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It is that time of the year again when the NHS rolls out it’s vaccine call for primary children to have the flu vaccine.  Last year we opted out of this but didn’t have to say why and it was done at the doctor’s surgery.  This year it is being done at school and we have a 2 page form to fill out stating why we don’t want our child to have it.  What are people’s thoughts on the vaccine?  I feel that like coughs and colds it builds up a natural immunity or am I being irresponsible not letting my child have it and putting others at risk.  Is it a load of hype and it just looks good on gp’s figures by how many vaccines they have administered.

Hi Morag and welcome to the forum.  My children aren’t at school (they are school age) so we have never been offered a flu vaccine.  If I was?  I wouldn’t take it.  My children are robust and in good health so if they did get flu I don’t believe it would be life threatening. 

It is really hard to get good unbiased information about vaccinating, personally I have yet to be convinced.  I wasn’t vaccinated as a child and my children haven’t been either.

I strongly suspect that someone is getting paid for those vaccines to be taken up, if that is the case then that is not a strong or valid enough reason for me to take it up.  Do you think you need to fill in the form or could you type out a statement and attach it to the form, that way if it happens again you have a ready prepared statement?

I am struggling with my own local doctors surgery at the moment.  They want me to come in for a couple of routine checks and have written to me on several occasions about it.  The reason I am reluctant to go is that the last time (nearly six years ago!) I went in for a routine blood test I got the flu from the surgery.  It took me months and months to feel well again.  So when it comes to flu I don’t think we need vaccinations we just need people to be sensible about staying away from other people if they have got it!

Hi Morag,

I don’t think it’s just a personal choice. I think “herd immunity” is important..we live in a shared world..and I thinks it’s a moral obligation to help protect the weaker….

sustainable mum…Hi-I think your post is a bit contradictory- your kids are robust so would recover quickly, but when you caught flu you took months to recover fully….so if you were old or with a weakened immune system, even if your kids got over it quickly, to someone else it could be life threatening….

I totally agree it would be life threatening and in that case I would encourage anyone for whom it would be to have the vaccine.  I think we all have a duty to ensure if we are likely to be infectious to stay away from others particular those who are vulnerable and for whom the flu or any other similar disease is a serious proposition.

My youngest was only 14 months when I got the flu and was still waking and feeding in the night.  I was keen to keep on with this as I knew it was giving her the immunity she needed but I don’t think it helped with my own recovery.  Some decisions are never easy are they, we just have to do what we think is best and right at the time wink

It’s a difficult balance… in the end we just do what we feel’s best!  For ourselves and the wider community!  grin

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