Hi everyone, apologies for starting another thread on this. We've been offered the vaccine fir our son as my wife has MS. She has had the vaccine but the view is our son having it will reduce her potential exposure risk further. I was happy with it but after the inevitable internet searches (curse the web sometimes) I'm now concerned. I understand though that soon all children will have it routinely so I'm trying to convince myself it's a good thing he's getting it this year. Anyone here who knows of a good reason for him not to have it? Obviously I want my wife to be protected but I don't want to put our son at any risk. Any opinions would be appreciated.
The paragraph 'As of July 2012, there have been more than 84,000 reports of reactions, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following influenza vaccinations made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), including over 1,000 related deaths and over 1,600 cases of GBS.'
Is very concerning. It may be similar to previous reaction to other vaccines that proved to have no real foundation. But...
So anyone who could comment on this i'd love to hear from you.
That phrase "84000 reports of reactions " etc is a tricky one. Could be 83,999 people complaining they don't feel well which could be in fact unrelated to the jab, and 1 person who had underlying health issues, was hospitalised and died. That's what is so scary about reading reports, isn't it?
Yes Jayne it is. Some very sad examples of healthy children ...well, I can't go on. It doesn't bear thinking about. But whether there is a reliable link to the vaccine is the question. The flu itself can be just as devastating.
The vast majority of those reactions are a sore arm at the injection site or a red mark - both of which simply mean that the body is reacting to the vaccine as it should and the production of antibodies is stimulated.
Yes, there is a risk with every vaccine. Of all vaccines the flu vaccine is one of the very easily tolerated ones. There is a far bigger risk of flu - particularly for vulnerable people like your DW.
For me, personally, this is a very easy choice tbs.
FWIW, my DS2 has had it every year since he was 1 (now 9, he has asthma) and has never had any problems. DS4 has just had it because there is a vaccination campaign for 2 and 3 year old not-at-risk and he is fine.
The multiple of anecdote does not data make though, and I think if you've looked at vaccination data maybe also look at 'flu statistics?
Thanks PD, I looked at flu stats also - you're right, that needs equal if not more consideration. Like the vaccine, for most it there are no long term issues but still a nasty experience and for my wife particularly. And true, anecdotes don't make data and the internet can be a poor source of validated peer reviewed information. I think we need to get it done. Like I say in a few years I think most children will be receiving it anyway. We're going on Wednesday.
I also have ms and like your wife, was offered the vaccine. However I will not risk having it, I do not think my ms puts me at any greater risk of flu or risks from flu than any other member of the general population, I don't know what caused my ms in the first place and I know ms has been linked to vaccines and listed as a side effect of some vaccines.
My children haven't been offered it but I would refuse. I wouldn't want to risk them to protect me and I won't risk them to protect anyone else either.
It's an incredibly emotive subject. We obviously wouldn't put our son at risk to prevent my wife coming into contact with flu. But I think we've weighed up the potential effects of flu on him versus the vaccine. It seems that the potential risk factors (eg GBV) are significantly lower than the risk of complications from flu. It's a horrible decision to make. But remember the doctor who stopped people acquiring the MMR immunity for no proven reason. Good luck with your MS and I respect your choice
Frontsdoor, toddlers are being offered the flu vaccine to protect themselves too, it's not all about herd immunity, or protecting other family members.
Seasonal/endemic flu is a serious risk to small children, far far more risky than the risk of vaccination.
One thing to remember about side effects, more are not "side effects", they are "effects" that show the immune system is reacting well to the vaccine... Sore arm/ localised swelling and pain (if its an injection), feeling a little under the weather is normal after vaccination.
More serious side effects are rare, and info is collected on people who develop them - it doesn't mean the vaccination is to blame, most will be coincidence, some of course will not, but the risk of that happening is tiny compared with having serious side effects from catching flu (I mean real flu, not a cold).
My 3 year old had his yesterday, but all (4dc and 2adults) of us get the seasonal jab every year (no particular risk factors except for DH due to his job). As a GP he has seen what flu can do, to all age groups, it's not just "old people" who are at risk, but many people seem to think that.
People are not very good at assessing relative risk! Read the scare story websites by all means (they do raise interesting questions sometimes), but for goodness sake then go are read some actual science before deciding whether you want to protect your chile or not.
Thanks RawCoconutMacaroon, I have read and researched and there is nothing that will persuade me to have a flu vaccine. I suppose it depends a bit on what you call risky and for me the risks of the vaccine are greater than the risks of the disease.
I research in all the usual kind of places bruffin, I guess you all think I'm daft not to vaccinate, I don't care I can't take the risk, despite what others say, I still believe that this vaccine is given to children to stop them passing flu on to older people or in the case of the op, another vulnerable person, I'm not risking my child, as for me I'm a sane adult and have made the right decision for me. If I get flu, so be it,