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Should I give my toddler the flu jab?

(20 Posts)
SakuraM Sun 18-Dec-16 16:04:34


My 3 year-old will start nursery next month and I'm wondering if it's a good idea to give her the flu jab? I've never intended to give her any "additional" jab except from the usual necessary immunisations -I'm all for letting her immunity develop- but her starting the nursery is giving me some worries after hearing about all the bugs, viruses, etc. caught by the children when they first start nursery.

Did you give your children the jab? if not, what were your reasons, and were you happy about your decision? I'd also love to hear from health practitioners and what they really think about this.

Please advise as I'm in a real dilemma: to do it or not?

Thanks for your input.

MyDarlingWhatIfYouFly Sun 18-Dec-16 16:11:44

I'm very pro-vaccine, but didn't vaccinate against flu because that particular vaccine (fluenz) is just not effective enough - we weighed up the benefits against potential side effects and that's what we decided. I know 2 GPs with children the same age (2.5) who did the same. Your DD will no doubt constantly have some bug or other for quite a while though. It's not fun!

bonzo77 Sun 18-Dec-16 16:12:27

Are you in the uk? If so she's entitled to the vaccine. It's not a jab, it's a nasal spray. And yes, absolutely is do it. GP surgery will do it. Actually they should have invited you in for it.

SakuraM Sun 18-Dec-16 17:19:25

Thanks for your input. Are side effects common? And are they dangerous? Did the GPs you know abstain from giving the jab because they are not effective enough or because of the potential side effects?

Thanks for your input. Yes I know it is a nasal spray. I haven't been invited in for it but at my surgery they were giving flyers about it about two months ago. Should I receive a letter from them do you think?

SakuraM Sun 18-Dec-16 17:21:13

And yes I am in the UK bonzo77.

PacificDogwod Sun 18-Dec-16 17:25:53

Fluenz is more effective in children than the injected vaccination.
It will give her some protection against the circulating strains of influenza.

It does not protect against coughs, colds, sore throat, runny noses and all the other lurgies that go around nurseries - there will be plenty of opportunity for her to develop her immune system if she is going to be mixing with lots of other kids. Influenza otoh is a potentially very serious illness and both individual and herd immunity are important.

Fwiw, I am a GP, my 4 DSs have had the flu vac from when it was offered, I have had it every year for the last 20+ years and IME it is one of the most easily tolerated vaccinations.

You do what you think is best, but as you are looking for opinions, mine is 'yes'.

MyDarlingWhatIfYouFly Mon 19-Dec-16 08:26:18

Here is the patient information leaflet - it details out the potential side effects.

Caterina99 Mon 19-Dec-16 20:28:14

I say yes. Have had my toddler vaccinated and I get a free one every year (asthma). I've had flu once and I was very seriously ill. Unable to get out of bed for days and wiped out for weeks. I know he (and I) could still catch it, but anything I can do to help prevent it is a good thing in my opinion.

Smartleatherbag Mon 19-Dec-16 20:34:57

I would and do have mine vaccinated.
We all got flu one year. Me and Ds2, a baby at the time, were in hospital. Dh and ds 1 were allowed to stay at home because our friends are nurses and looked after them, including IV fluids.
None of us are immunosuppressed. We're physically in excellent shape, but it nearly killed the baby and I honestly wished I was dead while I had it. We took about two months to get better in total.

Soubriquet Mon 19-Dec-16 20:37:16

I had my dd vaccinated.

With the spray though not the jab

Was done at the same time as her MMR booster poor sod

She was completely fine

Vanillaradio Tue 20-Dec-16 10:50:46

I would definitely get it done. I have the jab every year with no ill effects (type 1 diabetic). Ds (aged 3) had the nasal spray this year, absolutely fine, cried for about 5 seconds but cheered up with a sticker and a visit to the café. No side effects. I have had flu twice and it was horrendous, I have no desire for Ds to go through that.

SakuraM Wed 21-Dec-16 18:46:36


Thank you for your input. As the majority is in favour of the flu jab, I decided to go for it and have just booked an appointment for my DD. I thank you for helping me in taking a decision at last.

For those of you whose children first had the jab at around 3, could you please tell me about the aftermath? were the side effects severe and how long after having the nasal spray did those show up? I read about the possible side effects but I'm interested in hearing from actual cases.

Again thank you!

PacificDogwod Wed 21-Dec-16 20:07:06

No aftermath whatsoever for my 4 who have had it from 2.

I am not sure I fully understand why you are particularly worried?
Has your DD had any problems with previous vaccinations?
If so, seek advice in RL, not from random internet strangers.

FoofFighter Wed 21-Dec-16 20:20:49

It's not a jab as has been said, so not sure why you are still referring to it as one?

The spray is literally like one of those Vicks nasal spray things (but in a syringe style applicator, one for each nostril) and takes about 2 seconds for each side.

That literally is it.

As for side effects, most common one is a runny nose for a few hours after although my child has not had this happen (second year had it, she's 3)

yummychocolate Wed 21-Dec-16 20:43:45

My 3 year old had no side effects from the nasal spray. It was all fine.

Chelazla Wed 21-Dec-16 20:56:14

All but about 3 kids in my school who were eligible had it and no one complained of side effects! My kids had it fine too

SakuraM Fri 23-Dec-16 17:28:04


DD got the vaccine this morning; thanks!

It's not a jab I know, sorry for using the word, just read vaccine instead please!

The nurse told me she should be fine but might develop a fever like any other vaccine.

Thank you all for your help!

Florentina27 Sat 24-Dec-16 22:48:23

I didn't and I didn't have any problems with DD being ill for months but around this time a year she seems to catch every bug, but she doesn't usually stay poorly for long and she gives me the viruses a d I'm I'll for weeks at a time. Next year I'll get myself vaccinated.. We didn't give her the jab as she's allergy to egg protein and influenza, the yellow flu and another aren't recommended for us, otherwise I'm pro vaccine especially as flu is common and can cause complications especially in young children

Florentina27 Sat 24-Dec-16 22:52:13

Didn't know they are sprays now, is it just for children or for adults as well, I'm scared of jabs, got only a bit better since I was pregnant

PacificDogwod Mon 26-Dec-16 16:54:18

Yes, nasal spray is only for under-18s as more effective in younger people.

The immune response varies from person to person, however nasal spray AND injection are really well tolerated vaccines with typically v little in the way of SE (sore arm for injection, runny nose for nasal spray).
They protect against influenza (not 100%, no vaccination achieves that) and not against coughs, colds, runny noses, sore throats and all the other nonsense the winter brings.

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