Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

concerned over safety of flu vaccine?

(27 Posts)
MsPaintbrush Thu 20-Jan-11 11:03:40

Does anyone wish to give their child the seasonal flu vaccine but have concerns over it's safety/ effects on the body, in either the long or short term?

Anouskaa Mon 24-Jan-11 09:54:42

I had the flu jab about 8 days ago and was fine for the first 2 days but since have been very unwell. I have an atopic immune system which means I am extremely sensitive to any foregin bodies in my system and at the time of the jab had the left overs of a chest infection. The jab has really affected my immune system and I've experienced a lot of muscle shakiness, anxiety attacks, shortness of breath and generally feeling like my nervous system is not functioning properly. I am in the at risk group but was not notified by my GP to get the jab at the start of the winter. I deliberated for about a week as to whether to have it or not and did extenisve research until I was satisfied it was better to have the jab. However after having had a week of anxiety attacks and shortnes of breath I am not entirely sure I would have it again as my system does not seem to be able to cope with it. I am not sure if the reaction to the jab correlates to the reaction to real swine flu and if so then I feel it probably was best as if this is how I respond to the jab how would I respond to the actual virus! But I really hope that I return to normal soon!

MsPaintbrush Sun 23-Jan-11 14:31:49

I think this seasons flu vacine has less 'nasties' in than the previous swine flu vaccine, but I do have concerns over formaldehyde and polysorbate 80. When you look these chemicals up they have some very unpleasant effects on the body ( cancer/female infertility). One does is not neccessarily going to cause a long term problem but who really knows. Also young children need 2 doses and if they have it again next autumn that would be 3. There is then more of an accumilative risk on the body. From what I've read ther have been many people experiencing unpleasant reactions to the flu vaccine. I was always offered the regular flu vaccine as a young adult (asthma) but never had it as people seemed to feel pretty lousy after and that's without any media hype. I'm not against vaccines at all but feel caution is needed.

dikkertjedap Sat 22-Jan-11 14:09:40

A lot comes down to when they had the vaccine (takes a certain time to build up immunity) and if they had a booster (vaccine protection is likely to last between 6 months and 1 year depending on age and underlying conditions which may affect immune system). So we cannot say based on this that having a vaccine doesn't make much difference, we need a lot more information to reach such a conclusion. I am a strong believer in vaccines, both against flu and childhood diseases. However, timing is important and you need appropriate boosters. Even most childhood vaccines will not give life long immunity.

bubbleymummy Sat 22-Jan-11 13:25:04

Well 17% of those who died HAD the vaccine anyway.

lucybrad Sat 22-Jan-11 13:02:51

Children and young people I said. Young people meaning not OAP's, dad and mums, brothers and sisters, most entirely avoidable. I bet if you asked those families of those that are dead if they wished they had had the vaccine, what would their answer be hmm. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

bubbleymummy Sat 22-Jan-11 12:58:45

Eek! Sorry about that. Somehow an earlier copy got pasted in!

Not mostly children Lucy! 18 children under the age of 14 - most of them were immunocompromised. Which in no way takes away from the tragedy of their deaths for their family and friends but which does make a difference when you are looking at the risk to a healthy child.

Also worth considering is the benefit of 'super immunity' to other flu strains that I mentioned earlier. You might be very glad of that if a more serious strain of flu emerges in the next few years and the people who had swine flu are faring much better than those who did not.

KerryMumbles Sat 22-Jan-11 12:54:01

my dc both have asthma but are allergic to egg. ds1 has anaphylaxis to egg. the flu vaccines are contraindicated.

bubbleymummy Sat 22-Jan-11 12:49:35

Not mostly children Lucy! 18 children under the age of 14 - most of them were immunocompromised. Which in no way takes away from the tragedy of their deaths for their family and friends but which doMy children probably won't need a booster as they're constantly exposed to the CP virus - and I acknowledge my debt of gratitude to all those unvaccinated children who are exposing my vaccinated children to the virus - but if they do, then I'll give it to them. es make a difference when you are looking at the risk to a healthy child.

Also worth considering is the benefit of 'super immunity' to other flu strains that I mentioned earlier. You might be very glad of that if a more serious strain of flu emerges in the next few years and the people who had swine flu are faring much better than those who did not.

lucybrad Sat 22-Jan-11 12:29:48

but imagine how you'd feel if dd3 got seriously ill with it? You could have easily protected her, but chose not to. I couldnt live with myself however small the risk.

Im sure swine flu has similar stats to measles or mumps, both of which I have had and survived yet are still regular childhood vaccines for apparently 'mild' illnesses.

That article was written in 2009. A further 200 odd people mostly chilren and young people have needlessly died since then. That to me is a 'no brainer' smile

Sidge Sat 22-Jan-11 00:01:44

I totally agree.

I have spent the last 2 weeks at work trying to explain to many patients that either they aren't eligible for a flu jab on the NHS and that we don't have any anyway, or they are eligible but should have come for it back in October when we had loads and started giving it, as we have none left now.

There's no blanket answer where vaccination is concerned, but I personally have no concerns about the safety of the vaccine itself.

bubbleymummy Fri 21-Jan-11 23:56:06

Of course sidge! If people usually get the flu vaccine then it makes perfect sense for them to get it this year too. It's just all the 'worried well' who normally wouldn't think twice about vaccinating against flu but who are getting wound up by the media that I think need to rake a step back and get some perspective.

