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AIBU to or not to vaccinate against flu to protect newborn sibling

23 replies

Fruitteatime · 30/09/2018 08:20

Five year old dd due to have the nasal flu vaccine when her younger sibling will be newborn. I'm worried that because it's a spray, older dd might make her sibling ill.

I feel that my options are: A) Consent to dd having the nasal flu vaccine and hope that it doesn't cause her or us any complications.
B) Consent to dd having the nasal flu vaccine and attempt to have the flu jab myself whilst pregnant to protect the baby (but I've not been invited to have the flu vaccine and I'm due very soon)
C) Find out if it would be better for older dd to have the flu jab as a vaccine (would that even be an option under the NHS?).
D) Don't consent to older dd having any vaccine but then risk her getting flu from classmates/friends and bringing it home or from dad who won't be vaccinated (who could also pass it on to newborn regardless of what me and dd do).

Dd has had all her other vaccinations but I feel really unsure about this one as it seems the most unnecessary and it seems different because it is a live weakened virus as a spray rather than an injection. Also I'm not convinced dd would really need protecting against flu, I get that it's nice not to feel unwell but dd getting it would be more about herd immunity than about protecting her from flu as she's a fairly healthy child and I think her immune system could cope with the flu (obviously this is just my thoughts so I appreciate I may be wrong). I'm not especially keen to have the flu jab either, lots of anectodotal stories from friends and family becoming quite unwell the year they had the jab so I don't know that I want to put my heavily pregnant body through it. Newborn will be the most vulnerable so can anyone advise what will be the safest option for us as a family. Consent due back to school tomorrow so need to make a decision!

OP posts:
SkippedALightFandango · 30/09/2018 08:23

If unvaccinated older sibling catches flu and passes it to newborn that will be worse don’t you think? You don’t need to be invited for a vaccination. Ring your gp and book in.

loverly · 30/09/2018 08:23

I'm pretty sure you can ask for a jab from the doctors instead of nasal spray. And you could book yours at the same time?

Wellonlyifihaveto · 30/09/2018 08:24

It’s not a live vaccine. Get her vaccinated and get yours done as well. I’ve got a 7 mth old and a 6 yr old and we were both vaccinated last year when I was pregnant with no side effects,

Cheby · 30/09/2018 08:26

Shedding isn’t really a thing. Get your 5yo vaccinated. And ring your GP tomorrow to see if you can get vaccinated as well.

Santaclarita · 30/09/2018 08:27

Get your daughter, yourself and your husband vaccinated. You'll have to pay for his at a pharmacist, but it's only about £12 I think. Worth it to protect your baby.

Cheby · 30/09/2018 08:27

Oh, just to say last year my primary aged child was vaccinated and I had a baby under 6 months at home. No issues.

ApolloApollo · 30/09/2018 08:28

Not saying its the right thing but my school age children haven't been vaccinated against the flu and I too have a newborn

Childrenofthesun · 30/09/2018 08:28

I would say there is a much higher chance of your newborn catching flu if their sibling gets flu because they haven't been vaccinated. The virus in the nasal spray is very weak and the chances of passing on the virus are tiny.

Also, I would go to the GP if I were you and get the injection for yourself. I could be wrong but I think you pass on some immunity to the baby.

IggyAce · 30/09/2018 08:29

The nasal flu vaccine is live but weakened, it says so on the nhs website. My ds is asthmatic and the nasal vaccine has in the past triggered his asthma, so he has the jab at the doctors. I would definitely get your DD vaccinated.

Dazedandconfused1988 · 30/09/2018 08:30

You and your D.C. can both get the flu jab now. Just call your surgery

PrincessTwilightStoleMyToddler · 30/09/2018 08:31

It is not a live vaccine so there is no reason at all not to get it done (for you and DD).

You don’t (in my area at least) get “invited” for it, they just assume you will book in, either at the Surgery or at a pharmacy that does it or get it privately. When I was pregnant I got a flu jab done (for free) at boots, so even if your doctor can’t fit you in it is easy to organise.

Verbena87 · 30/09/2018 08:31

I have a flu jab every year for work (for the last 6 years), including getting it when pregnant. I have never been unwell from the jab, either when pregnant or not. In all that time only one of my colleagues felt ill afterwards and he just had a bit of a sore throat/run down feeling for a couple of days.

randomsabreuse · 30/09/2018 08:32

Book with GP for you. Should be able to squeeze you in soon if due soon. Should be some placental transfer of immunity. Was advised to wait 2 weeks after my jab before getting 3yo DD done due to shedding risk.

