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The Infanrix Saga - Stroppy Letter to GP - Round 1

29 replies

GeorginaA · 26/06/2004 23:39

This is my version of the stroppy letter to GP shamelessly plagarising chunks from Twiglett's excellent missive.

Please could you run your eye down and suggest changes (grammatical, factual, tone etc as appropriate)... thank you!

Dear Dr XXX,

Re: Primary Routine Vaccination of DTP for XXX XXX

Further to my telephone conversation with the nurse earlier last week and my appointment with the practice nurse, XXX, earlier today, I am writing to explain why I would prefer DTaP vaccinations rather than DTwP for my son, XXX, and also to provide you with more information that you might find useful.

As you may be aware, I am strongly in favour of vaccination but are concerned that injecting ethylmercury into infants can be potentially problematic in certain cases. My son is potentially at increased risk of serious adverse effects due to his maternal great-grandfather's and maternal grandmother's history of auto-immune disease (rheumatoid arthritis). The latest research from Columbia University (Effects of Postnatal Thimerosal are Mouse Strain Dependent by M Horniug, D Chiang and WI Lipkin) published June 2004 in Molecular Psychiatry has identified just such a risk in mice. I have enclosed a copy of their paper for your interest (document 1).

I appreciate that DTwP is the ?recommended? vaccination course at present, despite plans to phase it out, however I also believe that following consultations with their GP, parents have the choice to request DTaP instead, with their GP?s consent. I accept that as a busy practice with a large number of infants in your care that you have to have a consistent policy, but do hope that you will be willing to make exceptions in certain cases and when requested by parents.

I further understand that in a memorandum to all Medical Directors of NHS Trusts in June 2003, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Andrew Fraser recommended DTwP but concluded with the comment that ?(it should be recognised) that a final decision about immunisation of a child requires the informed consent of a parent or guardian and that it is open to parents to request, and doctors to provide, an alternative vaccine, which is licensed in the UK and available through the NHS".

During my telephone conversation with one of your practice nurses earlier last week, I was informed that you did not stock Infanrix (the accepted thimerosal-free alternative). When I expressed surprise as I understood this to be the vaccine used for the pre-school boosters, this statement was withdrawn.

This morning, on speaking with XXX, I was informed that the real reason Benjamin wasn't able to receive Infanrix was because this vaccine is not licensed in the UK for the routine primary vaccinations and it was "not surgery policy to administer non-licensed vaccines". I was also given a Thiomersal and Vaccines factsheet printed from the NHS's immunisation information website. I am happy to be able to inform you that this is not in fact the case. Infanrix is licensed for use in the UK for primary vaccinations. I have provided printouts from the British National Formulary where both Infanrix and Infanrix-Hib are clearly listed for this age group as a Prescription Only Medicine (documents 2 and 3). Ironically, the factsheet I was given at the surgery also lists Infanrix as an accepted thiomersal-free alternative for routine primary immunisation on page 4. I have also enclosed a copy of this for your interest (document 4).

Therefore, in summary, I understand that:

a) Infanrix is available as it is the recommended pre-booster vaccination.
b) it is licensed vaccine suitable for primary vaccination at 2,3 and 4 months of age.
c) it is a suitable alternative vaccination which is available on the NHS.

and I would appreciate if Infanrix could be given to my son at his appointment in two weeks time and two further doses given at the appropriate intervals. I would be grateful to hear your decision on this matter as soon as possible and I have enclosed a stamped addressed envelope for your convenience.

Yours sincerely


OP posts:
Jimjams · 26/06/2004 23:44

ROFL I love it. I sent of a stroppy letter myself this morning (to Head of Inclusion Services in the LEA) so I'm in the mood for seeing them today.

WideWebWitch · 26/06/2004 23:46

It's great, more aggressive than Twiglett's but I think that's the tone you're aiming for is it not? Maybe include a bit about the alternative being to leave him unvaccinated, as is also your right?

tamum · 26/06/2004 23:53

Excellent. If that doesn't do the trick I can't imagine what would.

GeorginaA · 26/06/2004 23:56

Round 2 is going to be copied to my MP and local press I think, if I'm still feeling bloody minded enough.

www: I would put in a bit about leaving him unvaccinated but I don't want them to call my bluff I also haven't mentioned about arranging private jabs for the same reason.

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GeorginaA · 26/06/2004 23:57

BTW, you don't think it's too stroppy as in "getting kicked out of patient list" stroppy?

