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Live webchat with Professor David Salisbury, Dept of Health director of immunisation, Mon, November 2, 1pm

(318 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Oct-09 11:43:35

We're very pleased to have Professor David Salisbury, the Department of Health's director of immunisation, as our guest for a live webchat this Friday, 30 Oct, at 1pm.

Professor Salisbury, who originally trained as a paediatrician, and also works extensively for the World Health Organisation including his role as chairman of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Vaccines, is a timely guest given that the swine flu vaccination
programme is now being rolled out. Pregnant women are one of the first 'at-risk' groups being offered the jab.

There has already been a large amount of discussion about the vaccine, so this is your chance to put your questions, concerns and comments to the government's top vaccines expert.

As usual, if you can't join us on the day, please post your question here and Prof Salisbury will try to answer as many as possible.

tatt Wed 28-Oct-09 05:26:24

Not sure if I can be here - so

Why aren't more adjuvant free vaccines available since these would reduce local reactions in those whose immune system doesn't need adjuvants?

Background to question - I have a daughter who has had anaphylactic reaction to nuts and possibly lentils. They get bad local reactions to vaccines. Last time it took 3 days for their swollen arm to return to normal size. They have refused the cervical cancer vaccine but might have accepted an adjuvant free vaccine.

It is incredibly difficult to get anyone to record a minor vaccine reaction. This doesn't encourage people to vaccinate, it merely makes them think serious reactions are under-reported. Can you please encourage honesty in reporting all adverse events.

Beachcomber Wed 28-Oct-09 07:42:37

I'm going to more questions, I know we are only allowed one, but I'm asking a few and of course would only expect maximum 1 question to be considered.

Dr Salisbury, what do you make of the fact that Baxter, the maker of Celvapan, was responsible for shipping tainted vaccines contaminated with H5N1 avian flu virus to 18 different countries recently and what do you make of the fact that some scientists say the only logical explanation for the genetic make up of the swine flu virus is that it is lab generated and has reached the general population either through error or by intent, possibly by Baxter themselves?

Long question I know but a matter of serious concern to those of us who have family members already damaged by vaccination and who hope to avoid a repeat episode in light of the fact that the problems suffered by our family members are denied and declared coincidences by public health officials.

Many thanks for your consideration of this important wider issue, regardless of which vaccine is offered to the UK public.

Also Dr Salisbury what do you make of the fact that Baxter is currently involved in litigation over its overcharging Medicaid for H1N1 vaccines, can you reassure the UK public that we will not be swindled in the same way either by Baxter or by another manufacturer? Do you think this type of low down unethical behavior affects public confidence in vaccine programmes and reinforces the idea that such programmes with their heavy schedule, including some unnecessary vaccines, are more about money than public health?

Here is a link to the Observer online which raises this dreadful story.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Wed 28-Oct-09 08:04:50

Stuffit, I am indeed pretty rude sometimes. I save it for odious journalists and bigots on the whole. I am no apologist for arrogant medics either, or pharmaceutical companies. But 'how do you sleep at night' is a question to be put to people who actively do bad things.

As opposed to people who's job it is to make the best judgement possible on current scientific knowledge to protect the health of large populations. Even if some people don't accept that position, he's not individually culpable.

cocolepew Wed 28-Oct-09 08:24:57

I work in a Special school in Northern Ireland, the majority of our children were vaccinated last Friday. We are currently on half term and the local news has reported that all teachers and classroom assistants are to be offered it when we return. The majority that I know don't want to have it, including me (I had SF in the summer).

My question is if the children are now protected against it, why would we want to have it? Surely we couldn't pass it on?

I think the reporting of SF deaths is boarding on hysteria, our school had 7 deaths last winter due to colds and respiratory viruses, but this wasn't deemed important within the media. One of our children had SF and the local papers went mad, thankfully the child recovered without any problems.

stuffitllllama Wed 28-Oct-09 08:51:52


So he is only taking orders? I didn't think you were the sort of person who would buy that.

Wilf, I'm afraid there is no way you can convince me that this man and all who work above and below him should not be given a grilling. He is answerable to us.

However, he is not going to get one on Friday, or any time soon.

IndigoMonstA Wed 28-Oct-09 09:06:33

I would like answers to all the question that Lomorising has so eloquently raised.


thedollshouse Wed 28-Oct-09 10:26:49

Professor Salisbury

If the swine flu vaccine is considered safe why are many senior obstetricians having "off the record" conversations with expectant mums advising them not to have the vaccine?

