-16 22:35:13

That greenmedinfo article is complete cobblers. I really wouldn't pay much attention to it.

I ummed and ahhhed about the flu sniff but decided to go for it, having had flu with complications: close to the worst three weeks of my life...

AppleMagic Wed 28-Sep-16 22:38:40

The nasal spray had very low effectiveness in the US for the last two flu seasons so here they are not offering it this year and instead are giving children the flu shot. I'm not sure what I would do if I lived in the UK given that information, presumably it's not possible to get them the shot instead?

Shurelyshomemistake Wed 28-Sep-16 22:39:50

Well meadow.... meet one. Otherwise healthy 40 year old, fit, no pre-existing conditions. Flu, followed by otitis media and two perforated eardrums, permanently impaired hearing, and sinusitis in every single sinus cavity. 2 weeks of the worst headache of my life, 1month off work after. I will take my chances with the vaccine from now on ...
Oh and "we all had flu as children and lived to tell the tale"... apart from the ones like my aunty who died from flu-related pneumonia aged 7.

Shurelyshomemistake Wed 28-Sep-16 22:41:52

I read the CDC stuff on flu vaccine in the states. It is not clear why USA and Canada are reporting that, they say it could be to do with production issues, lots of things.

1potato2potato3potato4 Wed 28-Sep-16 22:42:44

I had flu once, 20 years ago. I was bed ridden for 2 weeks but I only remember the very beginning and the tail end.
I was wondering about the Vax too but I think this has helped me make my mind up, me and DD will be having it.

Wolfiefan Wed 28-Sep-16 22:44:58

I have had flu twice in my 40 plus years. Think being semi conscious for days. Couldn't eat or drink or move out of my bed. Couldn't speak or even make a telephone call to call for help.
And I was a grown adult both times. Wouldn't want to take a chance if I thought I could offer some protection to my kids from that.
A cold or viral infection causes many people to complain they have flu. Normally when on MN or whilst suffering at work. They don't.

Lilybensmum1 Wed 28-Sep-16 22:50:43

My DC won't be having it my DH is severely immune compromised and as its a live vaccine we can't take the chance.

EstelleRoberts Wed 28-Sep-16 23:00:02

I would rather my DD gets the jab than the nasal spray. Is that possible?

Meadows76 Wed 28-Sep-16 23:17:33

Well meadow.... meet one. I never said that nobody ever had flu, but the idea that we all had it as kids? No we didn't.

SortAllTheThings Wed 28-Sep-16 23:32:50

I've had it twice. Once as a child, and again when I was pregnant. I was seriously ill for two weeks, ended up with a very bad chest infection, it was horrendous. I was only a few weeks pg and hadn't had my flu jab yet.

This has reminded me to ring the surgery to see if DD can have it. Do they offer it to 2yo's?

AppleMagic Wed 28-Sep-16 23:48:22

Shurely this explains why they believe the nasal spray is less effective than the jab.

AppleMagic Wed 28-Sep-16 23:53:27

These data came from the US Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network and showed that the point estimate for LAIV vaccine effectiveness among children in the study against any flu virus was only 3% and not significant, with a 95% confidence interval of -49% to 37%. This finding essentially means that no protective benefit from LAIV could be measured, especially against H1N1 viruses.

LAIV is the nasal spray. I'm very pro-vaccine but would struggle to rationalise having a live vaccine with NO proven benefit.

AppleMagic Wed 28-Sep-16 23:56:34

However I guess it's possible that the nasal spray may be effective at providing protection against the strains of flu that are circulating in the UK as it's possible different strains are prevalent in different countries.

Shurelyshomemistake Thu 29-Sep-16 12:16:21

Applemagic..... the JCVI in the UK came to different conclusions to the CDC, in that they concluded LAIV did have significant benefits and so they continue to recommemd Flumist.

sleepy16 Fri 30-Sep-16 09:35:33

I'm sure the injection for flu is not live, just the nasal spray one is?
So maybe if your child/children can not have the nasal spray one due to having people in the household immune depressed, then the jab would be ok?

Aworldofmyown Fri 30-Sep-16 09:45:14

My eldest son has always had it, he has chronic asthma so getting flu would be very serious for him.

DD has had it since they began offering it. As others have said, I have had the flu once and it was awful I was able to crawl to the toilet and that was about it.

Sandsnake Fri 30-Sep-16 09:50:45

I'd get it. I've never had flu but DM has a couple of times and was very ill. She said that the way to tell if it's flu or not is to imagine there was £1 million in the next room. If you could possibly get out of bed to retrieve it then it's not actually flu. To echo pp I think a lot of people think they've had flu when it was actually a bad cold and therefore underestimate how bad it is.

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