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tamum · 27/06/2004 00:00

I think it will probably annoy the hell out of them to be honest, but it's hard to see how anyone could possibly justify throwing you out for something like this. You're politely standing your ground over something that they appear to know diddly-squat about

Bron · 27/06/2004 00:09

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

twiglett · 27/06/2004 00:16

message withdrawn

GeorginaA · 27/06/2004 00:26

ooo a joint kick up a stink - that sounds like fun

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soapbox · 27/06/2004 00:28

OOOh what a great 'kiss ass' letter!

Hope it gets the results you deserve!

biketastic · 27/06/2004 00:50

I like it, opens a can of whoop-ass as they say!
I'm suppsoed to be having my ds (10months) vaccnated tomorrow. It is his very late third dtp. I keep putting it off becuase I worry abut the mercury. I hadn't known there were any probs with this vax until i read here.

susanmt · 27/06/2004 01:04

Just shown this to DH, who is ROFL at what has happened and says its a fantastic letter, and they don't have a leg to stand on over this.

He says it's not stroppy at all and that if they tried to kick you off the list because of it you have great grounds for a complaint.

He's sitting here chuckling over them handing you a leaflet that says Infanrix is s uitable alternative!

You go girl!

WideWebWitch · 27/06/2004 01:07

susanmt, just wanted to say how much I like the sound of your dh. and how nice it is too see you posting here again

Metrobaby · 27/06/2004 01:10

what a great letter georginaA ! Let us know the outcome ....

GeorginaA · 27/06/2004 01:14

Getting a bit nervous of sending it now - suddenly occurred to me that I'm going to be seeing these people a lot while ds2 is small - I virtually lived in the surgery with ds1!

Then I read about susanmt's DH ROFLing and I have to send it now

BTW, susanmt - I mentioned this on the other thread but not sure if you've seen it. If I do end up getting the DTP done privately, is there any issue about having MenC, Hib and polio on the NHS then getting the DTaP done four days afterwards privately (the private clinic only runs second and fourth Saturday of every month) - or do I have to get them all done on the same day?

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GeorginaA · 27/06/2004 11:25

Oh well, for better or for worse it's gone now. Dh is dropping it round to the surgery this morning.


So, how do you go about finding a new doctor's surgery then?

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twiglett · 27/06/2004 11:27

message withdrawn

susanmt · 27/06/2004 14:15

I asked dh about that last night Georgina and he says he doesn't have a clue but could look it up!

At least he admits it.

Tomorrow is pre-school booster day in his surgery adn he has managed to arrange a whole day of meetings 40 miles away so he doesn't have to be there and hear the screaming!

He is adamant you will be able to get it on the NHS though and respectfully invites you to move up here where he will do it for you free of charge (before he started PHSL again!!!!!).

WWW no I've not been around much I've been pretty tired and a bit glum recently but as dd2 is now sleeping a bit better I have a bit more energy so where do I direct it? LOL

GeorginaA · 27/06/2004 14:43

Thanks susanmt! Seriously considering moving near you after all this palaver, I really am!

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aloha · 27/06/2004 15:04

I also think your dh is fab Susanmt! He's getting quite a fan club. Sorry you've been glum, but very pleased to hear you are getting some sleep.

prufrock · 30/06/2004 01:20

Love it - I will be shamelessly plagarising your shameless plagarisation of twigletts letter when I finally get round to talking to the GP

GeorginaA · 05/07/2004 14:53


I hadn't heard anything, so I ended up fighting back the tears and having a moan to the HV about how I felt let down by the surgery. She said she'd look into it.

Today I get a phone call from her, she's arranged the Infanrix!!! But pointed out it'll mean 3 jabs instead of 2 (hib will be separate). From memory that's what ds1 had anyway, so that doesn't bother me (poor pincushion ds2!) I have to arrange to see a particular nurse to get it done though as it's not going to be general knowledge in the surgery!

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GeorginaA · 05/07/2004 14:54

How's your campaign going twiglett?

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NomDePlume · 05/07/2004 15:25

Just trawling through Georgina - CONGRATS !!!

P.S. Sorry if you've texted me, my mobile is dead, the handset screen is knackered. I dropped it on the way back from your house, I was bending down to pick the cat up at the time !!!

GeorginaA · 05/07/2004 15:57

LOL... oops! I dunno... trying to blame that poor cat for everything

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