Is the Department of Health crossing all fingers and toes hoping that there will not be any adverse effects in unborn babies or is there scientific proof that the vaccine is indeed safe?

JuliaGulia Wed 28-Oct-09 10:34:24


My midwife has said 'don't go near the vaccine because it's not been tested on pregnant women and you should avoid all medicines during pregnancy' but my obstetrician has said she is being told to recommend it to her patients.

With so much contradiction within the medical profession itself - how are we supposed to know who to believe?

I agree that the government had to take steps to address a possible pandemic of c65,000 dying this year - but now the figure has been reduced to c1000. So are we now just being convinced to have the vaccine because the government has paid for it and doesn't want to be seen to go back on their originial risk assessment of the situation or waste taxpayers money?

I also echo the comments regarding adjuvants in vaccines. My understanding of the ingredients is that this immune booster is used so that more vaccines can be made more cheaply. After finally getting pregnant with twins after 2 miscarriages, how do I know that this immune booster wont result in my body going into hyper immune response mode and then reject my babies?

Unless I'm offered Celvapan, I think I'll just be going without. At least I know the risks of NOT having the jab.

edam Wed 28-Oct-09 10:40:06

if the vaccine contains thiomersal, personally I wouldn't touch it with the proverbial bargepole. Who on earth would think it's a good idea for pregnant women to take mercury into their bodies? Good grief, it's finally been removed from the newborn baby jabs, I can't see ANY reason for introducing it at an even earlier stage!

pofacedandproud Wed 28-Oct-09 10:50:40

Edam thimerosal is still given in anti-D shots for pregnant rhesus negative women, unfortunately. It may be a small amount of thimerosal in the Pandemrix, but still. I am more concerned however, that squalene is used as an adjuvant in Europe in the SF vaccine but not licensed in the States, and would like to know why.

Beachcomber Wed 28-Oct-09 11:28:22

Edam the only reason I can think of for pushing mercury containing vaccines on pregnant women is so cynical that I can hardly bear to put it into words let alone try to formulate a reasonably polite question about it for public health officials.

Epidemiologists are very closely watching what happens in certain populations when mercury is removed from baby jabs. Adding mercury back into the picture via jabs on pregnant women could seriously skew results and allow conclusions to be drawn that would be convenient to a lot of powerful people and organizations.

With regards to squalene how does the DoH reconcile the use of this adjuvant considering that more and more evidence is coming to light (despite yet more denial on the behalf of our government) that it plays a role in the development of Gulf War Syndrome?

edam Wed 28-Oct-09 11:35:30

Interesting, even horrifying, theory, Beachcomber. Suspect it may be more about cost though - DH officials/ministers going for the cheaper option because hey, no-one's ever proved mercury is a problem... hmm

Same as with cervical cancer, all the researchers are convinced they went for the cheap option rather than protect girls against warts too (although DH is being very careful not to release information about the deal they got on pricing).

Beachcomber Wed 28-Oct-09 12:08:49

Horrifying is the word but I can't help myself from wondering about it. The whole mercury in vaccines crap has been so full of dishonesty, arse covering, outright negligence and stupidity that I find myself in a position where I believe there are few limits that are beyond the dubious ethics of public health organizations.

They have shown themselves to be ruthless, lacking in morals, devious and dishonest in the past so why not now?

Effectively if the DoH won't examine mercury damaged children then they are unlikely to find evidence of how mercury damages those children. At least the above allows them to draw the convenient conclusion that there is no evidence that mercury damages children and that they are superheroes for 'removing' it at all.

Beachcomber Wed 28-Oct-09 12:14:46

Forgot to say, if it were really about cost then they wouldn't be buying these swine flu or HPV vaccines in the first place.

Or perhaps public health policy is for Pharma to make shedloads of money but just not, er, too many shedloads of money or something?

I suppose it keeps things simple to concentrate on the bottom line rather than on the health of individuals.

stuffitllllama Wed 28-Oct-09 12:45:15

Beach I have many questions for later.

There is certainly a cosy relationship with GSK here.

It's always money.

AppleMark Wed 28-Oct-09 13:05:25

lots of people are trying to join to ask Salisbury, passing this on from a friend. BTW my child has autism AND bowel desease so guess Were I sit on this on ..

