UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

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UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#1  Postby Alan B » Jan 15, 2018 6:03 pm

I have a friend who has an eleven year-old daughter. Both are quite fit and healthy with no medical problems. I suggested that, because of the apparent virulence of the present strain, my friend and her daughter should seek vaccination.

Apparently, the vaccination is available for my friend but not for her daughter. On making enquiries at the local pharmacy (Boot's) I was told that NO pharmacy will vaccinate children under sixteen - either nose-spray or needle. If the child is a day over sixteen, then that's OK.
It would appear that the rights of parents have been (deliberately? Cost saving?) restricted in seeking protection for their children's health.
Her school (King Edwards VI group) has no procedure in place and expressed surprise that parents have no control and cannot have their child vaccinated. Her local doctor wasn't sure. I have queried with the NHS Help service (NHS111) about this situation who were also surprised and sought to clarify this state of affairs with NHS England. I've no feedback yet.

Now, I cannot envisage an environment more prone to cross-infection than a school environment with the result that parents and elderly relatives are at increased risk from this latest virus.

Has anyone else encountered this problem?
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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#2  Postby kiore » Jan 15, 2018 7:43 pm

This is likely just to be company policy for the Pharmacy not to do pediatric vaccinations and setting a cutoff point for child/adult.
In some countries (medically) this is 16 and in others 18.
There is no contraindication for an 11 year old to have most of the available fluvax types.
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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#3  Postby I'm With Stupid » Jan 15, 2018 7:43 pm

I didn't even know pharmacies did vaccinations. I always had to go to the doctor's for mine.
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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#4  Postby Alan B » Jan 15, 2018 7:57 pm

kiore wrote:This is likely just to be company policy for the Pharmacy not to do pediatric vaccinations and setting a cutoff point for child/adult.
In some countries (medically) this is 16 and in others 18.
There is no contraindication for an 11 year old to have most of the available fluvax types.

I'm not talking just about the pharmacy. The NHS vaccination service and schools appear not to vaccinate under sixteens against 'flu - unless the child has a medical condition (as far as I can gather).

Parents, it seems, have no say in the matter.
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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#5  Postby kiore » Jan 16, 2018 1:19 am

Alan B wrote:
kiore wrote:This is likely just to be company policy for the Pharmacy not to do pediatric vaccinations and setting a cutoff point for child/adult.
In some countries (medically) this is 16 and in others 18.
There is no contraindication for an 11 year old to have most of the available fluvax types.

I'm not talking just about the pharmacy. The NHS vaccination service and schools appear not to vaccinate under sixteens against 'flu - unless the child has a medical condition (as far as I can gather).

Parents, it seems, have no say in the matter.


Oh different countries have different vaccine priorities for subsidized vaccines, usually targeted at the most at risk groups. Australia, which had a very bad year flu wise last year only provides vaccines for those with chronic diseases and the over 65's and other at risk groups. This however a very cheap vaccine, so not expensive to buy, even the most advanced quadrivalent cell line (no egg) vaccines I purchased this year were only $US 20 a dose wholesale.
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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#6  Postby I'm With Stupid » Jan 16, 2018 9:27 am

Alan B wrote:
kiore wrote:This is likely just to be company policy for the Pharmacy not to do pediatric vaccinations and setting a cutoff point for child/adult.
In some countries (medically) this is 16 and in others 18.
There is no contraindication for an 11 year old to have most of the available fluvax types.

I'm not talking just about the pharmacy. The NHS vaccination service and schools appear not to vaccinate under sixteens against 'flu - unless the child has a medical condition (as far as I can gather).

Parents, it seems, have no say in the matter.

I think this has also been the case for a long time. I used to have asthma, so I used to get it every year, but I don't remember any of my friends in school getting it.
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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#7  Postby Alan B » Jan 17, 2018 10:27 am

Asthma? Can you 'catch' it from others?
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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#8  Postby zulumoose » Jan 17, 2018 10:40 am

Alan B wrote:Asthma? Can you 'catch' it from others?