PrincessTwilightStoleMyToddler · 30/09/2018 08:32

Sorry should say the injection is not live.

HungryHippoMummy · 30/09/2018 08:34

I was worried about my toddler having the nasal spray because my elderly father is severely immunocompromised. I had a chat with the nurse and she said it's only a problem in extremely immunocompromised cases (like, chemo, cystic fibrosis etc). Not just "poor immune system" (which is what your newborn would count as). They will only do the jab instead on NHS if you live with someone "severely immunocompromised". The best way to protect your baby is getting your older child the vaccine. If you're still not convinced about the spray some pharmacies will let you pay for the jab (but most say 16+ so you might have to hunt around).

randomsabreuse · 30/09/2018 08:34

Injection is not live, nasal spray is. My jab is next week (due mid November). Will get DD done when DH has been done.

wonkylegs · 30/09/2018 08:36

The nasal one is a live vaccine the injection isn't.
My 2yo has to have the jab because I am immunosuppressed and with the nasal spray they recommend that he would need to stay away from me for at least 7days, as that is impossible they offered him the jab instead.
Talk to your GP they will be able to advise what the protocol for newborns is - it may be the same.

Nacreous · 30/09/2018 08:41

I want to preface this with the fact that I am totally pro-vaccine and think in this situation your daughter should still have the vaccine.

But, I would say that presenting non-facts as a truth does not make people believe that people who are pro vaccine are trust worthy.

The nasal spray is live. This still wouldn’t concern me hugely; I would choose the non-live injection over the live nasal spray but the live nasal spray over nothing at all. I would also get myself booked in at the doctors for a jab.

“Flu” is all very well in our imagination until we actually get it. It probably wouldn’t kill your daughter. But it can and does make perfectly healthy people very unpleasantly unwell. My dad is not yet 50, extremely fit and healthy, cycling more than a hundred miles a week, training for the world championships as a veteran. He got the flu last year and was shaking and grey and his whole body ached and he was weak and could barely do anything. He had two entire weeks off work, when previously he hadn’t had a day off sick for a decade. He tried to go for a ride when he thought he was better but got a few hundred yards out the door and turned back because he was too weak. He was exhausted for weeks afterwards.

A hugely weakened strain is by FAR preferable to that. Ideally I’d get a non-live option but we have to work with what’s actually available!

AvoidingDM · 30/09/2018 08:44

Firstly, get yourself done.
At 35 weeks, my family were told "her lungs are full of fluid, heart racing, kidneys struggling, blood full of acid, but we think we have her in time".
A week later after being pumped full of oxgyen and a cocktail of drugs I got back out of hospital. They did consider an emergency section to take some of the pressure off my body.
I'd never had flu before or since. Your immune system lowers when your pregnant.

With regards to your DC1 get them vaccinated one way or another.

I never normally support flu jabs but this year my Dad is ill and i don't want to pass it to him.

user1471432735 · 30/09/2018 08:53

I’m Australian
After the nightmare of last years flu season there was an increase in vaccination rates and a decrease in infection, and death rates.

Certainly, there are other factors at play, but I think it shows that the vaccine for this season is effective

Schroedingerscatagain · 30/09/2018 08:56

You’ve a number of options

Don’t vaccinate and risk full blown flu passing from child to baby

Nasal vaccination and take a slight risk of shedding

Injection vaccine for you, hope to confer some immunity to baby, nasal vaccine for child, this is my suggestion

Injected vaccine for both of you and again hope to confer to baby

You can get flu from the nasal vaccine even if you have the injected form at the same time yourself but it’s rare.

It’s happened to me twice but I am immunodeficient

ds now has to have the injected vaccine as he develops flu every time he has the nasal vaccine because he has the same immune system fault

For normal healthy people the risk of complications from shedding are very small

sashh · 30/09/2018 09:23

Pregnant women can get a free flu jab at a pharmacy. If you want DD to have the jab that needs to be a Dr or nurse at the surgery.

Your dh would have to pay for the jab, last year it was about £10 in boots and Lloyds.

If you do it this week you will all be immune by the time your baby arrives, surely that's te best outcome.


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Littlebelina · 30/09/2018 09:28

I'm due very soon as well and getting mine next week at the doctor's. I have had it every year for the past 5 or so and never been ill ( and was pregnant for one of those). Ds will be getting his from school, the risk of him getting and passing on flu to the baby is not one I'm willing to take.

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