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the flu jab, children and asthma.

(26 Posts)
misdee Tue 11-Nov-03 10:04:50

should children with asthma have the flu jab? i'm confused by it all.

naayie Tue 11-Nov-03 10:13:49

I rang my doctors to ask about the flu jab for my three yr old they advised against it saying that it has very bad side effects.

suedonim Tue 11-Nov-03 10:54:25

There's a bit about flu, flu jabs and children in this news item . Hth.

naayie Tue 11-Nov-03 10:59:32

I think I may have to contact the asthma nurse, my doctors are not that reliable, they try to save money, in the news item children over 6 mths with chronic asthma or on steriod treatment should be offered the flu jab, I'm worried now.

CountessDracula Tue 11-Nov-03 11:00:47

I have asthma and was never allowed the flu jab at school. My dr now says I should have it. Sorry that's not very helpful is it.

Jimjams Tue 11-Nov-03 11:18:43

ask about the strain though. The report wasn't very clear, but it looked as though the flu jab was protecting against one strain whilst the one doing the rounds (Fujian) is a different strain.

Thanks for posting that though- I now know for sure that this is what both boys have- it's even spread as they described in the article.

GeorginaA Tue 11-Nov-03 13:18:16

jimjams - according to my epidemiologist friend, even though it's a different strain the current jab can actually shorten the illness considerably so it still might be worth having (although I admit to having reservations over giving young children the jab unless the benefits greatly outweigh the possible side effects).

Jimjams Tue 11-Nov-03 13:59:52

interesting georgina. I'm always confused by whether or not the at risk groups are better off having the flu jab or not. I know most anti-vaccine types are against it for anyone-as they say its such guess work, but I always think if they do get a bit of it right so to speak then maybe you are better off getting it. My SIL is a diabetic and has decided not to get it (which really surprised me I have to say- she's a dentist- and until recently has always been very pro vaccinations- didn't realise she was wavering until her last visit)

The only thing I do know is that drs etc say that if you are not in an at risk group then you are better off running the risk of getting flu (and building up some immunity against future flu strains) than going for the flu jab.

The elderly people I know fall into two groups, those who won't touch it and those who are queuing outside the door. I have met a number of people this year who've been laid low for about a week by the jab, but then having seen my 2 (non high risk) boys laid out by the real thing I don't know.

suedonim Tue 11-Nov-03 16:33:14

Two of my asthmatic children have been offered flu jabs, over the years. I think it has been a good thing for ds2, who's had severe asthma. Almost every cold would turn into a chest infection with him so the pros definitely outweighed the cons (not that he ever had any side effects from jags). It isn't so clear cut for dd1 as her asthma isn't that bad. She's actually lying in bed with a lurgy atm. Don't know if it's this flu or not, as she doesn't have a sore throat but is quite unwell.

GeorginaA Tue 11-Nov-03 18:13:15

Jimjams - another thing she told me was that the younger you are the more likely you are to suffer from any side effects (which is why I would be cautious for a young child unless they were asthmatic or some other risk factor). In fact, when she went for it (she's in her twenties) she was one of the ones who did the fainting fit a few minutes after having it... she was a bit embarrassed later when the nurse asked her what she did for a living in an attempt for small talk

As I've mentioned on another thread, someone I worked with (early twenties) really was severely ill with flu one year. Only mild asthmatic but she was hospitalised. It has made me take the illness a little more seriously (but not seriously enough for me to get around for a vaccination of my own ... ahem).

It's all a case of balancing the risks, isn't it? I think I would be more tempted this year, simply because of the nasty strain going around. But then this year I'm pregnant, and I'm absolutely not prepared to risk the vaccine.

Jimjams Tue 11-Nov-03 18:25:53

I'm not really against the flu jab if it works, but its so much guess work. If they said "this flu jab may have some nasty side effects but there is 100% certainty that we have the right strain" then I would imagine that it would make sense to have it if you were asthmatic. But if you have it, it knocks you low and then doesn't even protect against the flu that is going round then it seems a bit daft iykwim. As they seem to have the "wrong" strain this year (reading the news reports- and bearing in mind what your friend said about "some protection" I don't know whether I would go for it or not. I think that is the reason most anti-vacciners are against the flu jab- it's well known to have nasty side effects and its success rate isn't high enough to risk those- and apparently it's lowest success rates are with the elderly and young.

Having said that- would I give my asthmatic child the flu jab? No idea. Possibly.

DS2 seems to be bouncing back from the flu- a little hot furnace and very grumpy and clingy, with his usual croupy cough, poor old ds1 has been knocked flat though- looks like he's developing an eye infection now as well. It's well and truly taken hold down here though- all non-urgent ops have been cancelle, the hopsital is full- and I think my friend's ddd has been hospitalised (not from the flu as such - although she has it - I was talking to her this morning and she had a seizure- she has uncontrolled epilepsy- and now I can't get hold of her, so I assume it may have been a long one- poor thing).

Jimjams Tue 11-Nov-03 18:26:14

shouldn't be a wink!

hmb Tue 11-Nov-03 18:33:06

I assume that the 'partial protection' would be due to the vaccination having one of the two antigens correct, but not both? H and N antigens ?? I'm dredging my memory for this one. If you recognise one of the two you are not so badly off, not recognise either and you can be in for an epidemic??