Yes, your parents.

I hope you realise what he meant was that he got the flu vac every year (as a qualifying vulnerable person - with asthma)
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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#9  Postby Alan B » Jan 17, 2018 1:19 pm

Ah!I read 'got it' as 'got asthma'. Silly me.

With respect, IWS, if you had written: "I used to have asthma, so I used to get the 'flu vaccination every year..."

Which is interesting. Most 'flu strains seem to be fairly 'benign', so usually there is very little concern. But occasionally a strain arrives, such as this year, which is more virulent where the 'normal' 'flu jab recommendations may not be enough.

I've had two bouts of 'flu - one was 'Asian' 'flu in my early twenties and the other was 'Hong Kong' 'flu in my early thirties. The latter left me in bed for two weeks and delirious - I was hearing brass bands when there were none. Those were in the days before regular vaccinations were offered - I think.

Edit. Got the 'flu types arse about face.
Last edited by Alan B on Jan 17, 2018 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#10  Postby zulumoose » Jan 17, 2018 1:28 pm

occasionally a strain arrives, such as this year, which is more virulent where the 'normal' 'flu jab recommendations may not be enough


I think you may be a bit confused about the flu jab. AFAIK it does not provide any protection whatsoever except for a few specific strains identified as a particular risk in the upcoming season, either because of severity or because they are currently doing the rounds as it were. For all other strains of flu it does not help in the slightest.
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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#11  Postby Rumraket » Jan 17, 2018 1:53 pm

Guys plz.

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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#12  Postby zulumoose » Jan 17, 2018 2:07 pm

I think there is another thread, perfect for that one!
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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#13  Postby Alan B » Jan 17, 2018 6:32 pm

zulumoose wrote:
occasionally a strain arrives, such as this year, which is more virulent where the 'normal' 'flu jab recommendations may not be enough


I think you may be a bit confused about the flu jab. AFAIK it does not provide any protection whatsoever except for a few specific strains identified as a particular risk in the upcoming season, either because of severity or because they are currently doing the rounds as it were. For all other strains of flu it does not help in the slightest.


Correct. The 'flu jab only relates to specific strains for the particular year that it is offered.

NHS - The flu jab for 2017/18
Each year, the viruses that are most likely to cause flu are identified in advance and vaccines are made to match them as closely as possible. The vaccines are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Most injected flu vaccines protect against 3 types of flu virus:

A/H1N1 – the strain of flu that caused the swine flu pandemic in 2009
A/H3N2 – a strain of flu that mainly affects the elderly and people with risk factors like a long-term health condition. In 2017/18 the vaccine will contain an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 H3N2-like virus
Influenza B – a strain of flu that particularly affects children. In 2017/18 the vaccine will contain B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

The nasal spray flu vaccine and some injected vaccines also offer protection against a fourth B strain of virus, which in 2017/18 is the B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus.
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Re: UK 'Flu vaccination for Children 5 to 16 - not Available?

#14  Postby kiore » Jan 18, 2018 3:57 am

The strain that seems most problematic this season is the A: H3N2 , I am seeing many cases at present, this also this strain that the egg produced vaccines do poorly on, it remains to be seen if the cell line vaccines really deliver on better protection but am anticipating a yes answer although better remains unfortunately not complete protection. This very personal as being a public health worker I have a very high exposure and took the quadrivalent cell line vaccine myself, so far only 2 of my 30 something colleagues who also were vaccinated have tested positive, and both had relatively mild cases resulting in only a few days of incapacity and a few weeks of recovery. This totally anecdotal and the the 2 high risk colleagues who declined vaccination have not become ill so far. Am not convinced that the compulsion of wearing masks actually effective for vaccine refusing health professionals, feel it usually just a form of shaming, doubt many really change the masks frequently as would be effective.
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