Sidge Fri 21-Jan-11 23:41:02

It's all about risk/benefit analysis.

Flu would probably kill my DD2 (disabled, genetic disorder) thus I choose to vaccinate her against seasonal flu and monovalent swine flu at the end of 2009.

Flu could put DD1 (who has asthma) in hospital, so she also received annual flu jabs.

DD3 is fit and well and so doesn't receive the jab.

DH has an annual flu jab to reduce the risk of transmission to the DDs.

I have it as I am a frontline NHS worker, and also to reduce the risk of transmission to the DDs.

For my family, the risks of the vaccine (which I believe to be low for us) are far outweighed by the benefits.

winnybella Fri 21-Jan-11 23:31:59

I'm with bubbleymummy on this. Although I did start to wonder for a moment whether I should vaccinate dcs. In the end though, it is just a flu and they come every year. As a matter of fact I think people aged 15-64 are most affected, not children.

As for vaccinating for tetanus etc- yes, small chances of catching it, but if you do it is much more serious than a flu.

bubbleymummy Fri 21-Jan-11 23:27:24

Here Lucy - some interesting reading for you:

nhs choices

bubbleymummy Fri 21-Jan-11 23:22:37

lazy= last

bubbleymummy Fri 21-Jan-11 23:22:14

Lucy, it was based on a study done in London lazy year I believe.

Dikker, again I'm sorry your family were ill. As I said before, any flu can be serious for any one. Statistically though, swine flu is not a risky illness. Also, iirc you had problems with your doctors misdiagnosing and not taking you seriously. Perhaps your daughter would not have been so ill if they had caught it sooner. I am glad she has recovered.

Re childhood vaccines: yes Lucy, there is also a small risk of catching them and a small risk of complications. We made our decisions after careful consideration of each one. I have to say the swine flu vaccine decision was much easier to make! A complete no-brainer tbh - as it would be for most people who look at the figures rather than the media hype.

As for which vaccines my children have had and when - I'm going to keep that private if you don't mind

dikkertjedap Fri 21-Jan-11 23:01:24

My DH had confirmed swine flu, he was terribly ill. My dd is just out of hospital where she was treated for pneumonia, in all likelihood she got it after having been weakened by flu but she was not tested hence don't know which type of flu. She almost died.

lucybrad Fri 21-Jan-11 21:45:48

You didnt answer if you vaccinated against the other childhood illnesses. Also a very small chance of getting these, or of having complications?

How can anyone tell that 1/3 of all flu cases were asymptomatic.If someone has no symptoms, how can they know that they have had it. This was all speculation and not proved. This could only be tested by swabbing the whole country to see if they had flu previously.

bubbleymummy Fri 21-Jan-11 21:18:45

Also, people who catch swine flu apparently have some kind of 'super immunity' to other flu viruses. I think this is a pretty useful thing to have! Particularly since a much worse flu may come along in the future. So, IMO, I would rather take the very very very small chance with catching swine flu and get some of that super immunity

bubbleymummy Fri 21-Jan-11 20:51:15

Lucy, 1/3 of flu cases last year were completely asymptomatic ie no symptoms! You can have mild flu - all this 'if you can get out of bed it's not flu' is nonsense. Seasonal flu can put you at risk of secondary infections too as can many other viruses- people don't worry about catching it every year.

I suppose the most serious reaction to a vaccine is anaphylactic shock but that's quite rare the risks you mentioned are the short term ones, no one really knows the long term ones. It's up to you to weigh up the risk of the vaccine to the risk of the disease. For me, the disease is not a serious enough risk to vaccinate against. We don't vaccinate against seasonal flu either. Other factors to consider are that it's coming to the end of flu season and that the vaccine is 70-90% effective for adults under 65 but can be as low as 45% for young children. So even if you do go ahead with it you may still catch it (btw the 'you'll get it milder' line isn't true either )

lucybrad Fri 21-Jan-11 15:18:52

sorry spelt pneumonia wrong!

lucybrad Fri 21-Jan-11 15:18:29

can someone provide me with a link to a dangerous adverse reaction, other than the usual sore arm, and raised temp/mild aches etc. I would definately rather let my child have these mild reaction, than risk flu. Did you not give your children the usual childhood vaccinations then bubblemummy? Also true flu is by no means mild, it makes you feel like crap for weeks and puts you at risk of secondary infections like pneaumonia and meningitis.

dikkertjedap Thu 20-Jan-11 17:42:33

No, I have no concerns.

bubbleymummy Thu 20-Jan-11 17:40:50

On the food side - many people do watch what their children eat as well so injecting things into them for a disease that is low risk for the majority doesn't really appeal!

bubbleymummy Thu 20-Jan-11 17:39:11

Actually Lucy some children do have adverse reactions to vaccines. Fair enough if yours didn't but every vaccine carries a risk and it is important to weigh up the risk of catching the disease and having a bad reaction to having the vaccine and having a bad reaction. For me, swine flu does not warrant the risk of the vaccine. I would be even less inclined to have it at this stage when flu is declining anyway.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now