Jimjams Tue 11-Nov-03 19:56:58

sounds about right hmb but I think the flu jab has little impact on epidemics (perhaps becuase few people have it). - I think if you get one you get one- apparently the last few years have been good years.

XAusted Tue 11-Nov-03 20:30:54

My dd (aged 7) has just had the flu jab for the first time. She is asthmatic. What persuaded me to get it done was that she had a bad asthma attack which really scared me, I thought she was going to end up in hospital (which she has twice before). It made me think how poorly she could be with flu. Anyway, she has not had any ill-effects from the jab.

alibubbles Tue 11-Nov-03 20:58:41

My DD had been having it for the last 7 years, she has also had a pneumonia jab, but that one lasts 10 years now.

misdee Tue 11-Nov-03 21:31:40

seeing i started this message, maybe i should elaborate further.
my dh caught flu in march/april last year, by mid-late april he was still very ill and ended up in hospital with Dilated cardiomyopathy. they are not entirely sure what caused it but it is linked to the flu. so in his case he is suffering from idopathic DCM. my dd1 has asthma, and last year she was hospitalised overnight after having an adthma attack when she had just a slight cold. dd2 is being referred for an echocardiogram on her heart as there is something not quite right there. dh has a flu jab every year now, even tho last year he had to fight to get past the dragon receptionist at the surgery as she tried to tell him he wasnt an at-risk group. due to the health situation here with everyone (except me it seems) i'm just wondering if flu jabs are offered as routine for asthmatic children. it has never been mentioned b4, and i'm confused by the whole lot. i never thought i;d be worrying over a flu jab.

GeorginaA Tue 11-Nov-03 21:35:32

misdee - asthmatic counts as an at risk group, so I would have thought you'd have had no problems getting it if you wanted it. (At least, I've been told again and again that I can have the flu jab if I want it and I'm only mildly asthmatic).

Am I right in thinking you can also get the jab from Boots? I've got it stuck in my head that you can, but I may have spontaneously imagined that. Obviously you'd have to pay, but if dragon receptionist is REALLY playing hard one year at least you'd have that option for dh?

GeorginaA Tue 11-Nov-03 21:44:26

Just found this info on nhs direct:

The flu jab doesn’t just protect elderly people, you can get the vaccination if you are:


* 65 or over,
* living in an old people’s home or nursing home,
* over 6 months old and have a long-term (chronic) condition such as a heart problem, asthma, kidney disease, diabetes, or
* have a lowered immune system due to disease or treatment such as steroid medication or cancer treatment.


If you have a serious allergy to hens’ eggs, you shouldn’t get vaccinated, and it’s not generally advised if you’re pregnant. If in doubt, ask your doctor.

If you think you need a flu vaccination, check with your doctor or the practice nurse, or if a nurse visits you regularly, you can ask them. Alternatively ask your local pharmacist. Most doctors organise special vaccination sessions in the autumn. Book your flu jab today.

misdee Tue 11-Nov-03 21:46:51

right, i'm foning up the gp in the afternoon for the phone surgery to ask about this. cheers guys.

naayie Tue 11-Nov-03 22:14:55

georginaA - I rang my doctors surgery two days ago about my son who has asthma and asked about him having the flu jab because i had read in the Mail that kids with asthma and serious illnesses should be offered it, he advised my son was too young - he is 3.5 yrs and that it has alot of side effects - no mention of egg and my son has a severe egg allergy which he should know, i have been really fed up with his gp for a long time he really down grades my sons asthma even though he has been in hospital on several occasions, two of which i blame him for as had he have given him the steroid tablets before he got really bad that he couldn't speak, then maybe hospital could have been avoided. I have been considering moving doctors for some time and now i will. Thanks.

Missus Sat 22-Oct-11 19:11:32

Naayie, doctors are reluctant to diagnose asthma in under 5's as they don't like to give steroids to them as there is a teeny weeny chance that it may affect their growth. I fought for almost two years to get my now 3 year old diagnosed during which time she was hospitalised twice. Luckily we moved and the new GP just took one look at her and put her on inhalers immediately. Since then she has hardly been ill at all having previously been ill about once every 4/5 weeks. She shot up and her speech has come on on leaps and bounds probably because she doesnt feel so ill all the time. I've had both my children jabbed this morning as my elder daughter gets viral asthma. She is a bit poorly as a result but not as bad as she would be if she got the flu. I would definitely get a new GP as it sounds like your son's condition is not being taken seriously.

MrsPlesWearsAFez Sat 22-Oct-11 19:19:25

Missus - This thread is eight years old.

budgieshell Sat 22-Oct-11 19:29:16

I have recently been offered a flu jab for my 10 year old DD she has CP. This is the first time she has ever been offered it, receptionist at surgery thought it may be because they had a big batch this time. Does make me think should she being having it every year.

I know you can pay to have it at ASDA. There must be lots of places selling them now.

budgieshell Sat 22-Oct-11 19:33:10

Just looked at the date on the thread how come that has come up again. Some issues don't change that much.

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