What sort of a world are we living in where the pharmaceutical companies are
now basically running the world. I do not trust the government any more
regarding the safety of vaccines. My son was vaccine damaged by the MMR at
14 months. He is 16 now and still has no language or quality of life. He
has seizures of the most worrying kind and he sleeps for 14 hours a day some
times. I need to drive him to school for a few hours every day as he has no
energy to go to school a full day. There is no way I will have him
administered with this Swine flu jab. Why has Professor Salisbury agreed to
have this jab and other jabs added to the immunization programme. More
money for the pharmaceutical companies and titles for the medical
profession. Shame on you all.


elmotaughtddtousethepotty Wed 28-Oct-09 14:33:16


I'm interested in your advice on two questions:

This one has already been eloquently raised by Grendle & Satansauruswrecks:

If I get vaccinated whilst pregnant, does this mean I am then able to offer protection to my vulnerable newborns through breastfeeding?

And this related question raised similarly by Belgianbun:

I'm 36 weeks pregnant and my GP doesn't yet have their stocks of vaccine, so there's every chance they won't get round to me before i have the babies. Will new mums be offered the vaccine (if they want it) in order to be able to protect very vulnerable newborns through breastfeeding (if indeed the it would do that - see previous question!).


BoredWithWork Wed 28-Oct-09 14:36:42

Professor Salisbury
I am 21 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child and have been asked to attend my doctor's surgery on 9th November for a swine flu vaccination. I am concerned about the adjuvants in the Pandemrix version that is being offered. Although the WHO are about the change their advice on it to say that adjuvants are safe for pregnant women (in July they said that they should not be used), I am still concerned about the unknown long term side effects on my unborn child. What is the government's policy on Celvapan? And can I demand this from my PCT? I would not hesitate to have the Celvapan vaccine if available, whereas I'm edging towards not having Pandemrix. Thank you.

LaTristesse Wed 28-Oct-09 15:05:26

Just to echo the question raised by ReneRusso really -

I was given Relenza when I was 5 weeks pregnant (I am now 20 weeks), although no tests have ever been done to confirm I actually had Swine Flu. Assuming I had, will I have any immunity and will this be passed to my baby?

Bearing in mind I'll be heavily pregnant through the 'most dangerous' winter months, I'd like to know, like everyone else, is there any proof this vaccine is safe for me and my baby. As it stands I won't be going anywhere near it - at least I know the risks associated with flu.

Thank you... x

Igglybuff Wed 28-Oct-09 15:06:51

I have a question. So much has been spent on this vaccine yet it seems little on the "bin it" campaign. Why isn't the government doing more to prevent the spread of swine flu, especially now when they themselves have said cases are increasing at this time of year? I lost count of the number of times people exhibit dirty habits on public transport...

claraquack Wed 28-Oct-09 16:25:18

We are on an overseas posting in the Caribbean, my husband is a Crown Civil Servant. There is probably a lower risk of us catching swine flu here, but should we get immunised anyway to prevent us from getting it in the future? My children are 1 and 4.

4everhopeful Wed 28-Oct-09 20:14:14

Im on my 5th pregnancy & 9wks on friday, Ive had 4 previous MMC within the last 2years, 3 at 9wk + a few days, one at 13wks.

What do you suggest for me? I do not want to do ANYTHING that puts my baby at risk. Im desperate for this pregnancy to work...

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 28-Oct-09 22:04:49

Do you expect the vaccinated generation to require MMR boosters during adulthood?

MummyToucan Wed 28-Oct-09 22:16:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stuffitllllama Thu 29-Oct-09 06:53:52

Beach how much of you believes this? I too think there are few lows to which the vaccine industry cannot sink but what you describe is so revolting one baulks even at the thought.

Apart from swine flu, are there any other new vaccines that pregnant women are being encouraged to take? The anti-d must have been around for a while, no?

I am looking for reasons not to entertain the possibility you describe. Can you tell.

I always thought that a long way down the road, when it is in no more vaccines, there would be some admission about thiomersal. But it would be heavily qualified by protestations that it wasn't known at the time, that on the whole, given current medical developments, it was still best for the population, and so on.

However I suppose any unveiling of the real damage effected over the years would I suppose be so tremendously catastrophic. I just don't know.

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